La Colmenita Renders Tribute to "Two Juanes"
First, it celebrates its 20 years, with style, with a staging that brings together more than 100 children, a real "blockbuster".
And at the same time, it pays off several debts of gratitude.
"We owed Elpidio Valdes a complete show", comments Carlos Alberto "Tin" Cremata, the director of both the company and the staging. "We'd used the character in other plays, but very circumstantially. It's time to turn him into an absolute character".
The second debt was with the youngest children: "After the staging of "Y sin embargo se mueve", conceived for older children and teenagers, we thought it was time for a show for the smallest ones, full of vicissitudes, without so much metaphoric charge".
And what a better character than Elpidio: "Notice that all children want to be Elpidio Valdes, he's a one-of-kind character, who has accompanied several generations, is an authentic symbol of patriotism, of Cubaness, without failing to be amusing because of that. Definitively, it is Juan Padron's masterpiece".
And talking about symbols, Cremata thought to unite Elpidio with another patrimony from Cuban culture: Juan Formell's music for Los Van Van.
"At the beginning, it looked something crazy, imagine, mixing the mambises (fighters for independence) with Los Van Van... but the idea began to take shape later, and makes a lot of sense, after all, it is about two of the most valuable expressions of Cuba's popular culture, finally, they represent the same thing.
"We started to delve into Formell's scores and found many wonderful things that have always been there, but that sometimes you do not notice them: complex and beautiful arrangements, suggesting melodic lines.
By Yuris Nórido