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In co-presentation with



María Pagés Compañía

María Pagès


4. 5. 6 April 2013
Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier

With her highly personalized flamenco, the great María Pagés will be gracing the stage of Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier. Making her Canadian première, the famous Seville dancer will present Autorretrato, a self-portrait created at Mikhaïl Baryshnikov’s instigation. “After María Pagés has danced, neither the air nor the earth is ever the same.” (José Saramago)

"With the multidimensional self-portrait of María Pagés, we get a peek inside an artist’s soul through uncompromising dance, a presentation of the sensations, experiences and truths of a unique dancer." (La Vanguardia, Barcelona, Spain, review of Autorretrato)

"Every art form needs a Pagés. It is the nature of our extremely competitive and eclectic era. She plays a very distinguished role in modern flamenco dance." (El País, Madrid, Spain)

"She is an imposing presence, with serpentine arms surging through the strong outlines of her torso. She has beautiful costumes. She also has, when flamenco grief and scheduled moping are set aside, a delightful sense of humour. María Pagés took over the stage on Monday night in irresistible fashion. When the dance seizes her, as it ultimately must with any flamenco divinity, she lets it take its irresistible course, driving her ever onward and touching our souls. And she makes castanets talk. The men in her company are especially jolly and Pagés, amid the whirling of a vast shawl, is a tempest incarnate, and glorious." (Financial Times, London, UK, review of Autorretrato)

Danse Danse invites Montreal audiences to come celebrate the return of María Pagés. A major internationally acclaimed star of flamenco, the woman with very long and extremely expressive arms will grace the stage of Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier to the delight of dance aficionados. Renowned for her rigour, her openness to other arts and cultures and her unique approach to flamenco – she was one of the first to treat the discipline as a constantly evolving art form – this famous Seville dancer will be presenting Autorretrato, a flamboyant self-portrait created at New York’s BAC at the instigation of Mikhaïl Baryshnikov. The musicians onstage – two guitarists, a cellist, a percussionist, and two singers – provide rousing support for the great Pagés. Accompanying them is the voice of the late lamented Nobel-prize winning Portuguese poet José Saramago, whose poems add a vibrant lyricism to the performance.

"The North American audience can raise up a storm when they like a show. And the audience that was at the first performance of María Pagés’ Autorretrato (Self-portrait) in the City Center, within the Flamenco Festival, went over the whole repertoire – they stood, stamped their feet, whistled, clapped, shouted..." (ABC New York, USA, review of Autorretrato)

"The title clearly states the intention, which takes concrete shape with an excellence that requires no grand adjectives." (El País, Madrid, Spain, review of Autorretrato)

In 2007 Mikhaïl Baryshnikov invited María to dance at the Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) in New York. That invitation led to an artistic residency, which resulted in Autorretrato.

"When Mikhaïl Baryschnikov invited me to the Baryschnikov Art Centre (BAC), he wanted a very personal performance that would reveal not only the dancer but the human being and the creative artist. To that end Baryschnikov placed a small intimate space at my disposal, and it was there that my desire to do a show that would be a self-portrait took shape. I felt that I needed to dig into my soul, get to know myself better. I needed time to stop and think, to observe, to look at myself in the mirror. During the course of that analysis I would transpose my discoveries into movements, creating a particular ambience sustained by a unique stage design. I was trying to imitate the approach of painters as they produce self-portraits.

In fact, dance is the only way for me to really know myself. Dance has always been a part of my life. I have always danced; dance and I are one and the same. It is thus through dance that I am best able to express who I am.

I also learned to transform that self-examination into a form of play, reminding myself of the words of wisdom found in the Soleá:

The mirror you gaze at
Will tell you who you are
But will never reveal
Your secret thoughts."

María Pagés
"Does María Pagés dance? She has both feet planted on the ground like any other human being, yet differs from you and me. For her the ground underfoot is not just an essential foundation for the fluid movement of footsteps. María Pagés uses the ground to delineate questions and answers. With María the ground acquires a mysterious power of levitation, as though it could dispense with the earth entirely and completely vanish in the air, or fly down the paths that her arms invite us to follow. Indeed, the genie of dance lives in María Pagés, as we all know and proclaim. But that is not this woman’s only gift, for her dance irradiates everything around her. After María Pagés has danced, neither the air nor the earth is ever the same." (José Saramago)

María Pagés
Born in Seville, María Pagés is renowned the world over for her very personal vision of the art of flamenco. Using the fundamental codes of flamenco and exploring its strengths and its limits, Pagés has been a true pioneer, approaching flamenco as a living, modern art form that is constantly evolving. Her choreography opens new horizons by borrowing from other cultures and other art forms, for she is convinced that all cultural exchanges provide a better understanding of human beings. She views flamenco as a perfect example of how unifying cultures, races and religions can create a common echo of shared feelings.

In 1990 she founded Compagnie María Pagés, which has produced works such as Sol y Sombra (1990), De la luna al viento (1994), El perro andaluz, Burlerías (1996), La Tirana (1998), Flamenco Republic (2001), Canciones, antes de una guerra (2004), Sevilla (2006), Autorretrato (2008), Flamenco y poesía (2008), Mirada (2010) and Utopía (2011).

The company has presented its work at prestigious venues all over the world, and she has also performed abroad to raise awareness about humanitarian causes in India, Mozambique, Mexico and Honduras.

In October 2005 the company had the honour of presenting a performance at the opening festivities for the Ibero-American Summit in Salamanca, Spain. The presentation included the première of a dance set to a poem by José Saramago, Ergo uma rosa. In 2007 Mikhaïl Baryshnikov invited María to dance at the Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) in New York, which led to Autorretrato.

In October 2009 the Royal Theatre in Madrid invited Compagnie María Pagés to be part of its dance season. The company then joined forces with Placido Domingo for the Placido y la copla project. That same year María presented Dunas, an artistic collaboration with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in a fusion of flamenco and contemporary dance, an eminently poetic dialogue.

In January 2010 María Pagés conceived and directed a gala at Madrid’s Royal Theatre as Spain assumed the presidency of the European Union. During the event she shared the stage with Tamara Rojo in choreography created especially for the occasion, with accompaniment by the Spanish National Choir. Also in 2010, Soleá pas de deux was presented at the New York City Center. That dance was created especially by María Pagés for Angel Corella, a brilliant soloist with the American Ballet Theatre.

The première of Mirada took place in Seville in June 2010 at the Maestranza Theatre, to great acclaim from audiences and critics alike. It was the closing presentation of the theatre season.

Her most recent work, Utopía, was the culmination of almost two years of research, where seven dancers explored with Pagés the ethics and aesthetics of desire, non-conformity and the human instinct to dream of a better world.

María Pagés has danced in three films by Carlos Saura – Carmen, El Amor Brujo and Flamenco. Over the course of her long career she has received numerous awards, including the ADE national choreography award (1996); a national dance award for new works (2002); a gold medal from the Andalusian Community; six Girardillo awards at the 13th flamenco biennial; the critics’ award for best performance at the 15th flamenco biennial; a Leonide Massine award in Italy (2004); two awards at the 7th edition of Flamenco Hoy (best performance and best show) (2005); a Cultura Viva award (2006); the Madrid culture award (2007); the audience award at the Jerez Festival in Andalusia (2009); an international Terenci Moix award (2011) and the Butaca Award for Best Choreographer (2011). 
Lenght:  1 h 30


Choreography and Direction María Pagés. Choegraphy in Farruca / Zapateado (footwork) and ssistant choregraphy José Barrios. Lyrics & Music José Saramago, Antonio Machado, Miguel Hernández, Federico García Lorca, Ben Sahl, Alberto Cortéz, José A. Carrillo, Isaac Muñoz, María Pagés et divers auteurs de tradition orale. Arrangements & Original Music Score Rubén Lebaniegos. Lighting Pau Fullana. Set & Wardrobe Design María Pagés. Fabric dyeing & Printing Atelier María Calderón. Fabric Painting Mónica Calderon. Costumers Luis F. dos Santos / González. Shoes Gallardo. Dancers María Pagés, Isabel Rodríguez, María Vega, Eva Varela, José Barrios, José Antonio Jurado, Paco Berbel, Rubén Puertas. Singers Ana Ramón, Juan de Mairena. Guitars José Carrillo Fyty, Rubén Lebaniegos. Percussion Violin David Moñiz. Technical Crew Pau Fullana (Lighting), Beatriz Anievas (Sound), Pablo Ramos (Stage Manager), Marc Santa (monitors), Juan Manuel Pérez( Stage Hand).



2012-2013 SEASON

BJM - Les Ballets Jazz de MontréalHofesh Shechter CompanyFrédérick Gravel / Grouped’ArtGravelArtGroupJosé Navas / Compagnie FlakAszure Barton & ArtistsTAO Danse TheaterLa Otra OrillaCarte BlancheT.r.a.s.h.Fondation de danse Margie GillisMaría Pagés CompañíaSinha Danse / Constantinople