Performing Arts

Dance choreographers Pradera and Godoy collaborate for intimate 'Bare Bones'

Lazaro Godoy (left) and Carlota Pradera in "Bare Bones"
Lazaro Godoy (left) and Carlota Pradera in "Bare Bones"

When Carlota Pradera and Lazaro Godoy premiered their first artistic collaboration, Bare Bones, last summer as part of Miami Theater Center’s SandBox series, it was a visceral exploration of personal connections, showcasing Godoy’s sinewy frame undulating and pulsating in tandem with Pradera’s raw, earthy movements.

Mary Luft, executive director of Tigertail Productions, was so impressed after seeing the piece that she added it to the organization’s 30th-anniversary season, with performances Thursday and Friday at the On.Stage Black Box at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium.

“Sometimes you see something and you say ‘Wow!’ ” Luft says. “I just felt it needed to be done again, and for people here to see the piece again. It had all the elements – a really nice score, great visuals, interesting props. And the way it was conceived, it was also really different.”

An intimate piece, Bare Bones is striking in its simplicity. With a score by Juraj Kojs and Rainer Davies, and incorporating film by Juan Carlos Zaldivar, the focus never shifts from the relationship between Pradera and Godoy, showcasing each of their distinctive styles. Wooden logs and an ornate animal headpiece make up the few set pieces, which become bridges, benches and barriers to connection. Yet it is the moments where the two performers wrap their lithe limbs around one another, moving as one, that show the depth of collaboration and focus between the two performers.

The Cuban-born Godoy first began working with Barcelona native and dancer/choreographer Pradera during a workshop she organized at the Inkub8 performance space in Wynwood in 2010. When he returned to Miami in 2013 after years living and working in Israel with such choreographers as Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak, a formal collaboration with Pradera seemed inevitable, Godoy says.

“There was something about her,” he says of his initial interaction with Pradera. “She can take risks. She is not afraid and I saw a willingness, a desire to discover, and to allow herself to learn and exchange ideas. The connection that we have is beyond the dancing.”

Pradera, who has been a staple on the Miami dance scene since moving here from Spain in 2001, agrees. “I think we understand how the body moves in very particular ways, [drawing from] our own individual experiences from before, from the past, from the present. …We connect at an intellectual level.”

Connection, in fact, is an essential thread in Bare Bones.

“Lazaro has this strong drive for directing,” Pradera says. “He has much more experience than I do in working without a choreographer other than himself. He has this clear intention of how movement comes out – what kind of movement or what it needs to be, what it doesn’t need to be. So I’m really learning from him and being very challenged.”

Luft, who has been committed to supporting South Florida-based artists for over three decades, remembers that “the dynamics between the two of them were absolutely electric.”

In creating Bare Bones, Godoy explains how they started exploring themes of separation; the ways in which we are separated and how those barriers can be removed to bring about connection. He uses metaphors of war and struggle.

“What is a war between you and me, between her and me? How can we meet, what is a meeting? … We are different people, different voices, different souls, so we need to meet somewhere in the middle, right?”

The struggle may continue, but at least they’re connected. “You know we can still cross that bridge together. Even though we take steps on a separate path, at least we cross it together.”

ArtburstMiami.com is a nonprofit source of South Florida dance and performing arts coverage.

If you go

What: “Bare Bones” by Carlota Pradera and Lazaro Godoy, presented by Tigertail Productions.

When: 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday

Where: Miami-Dade County Auditorium On.Stage Black Box, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami

Info: $25, $50 VIP (priority entrance and seating); tigertail.org, 305-324-4337.

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