How is El barco, the work of San Martín that combines theater and cinema

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The staging, directed by Mariano Tenconi Blanco and Agustina San Martín, is part of the “Hybrid Modes” cycle that attempts a new scenic expression that combines both languages.

The pandemic cut off theatrical activity and forced all those who are part of that medium to look for alternatives to fill that void. Thus, variants appeared that, among other things, aroused curiosity and controversy. Boat is one of them and invites you to immerse yourself in a new universe.

The work written by Mariano Tenconi Blanco and directed by him together with Agustina San Martín, is part of the cycle Hybrid modes, of the Buenos Aires Theater Complex (CTBA), which allowed the works that were to be presented this year in the different rooms of the complex, and were suspended due to sanitary measures, have the possibility of reaching the public.

Boat It is the first of that cycle to be carried out. It is an audiovisual project filmed in what was to be its natural setting, at the San Martín Theater and which can be seen online, from the CTBA platform, for free.

All the works that are part of the cycle were adapted and made especially to be viewed online, but with one more twist so that it is not just about “filmed theater”.

How to make a work designed for a stage go to another register but without losing its essence? “It is something indefinite, in the best sense,” says Tenconi Blanco, who had to break the ice with this new format.

“What I liked the most about the proposal was finding this new language, that synthesis between theater and cinema “, says the director.” For this reason, in this case, the performances and the work on language are very theatrical, but with a camera that has a lot of intervention, in the cinematographic style “.

In Boat, two European naturalists travel across the Atlantic Ocean in order to find the origin of the human being. In the middle of the high seas journey, they will find love, hope, evil and death and also life. They will finally arrive in that America they dream of so much, but on the shores of the Río de la Plata nothing is as they imagined.

Its protagonists are Santiago Gobernori, Agustín Rittano, Marcos Ferrante, Laura Paredes, Juan Isola and Lorena Vega. The work is part of the The European saga, a project of four works by the Compañía Teatro Futuro, which explores the complex relationship between Argentina and Europe, from the perspective of literature.

Looking at this new language for the first time generates new sensations as well. There is something theatrical captured by the cameras and at the same time, an audiovisual point of view that is very theatrical. In other words, exactly a hybrid that forces the viewer to look in his head for a new way of observing.

In half an hour of show (it is a success to aim for the concise and brief for this new modality), there are curious characters, strange situations, some intrigue and a lot of humor. And above all, resources, very well used.

“The intention is that it is seen that it is a theater, because there is no way to hide it, with the resources that the theater has and add, from the audiovisual, the necessary tricks to create climates”, says Tenconi,

Thus, while the characters are at sea, the darkness of the ocean blends perfectly with the black background of the stage. And the movement of the boat on the water is artificially achieved from the camera.

“It is a very baroque story, which highlights the artifice, something that is not usual for the cinema but is very present in the theater,” he explains. “I was interested in investigating that.”

With theaters closed during this pandemic, everything that was labeled by the word “theater” outside of the theatrical environment was questioned. “We know that this hybrid is not exactly theater, as we know it. But it is an experience close to the scenic“, dice Tenconi.

For the director, faced with the unappealable reality, there remains the possibility of exploring new artistic forms. “The starting point was to play and see how these two variants come together.”

Rehearsals, with mandatory protocols, were conducted in film style, with a shooting plan. All limited, in addition, by time and budget. “The work of the illuminators, for example, was great, because it is not the same to use certain lights for the stage than to film. But they managed to enhance what we needed to tell the story on camera.”

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