Watch Frida Kahlo Paintings Come To Life in This Online Ballet Production
Colombian-Belgian artist Annabelle Lopez Ochoa choreographed the production performed by the English National Ballet (ENB). She is also behind the choreography for Frida, a production for the Dutch National Ballet in 2002.
As the world confronts the challenges brought by the COVID-19 outbreak, theaters are forced to close, but some have brought their productions online. This marks the first time the full-length recordings of the company's performances premiere online. Over the next month, you can watch their performances every Wednesday with a different production each time.
"[Frida] managed to transform her pain into art and portray herself with no frills. Her work is unapologetic and straightforward," Lopez Ochoa said in an interview. "I find that very inspiring. I think that in general women are often second-guessing themselves or insecure about whether their work is good enough. Frida didn't care so much about this. She used her work to fight for the Mexican identity while portraying herself, a woman that endured much suffering physically, emotionally, and psychologically."
One of the well-known information about Kahlo was her involvement in a bus accident where she suffered multiple fractures on her spine, collarbone, and ribs along with a shattered pelvis, which caused life-long pain. While recovering in a body cast, Kahlo began to focus on her painting, and it was this time in her life that inspired the most powerful dance in the production, according to Lopez Ochoa.
"I think the audience particularly enjoys the moment when Frida discovers painting when she is bedridden due to the accident she endured. Her portraits come to life in a dance of 11 male Fridas. I wanted to avoid the actual gesture of painting, and therefore I have her paintings come to life."
Tamara Rojo, ENB Artistic Director, and Lead Principal perform as Kahlo alongside Irek Mukhamedov, a legendary Soviet-born ballet dancer, like Kahlo's husband, the iconic artist Diego Rivera. This performance of "Broken Wings" was initially recorded at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London in 2016. It was also part of the ENB's first triple bill dedicated to female choreography entitled "She Persisted" in line with Rojo's goal to glorify women's work when she took on the role of artistic director.
"It was part of my vision before I got the job," she told The Guardian of the project in 2015, which she'd been working on for four and a half years. "I really believe we need more women's voices on the stage."
"Like it occurred with me when I saw the movie Frida with Salma Hayek 17 years ago, I hope the audience gets to know more about the person Frida Kahlo" Lopez Ochoa said. "And will, therefore, understand and appreciate her work more."
Subscribe to Latin Post!
Sign up for our free newsletter for the Latest coverage!