Five years ago he retired from the Ballet Nacional del Sodre, but Giovanna Martinato It was clear to him that his career did not end when he stopped going on stage.
“My mother always told me: you have to have goals and dreams in the short, medium and long term. This has stayed with me throughout my life. I think it’s a teaching that should always be there,” the former dancer, teacher and choreographer told El País, whose latest creation is ballet Alice in Wonderland opens tonight at the Solís Theatre. There will be three features until Friday; all are sold out.
Martinato is nervous before the premiere, and when he meets El País to talk, he continues to finalize the details. Although he has more responsibilities than when he was dancing, Martinato loves the challenge.
“When you dance, especially in a company like BNS, which luckily has a lot of teams, as a dancer you go to lessons, you have a dress rehearsal, you rehearse and you focus on the dances, nothing else,” he said. “From the outside, sometimes you don’t even know. Instead, here you are in a different place, you have to make a lot of decisions and be careful about what you choose.”
This is not Martinato’s first choreography, which premiered last year Pausealso in Solís and also accompanied by the Montevideo Philharmonic.
He also gave online lessons abroad. “It was about mental health more than anything because you have to keep going,” he said. “The pandemic was a difficult few months because it was a moment where you say, ‘Now what do I do.’
She premiered and prepared this Alicia, a creation she began creating in January.
It all started with a selection of music sent to him by maestro Martin García, and while Martinato read the book, he listened to the music.
The choreographer has several friends she has made who have helped her make the show. Hugo Milan in costume, Dolores de Arteaga and Garcia, who will lead the Philharmonic.
The same as Pausewhich will be seen in Alice in Wonderland It is a mix between classical and contemporary ballet: she defines it as neoclassical.
“Tips will be,” he warned. “I don’t feel tied to the structure of classical ballet, but I don’t feel tied to modern either, and that’s why this middle position.” They will see moments of more contemporary ballet, and the girls will be in pointe shoes, which is more classical. I also do this mix because I’ve always liked to dance very loosely. The pure classic was difficult for me and I always felt more driven than the middle road, which will be seen here”.
And she herself will be on stage to play the villain of the story: The Red Queen, while Alicia will be played by Melissa Oliveira, who was also part of the BNS body.
– How does it feel to create such a show? Is it thought of in small pieces that fit together, or is it conceived as something global?
— We worked in the same way as with music. Martin would send me music and as I read the book I would search for the perfect tunes. So we put it together piece by piece. The same thing happens in rehearsals, and then everything becomes uniform and you can see if something is missing. It’s a creative job, and a lot of times when I put together a choreography and then I see it reflected and it comes out, I’m like, “How lucky it turned out, thanks guys!” Because it’s all in your head. Sometimes it happens that it does not come out and we look for another way, but we have to determine and think about something else.
“Are you that pragmatic about everything?”
-yes It is important for me to be able to move forward. If you get stuck on one idea and nothing else, you don’t follow through on the next one.
“And how did the movements happen?”
— Many times I sit in bed, listen to music and see images that I write. Or when I go to bed, in that half-sleep I see movements they can do and write them down. I have a notebook in which I write down absolutely the entire choreography. I always pick a different notebook to film it and put the characters and what they’re doing at each moment, it’s a record.
— Besides becoming part of the company’s repertoire, it’s a way to be able to take it elsewhere.
— Doing choreography abroad is something that is coming, I would love it and I hope it will happen at some point. Therefore, in addition to what is written, there is an audiovisual recording that always works.
— What did BNS mean?
“I had a great time there.” To me, this is an amazing company. I went to see Raymonda and I loved what they did, I admire the dancers and the crew because I was part of it for many years. So one has a great attachment to this place. Now I go in and see the stage from another side, it’s different. I was always at the top and to sit in the audience and be able to enjoy that is wonderful. I sent a message to Maria (Richeto) with congratulations, because I know what it’s like to have everything perfect.
— Improving yourself is something that never ends, and recently you were at a dance festival in Brazil. What did you learn there?
— I was at the Joinville festival, which for me is the most important in Latin America, and I went as a guest teacher. Maria was on the jury and I was the only foreign teacher and she was impressive. I felt adopted by the Brazilians, I spent two weeks teaching four hours a day and it was divine.
— Studying abroad is not something new for you. You were 17 years old when you went to Cannes to study.
-yes It was a scholarship I got when I was 17 years old. It’s an international school in Cannes and I had the opportunity to take classes with Rosella Hightower and it was an amazing experience. I’ve recently done an MA at the Royal Academy of Dance in London and I’ll be continuing my degree in a few weeks, so there’s a lot of good stuff going on at the same time.