It has been 13 years since the last time the National Dance Company (CND) staged Onegina ballet that can be enjoyed in November in the Main Hall of the Palace of Fine Artsand with which the first dancer Erick Rodríguez will say goodbye to the stages of the Mexican dance group.
Originally from Havana, in an interview with MILLENNIUM He remembers that he arrived in Mexico when he performed with the National Ballet of Cuba, “and I did not return; I got tickets to see a performance at Bellas Artes and I got to see a contemporary neoclassical program.
“That was my first contact with the company. I came back to audition and I spent a week with the teachers and, in the end, they decided to give me the contract.”
The dancer was 20 years old then, when he faced “a strange country” after “leaving an island.” Over time, while he was performing The Nutcracker, hee announced the news of his appointment as first dancer. A career and a group “that has given me a lot and has made me grow as a performer and as a human being; The most grateful thing I am is that it has given me the opportunity to do what I enjoy most in life, which is dancing. I leave grateful and satisfied.”
There will be several dates on which Onegin will be presented; November 7 and 12 are the days in which Erick Rodríguez plays Eugenio Onegin, an aristocrat tired of life, bored with the aristocracy. “He puts on a kind of armor so that his heart doesn't get broken, "Then he does something crazy, I won't say which one so as not to give spoilers, and he ends up realizing that he was wrong, but it's a little late."
You say goodbye to Onegin. What do you find in that piece?
It is a masterpiece by John Cranko, one of the great ballets created in the 20th century. Secondly, Cranko has influenced the company because I have danced three of his great ballets: Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew and Onegin, but at that time I was too young to have played this character that is so complex, and I was left with I want to do it again.
What is the interpretation and technical execution like?
There is a lot of difficulty in both directions. In interpretation it is a character that changes throughout the ballet, so nuanced all that is very complex. The advantage is that Cranko made a masterpiece and the steps, especially in the duets that he does, he narrates the story and that is where the technical complexity comes in because it is a pair's work.
Was the decision to say goodbye to the CND stage difficult for you?
It is not easy for a dancer to leave the stage, but eventually I will completely do it because I am 41 years old, and I have been dancing ballet since I was 10. On the one hand it is complex, because it is something I have done my entire life and it is something of my identity. On the other hand, it is incredible to start a new life with the tools that dance gives me, with something related to it but from another place, or something that has nothing to do with it. In my case, I think it will be related to dance.
Rodríguez says that Onegin is one of the few ballets in which the protagonist is a man: “Now I approach it with more experience and maturity, from a different perspective.”. Finally, it is one of the few ballets that has a man's name; “Retiring with this work is a privilege.”
This piece is inspired by the poem by Alexander Pushkin, with music by Piotr I. Tchaikovsky. The Fine Arts Theater Orchestra will participate in the farewell performances, which will be conducted by Óliver Díaz.
Speaking with the first dancer about the reflections he has had in recent days of his career on stage, he assured: “I haven't sat down much to reflect because I've tried, I don't know if that's a word, to evadeor everything that is related to that goodbye, because I have wanted to live and enjoy each of these days as if nothing happened, because it is a goodbye but also a celebration and I see it as something positive: a cycle of closing well.
Rehearsals for the November presentations are beginning, and the artist is preparing to understand the context of the work: the time in which it was written and why, the protagonist's reactions to life. “From there I am approaching itand I'm trying to understand who Eugene Onegin is.”
Erick Rodríguez is also rehearsing for Carmen and Swan Lake, which will be presented from October 12 to 22 at the Julio Castillo Theater of the Centro Cultural del Bosque.