Wednesday, November 2, 2011

‘Traficantes de pasión’: Perversion and love-hate relationships in Akuara Teatro

‘Traficantes de pasión’: Perversion and love-hate relationships in Akuara Teatro

Yvonne Lopez Arenal -director of Miami’s theater group Akuara Teatro- is also the author of ‘Traficantes de pasión’ (Passion Dealers), a play based on ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos and ‘Quartet’ by Heiner Müller (considered by many to be the most important German dramatist of 20th century after Bertolt Brecht.)

It’s amazing to see the way she has combined on stage the charm of the 18th century, taken from Chordelos’ drama, with the postmodern influence of Müller, although the characters never refer to a particular point in time. The play is an absolute feast for the eyes thanks to the plastic movements of the actors –Yvonne Lopez Arenal, Carlos Alberto Perez, and Joan Vega– and the scenery and costumes by Alba Borrego. Each actor takes on different roles and the transitions from one to another give the performances a sense of playfulness, thanks to the use of ornate original masks.

Further adding to the great chemistry on stage is the interaction between Lopez Arenal and Perez as the evil Isabel and her ex-lover Sebastian. Both are professional and convincing as the intriguing couple seeking for revenge in a story full of perversion and love-hate relationships. Joan Vega supports them successfully as the thread holding it all together from start to finish of the show.