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Imaginarios para la danza, a kaleidoscopic exhibition on Ricardo Reymena

Published: 2017.06.06 - 14:05:08   /  /  Miguel Darío García Porto  /  translated by  Luis E. Amador Dominguez  /

Imaginarios para la danza, a kaleidoscopic exhibition on Ricardo ReymenaThe exhibition ‘Imaginarios para la danza’ can be cataloged as a rediscovery to a prolific designer of costume and scenery of the Cuban and universal scene, which is exhibited until July 31 at the Raúl Oliva Gallery, located in the Bertolt Brecht Cultural Complex.

The show includes a selection of the extensive work of the scenic and graphic designer of the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC), Ricardo Reymena, of whom critics have pointed out that his designs are simple, but are impressive for their ingenuity and compositional beauty.

Many of the pieces included by the young curator Gabriela Reina in her second project in the gallery, about her curatorial views said, "In general, the public is open to being able to face the scenography design from the projects themselves, and Reymena’s profession that is incredible and diverse since he exhibits pieces of clothing, posters and also some masks. There is also a video screening of the ballets which is another section that has the exhibition. Almost everything is drawing, a physical project."

When telling us how this proposal came to her professional career she explained that maestro Ricardo Reymena turned 70 years old last April and, for that reason, this well-deserved tribute was made.

"When they presented the idea of exposing the work of Ricardo Reymena, I was very surprised because I knew that it was a very vast work and believed that the gallery was not enough to display and make known his work as an artist in general’’, the specialist said. Then she added that for this same reason, we tried not to capture a specific idea, a ballet or something in question, but to try to show the greatest number of representations in themselves, that is why, we included his graphic design from his beginnings up to what is very recognizable: his costume design and set design in the ballet itself and in dance, because there are works not only of the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC), but of the Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba Company and Iberian companies, amongst others."

She tells us that the selection of works was very difficult due to the great professional skill of this creator, and reveals that the curatorial concept is based on a ballet entitled ‘La máscara’: "I found it interesting to exploit that idea that he came up with at the time of making the stage design of the piece, and the use of the mask as a layer in art; I somehow tried to capture his work through different looks, different masks, that is, from the diverse. The idea of the mask as a different visual image was what led me to think about curating the exhibition."

Reymena was trained as a graphic designer with maestros such as Rafael Morante, Rolando Oraá, César Mazola and Umberto Peña. He became a stage designer later, because his story began in the Dissemination Department of the National Culture Council, continued in the Ballet of Camagüey, and ended in the most prestigious dance company in Cuba.

Linked to the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC), since the 1970s, the master set designer modestly told us that his genesis in this specialty was an experiment in the direction of that company to see what happened.

From that possibility emerged iconic pieces of the BNC that have his scenography designs. His work has been laudable in classics such as Swan Lake, Coppelia, Shakespeare and his masks, the sleeping beauty of the forest, just to name a few or more contemporary works such as Dionaea by the choreographer Gustavo Herrera, ‘A la luz de tus canciones’, which is a work in tribute to Esther Borja in her centenary, amongst others.

He has illustrated poetry books and story books and designed covers, album covers, various media outreach and posters on cultural topics such as ballet, visual arts, theater, and cinema.

In an interview titled "Ricardo Reymena: los atuendos del arte", collected in the book ‘De la semilla al fruto: la compañía, written by colleague José Luis Estrada Betancourt, the author states about the particularities necessary for good professional performance:

"It is vital to have a considerable cultural base. Drinking from the theater, cinema, literature, music ..., and, of course, the visual arts, because in the end that is what it is all about. It is essential to be very aware of what is done in the country and internationally. Everything is necessary, everything is important, because what you do not use remains as a sediment.

For that content, Ricardo Reymena has been recognized in dissimilar parts of the world.

His work is outstanding in the production of The Swan Lake of the Teatro Estable de Colón, Argentina; in the version of Dionaea, by the National Company of Mexico or in the mythical Diario Perdido by Alberto Alonso, performed by Alicia Alonso and premiered in 1987 for the Opera of Rome or other creations that make up the repertoire of the BNC.

This is shown by Reymena in the exhibition ‘Imaginarios de la danza’, which is displayed these days and until July 31 in the Raúl Oliva Gallery of the Bertolt Brecht Cultural Complex.

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