Captives, Buffoons and an Ensign Bearer is a performance and installation by Justin Randolph Thompson in collaboration with choreographer Cristina Samaniego and composer Jason Thompson that draws upon the series of paintings titled the Triumphs of Caesar by Andrea Mantegna, the folk dance of the Baile de la Cintas, the folk tradition of talismanic welcome mats and the Roman triumphal arches erected throughout Northern Africa. The work involves the transformation of a series of large-scale shoe polish paintings of captives into rag rugs through gestures that embrace collaboration and nurturing while offering a reflection upon the destructive aftermath of Triumph. This process-based ritual is performed in dialogue with a small orchestration drawing upon various understandings of the concept of swing. An ethereal allusion to soul in music, a distant reference to lynching in the American South and the aggression of boxing create a soundscape that emboldens the gestures of choreographed movement. Through this work, the theatricality and celebration of Mantegna’s glorification of Caesar is placed in the context of cultural displacement and kin based folk unity.

Dancers:
Vanesa Morán
Isabel Bello Dublang
Laura Richard Tamayo
Nicoletta Battaglia

Music Director:
Carlos Blanco

Musicians:
Alberto Gorrochategui (cello)
Pablo Merino Menéndez (tuba)
Raúl Rodríguez Quintana (percussion)
Miguel Ángel García Santos (trombone)
Javier Mayor (Bass)
Gabriel Valera Molina (Bari saxophone)

Stills by Nicolas Combarro and Miguel Angel Delgado

Video Forthcoming