THE BACK LEG IS ALWAYS TENSE
An interdisciplinary concert in the style of pop art
Four musicians and two dancers paint the life of a modern couple using tango as a canvas.
As the couple zaps through economic crises, unemployment, job interviews, couple therapy and tango extremes, suddenly a piercing solo of a Nigerian immigrant girl from a boat sinking next to the island of Lampedusa, Italy,crashes on our dancers, musicians and on us.
The melody, the right hand of the pianist, performed by operatic soprano Omo Bello, (a new star in the opera world scene) suddenly rises from an audience seat, amidst the everyday fuss and personal convulsions. First barely audible, then taking up the whole space: the tragic odyssey of Esther Ada, a 17 years old Nigerian girl who drowned 500 meters from the island of Lampedusa, in Italy, the promise land. These songs are in English, and Igbo (Nigerian language).
The three songs of Esther Ada interrupt the hectic and busy tango. Like in real life, the existence and death of Esther Ada has no connection to our daily actions. But she is there, unsentimental, standing loud before our eyes, tall and hopeful. She is a heart that beats through the whole production, while our dancers are constricted, cornered, stripped by the life that she so wants.
Esther Ada – We discovered the existence of the young Nigerian girl, Esther Ada (17 years old) through the media coverage during the play. On her way from Nigeria to Italy, she crossed the Mediterranean Sea on the Turkish boat called Pinar and died during the trip. She is buried in the small cemetery of the island of Lampedusa, Italy. She is the only one with a name and a date of birth, among the thousands of migrants who died at sea, on their way to Europe. Esther Ada comes on the stage through a radio, among a multitude of other news. Some information just glides over us, as background noise, some other news, remain carved into our consciousness, leaving an indelible
trace. The story of Esther Ada, resonate even more with the terrible tragedy in April 2015 where 900 migrants died when their boat capsized.