“For the theater there is always something to talk about”

Actor and dancer, director and teacher recognized and respected, not only in the country but also in Europe and Asia, where he has arrived with his art, Guillermo Angelelli is in San Juan, a province with which he has close personal ties – his mother It is sanjuanina- and professional. This time his visit has to do with a seminar that he dictates convened by the Argentine School of Anthropological Theater and with a talk that he will give this afternoon to the local artistic community (see separate). Within this framework, the professional who graduated from the National School of Dramatic Art, who was the protagonist of the emblematic Parakultural, which since the 1990s has been part of The Wind Bridge (a group directed by Iben Nagel Rassmusen, from Odin Teatret, Denmark), creator of the Clú del Claun, an actor in films like Moebius and XXY, to name a couple; and that since the 1980s he has taught body and vocal training courses for actors, dancers and singers, in the country and abroad -among many other paths and achievements- spoke with DIARIO DE CUYO about his own experience and his vision of the performer and the theater today.

– What will you address in this meeting with the people of San Juan?
– The idea is to review tools for acting training, based on principles of theatrical anthropology. With my teacher, Iben Rassmusen, what we do is work on qualities of energy, that of the samurai, that of the wind dance… which have an initial technical requirement, but due to time constraints I decided to do something simpler. Going back to my history, my personal anthropology, I took the work I did with a teacher I had at the National School of Dramatic Art, who was a dancer, which was my first job more linked to the body since acting. For me it was a discovery, because it was a school where what was mainly worked on was Stanislavsky, from the idea to the action; and this was the complete opposite, from action and the body to the concept, which is what I then kept looking for until I found the clawn and, together with Iben, philosophical anthropology; that passes more through the experience first and arrives at the concept later. That has more to do with the nature of the actor, we are mainly doers, through action.

– Is this part of the principles of the Anthropological Theater that a group follows in San Juan?
– We talked about it for a bit, why anthropological theater and not theatrical anthropology…

– Are they different things?
– What if. I do not know very well what anthropological theater is, or rather I do not know what theater is not anthropological, because theater always deals with the problems of man, therefore there is always an anthropological perspective that has to do with different times, geographies, moments of culture… So you can review anthropology by looking at what was happening in the theater over time. Theatrical anthropology is about recovering universal and immanent principles of what the performer is in different situations. And I say performer and not actor, because for example in oriental theater there is no differentiation between dance, song and theater. These are the principles that theater anthropology tries to recognize in different cultures, times and geographies. And on those principles he establishes a training for the actor.

– How important is the corporal in the scene for the performer?
– The action is from the body. I would ask myself before how much the body has to do with an actor or an actress, and I think a large percentage. For me it is a fundamental point, we write on stage through action, which is performed by the body, so it deserves great treatment. Our body is a fundamental tool, even the voice is part of the interiority of that body. I cannot imagine a theater without the body, that of the performer and also that of the spectator.

– In general, is the performer fully aware of this and of the work it requires?
– I suppose there is everything. For me, precisely what is interesting about the work of theater anthropology is this approach to the concept through experience.

– Before, the interpreter’s work was perhaps more intuitive, experimental. Was it necessary to systematize knowledge?
– System and method are essential to generate that awareness, to be able to have a path of knowledge. Within the theater we are somewhat condemned to repetition and if there is no system and method it becomes very difficult, it is left to chance, so yes, it is absolutely necessary. Even to be able to improvise, I need to have all that background, that job. The tool is always necessary.

– And from then on the possibilities are endless?
– That methodical part has to do with the sowing of materials and then there is a part where those materials, in their development, combination and growth begin to show their different possibilities and facets. That is what I find very interesting to think about, that creation is not something that is determined. Even having an armed sequence, an organized speech, the fact does not finish materializing until that moment of meeting with the public. If there is something wonderful in theater, it is that need to be sharing that present moment with the public. Cinema, which is already recorded and will be repeated in the same way always, is not the same as theater, where any situation can occur on stage or in the audience…

– Either, modify both…
– Absolutely. Sometimes one assumes that the creation of a work is what happens through the studio or rehearsals, but that is actually a preliminary, a preparation for the creation, which is on stage every time.

– How much was left in you from those moves of the Parakultural?
– The Parakultural and other movements as well, because more than a place in itself represented a generational leap, they have to do with the return to democracy, the post-dictatorship and a need for expression that went beyond words. It was a moment where the body began to gain ground inside the theater

– Almost wild, you could say?
– Almost wild but deep down I don’t know if so much. They all had a super formation, they were not improvised people who did anything. I think that at that time it was responding to an urgent need for expression after so many years of “silence is health”. It was opening a bottle of soda that you had been shaking for a long time. And the feeling is that there was a lot to do…

– What is the need today?
– For example, in these post-pandemic times, the question is more about, is it possible to do something? The pandemic put on the table a whole situation of misunderstanding regarding what one supposed life to be. Somehow we continue to have a very anthropocentric mentality, very Renaissance, where there is no exercise of superior knowledge, respect for the mystery, a space for spirituality, and I’m not talking about religion. I think that for the theater there is always something to talk about. Theater is such a human expression that it constantly needs to keep adapting. Theater is the present moment.

In dialogue with Guillermo Angelelli: “What is not seen (my experience in The bridge of winds)”, discussion of theatrical anthropology and theatrical tools. 8:00 p.m., Teatro Sarmiento, free.

“For the theater there is always something to talk about”