In June of 2022 I had the honor of interviewing Spanish stage director and creator, performance artist and choreographer Marta Carrasco whose presence in person is only topped by that of her stage persona. Carrasco was in Los Angeles to perform her solo work Perra de Nadie at the Latino Theatre Company. After 30 years of performing, it was to be her final live performance. Soon, however, the world will have a chance to see samples of this amazing artist’s life and works in a feature-length documentary titled MARTA CARRASCO by screenwriter, director, and photographer Alba Morera which is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2024.
“From the moment I saw her first show “Aiguardent” in 1995 at Sala Beckett, I knew I was dealing with a transgressive artist, with a voice of her own that is difficult to define and a very direct and visceral emotional expression . That solo hit me deeply,” Morera wrote in her director’s statement. “I felt like I had known her for ages. During that first conversation I felt that we had a lot in common and soon we started to collaborate: doing the choreographies and dialogues for the movie “Torn’m la vida”, bringing “Perra de Nadie” to the Latino Theater Company of Los Angeles, the theatrical proposal “Délices” and other projects. I soon realized the importance of making a documentary about this pioneering creator and beast of the stage.”
The press release for the film stated that Carrasco has “created a new genre: it is not dance, it is not theater or dance-theatre; it is Carrasco.” When I asked her what she would label herself, Carrasco stated that she considers herself primarily a performance artist. “I am a director in the way that I tell stories very directly and very emotionally, so I felt I was looking deep inside my soul. I don’t know if I’m a dancer or not, an actress or not, the boss or not,” she said. ““My references are from painters, people from the street – even homeless, people without a roof,” she said. “Everything that is imperfect piques my interest.”
Morera’s documentary will narrate the personal and professional trajectory of Carasco. As her website labels them: Marta Carrasco the leader in theater (the implacable beast) and Marta Carrasco the flea in life. “These two Martas have one heart, but this heart varies greatly depending on whether she is directing or not, whether she is on a stage or not, whether she is helping others or not.”
Her performance background includes performing for 5 years with Metros Dance Company led by Artistic Director and choreographer Ramón Oller, who was also one of Carrasco’s most influential teachers. She also worked with and learned from Àngels Margarit, the Artistic Director and choreographer of Mudances.
Though short in stature, Carrasco is powerful in spirit and like other great artists, her presence fills the room without her even trying. I was specifically captivated by her eyes which expressed years of seeing and empathizing with the inner struggles and triumphs of people, particularly women.
In addition to her many works, Carrasco is the recipient of numerous awards including the Barcelona Theater Critics Award 1996-97, for Aiguardent and for Pesombra , and more than 20 awards or mentions, such as the Max Award (2003), the National Dance Award of the Generalitat de Catalunya (2005), the City of Barcelona Prize (2007) or the Serra d’Or Prize of the Theater Criticism (2007).
Alba Morera worked as assistant director and script supervisor before starting to collaborate with Venezuelan filmmaker Fina Torres. Before working as the director of development at Goff Productions, Morera was a script reader at Esperanza Productions. She has directed music videos, documentaries, and promotional videos through her production company (AMPM Productions). In addition to her documentary Marta Carrasco, Morera developed a feature narrative film titled Torna’m la vida. She is the official videographer of the Barcelona Jazz Festival and also works as a photographer at Alba Morera Photography. Morera has also been an active member of the Sundance Institute, Film Independent, Women in Film, Dones Visuals, SGAE and the JSFL community (https://joanscheckel.com) that is led by Joan Scheckel, her master teacher.
Morera will be submitting her documentary to several film festivals including Venice Biennale, Toronto International Film Festival, and the San Sebastian Film Festival. The Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival has already inquired about the film and once MARTA CARASCO finishes the festival circuit, it would premiere at independent movie theaters in Barcelona and Madrid, as well as air on TV3 (the main Catalan TV network).
To see the trailer for this extraordinary film MARTA CARRASCO and to contribute to the crowd-fund that ends on December 10, 2023, to raise money to cover postproduction costs, Please click on the link. https://www.verkami.com/projects/36676-pellicula-marta-carrasco
To read the full interview with Marta Carrasco, please click HERE.
Written by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.
Featured image: Marta Carrasco in Perra de Nadie – Photo by Alba Morera.