MATADOR (Ethos Physical Theatre Company) 2016 Fringe review 36

Love, Pasodoble style. Photo by Michael Ermilio.
Love, Pasodoble style. Photo by Michael Ermilio.

Spanish meets Mexico (with Japan eavesdropping with a pair a nunchucks), bullfighting meets wrestling, and boy meets girl. MATADOR produced by the Ethos Theatre Company, written by co-founders Justine Sparks and directed by Aaron Parks, that ran from September 9-10th, is a fairy-tale romance of love and bullfights, trust, loss, and wrestling.

Narrated by Jonathan Fortes, bullfighter Manny (Forrest Shamlian) has a vision of Impio The Godless Bull (Justine Parks) in a dream.  When he finds her exiled in the desert, he makes her an offer to fight with him in a bullfighting match.  Although she doesn’t trust him, she agrees.  During their high energy performances of grappling, jujitsu (by guest choreographer Benjamin Baez III) red cape charges by Impio and the bull chorus (played by Amanda Panrock, Rachel Helton, and Natalie Babcock and choreographed by Nicole Burgio), and the adept swinging on a trapeze, the two managed to fall in love, and shortly end after Impio accidently gores Manny during a match out of fear. Matador’s soundtrack, which featured Spanish and Latin American song such as “Pasodoble” by Esne Beltza, “Limon y Sal” by Julieta Venegas, and “Ciega, Sordomuda” by Skakira, also set the tone, whether Manny and Impio were tumbling or swinging in the air, coupled up after a match in the bullpen, or soundtracking Impio’s loss as she mourns with high-energy rolls, and swings the trapeze.

[The Collective, 3245 Amber Street] September 9-10; 2016; 

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