Created in 2023 coproduced by Teatro Español


Europe is abduction. Europe is a way of seizing power and projecting it outwards. Europe is not (only) a continent. Europe is not (only) dance. Europe is not a political allegory. Europe is foreign. Europe feels transplanted into this garden. Europe is something that is repeated again and again until it is revealed, a hothouse of symbols. Europe is not a certainty. Europe is the point at which several storylines converge and separate, or a question about what unites and separates us, or none of that. Europe is the stage of a poem arising from a loss so deep that it is tiptoed around. Europe is a paradigm of light; therefore, it is also a paradigm of shadow.


The abduction of Europe through dance. The new show by Sharon Fridman and Luis Luque recreates the myth in a free and conceptual version, exquisite and sophisticated, with a somewhat cold and distant beauty.
A scene from the play ‘Europa’, at the Teatro Español.

To talk about Europa, a work by choreographer Sharon Fridman and stage director Luis Luque, running through June 4 at the Naves del Español in Madrid’s Matadero, one has no choice but to start with the lights. For the precious and overwhelming design that includes the incorporation of lasers, devised by Felipe Ramos and the choreographer himself. Such is their role, absolutely decisive. And this is neither good nor bad in a dance show, neither better nor worse. Only the confirmation of a conclusive fact: that lighting technology in Europe not only plays in the foreground from the beginning, but marks everything that happens on stage. It draws the scenography and the dramaturgy, that is to say, it creates specific spaces to tell things and, at the same time, it configures narrative elements that tell them. Undoubtedly, they are the architects of one of the greatest successes of the staging: the suggestive atmosphere, which has echoes of origin and apocalypse at the same time; of ancestral myth and science fiction film. Lasers and lights serve to spatially and temporally situate the action, and are also the action itself.

And the dance, the choreography and its interpretation? Well, it doesn’t wander around outside of everything described, but it does so in consonance with the contemplative territory through which Europe passes. It is embodied in six performers among whom Melania Olcina stands out, a brilliant and powerful dancer of the current scene and, for years, also a choreographer who has been collaborating regularly with Fridman. It focuses on the verticality of the bodies and on the collective, except for moments in which a solo or duet stands out. It is slow, sometimes too slow, although at a pace that does not weigh it down, thanks to the patterns it draws with the lighting. And in the 50 minutes that the work lasts, the repetition of phrases is a recurring formula. Its best asset crystallizes in presenting itself in a complementary

complementary way, accompanying one could say, integrated in harmony with the global aesthetics of the work, also armed by the original music of Luis Miguel Cobo and the scenic space of Monica Boromello (special mention to the sliding platform and the images that it leaves).
All this confers to this show, which recreates the myth of the abduction of Europa in a free and conceptual version, also very clear, a halo of artistic installation that reminds in many occasions to those paintings in movement of the brilliant Bill Viola. An exquisite and sophisticated work, of somewhat cold and distant beauty.

Mercedes L. Caballero 26 May 2023


Sharon Fridman y Luis Luque


Anna Benedicte, Joan Ferré, Cristian González, Julia Kayser, Melania Olcina y Beatriz de Paz


Luis Miguel Cobo


Monica Boromello


Felipe Ramos y Sharon Fridman


Raúl Marina


Sergio Martínez Vila


Begoña Quiñones


Mariana Kmaid Levy and Cristina Simón Alcaine