Symphony of the Body

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Film poster Symphony of the Body — Design: Studio THO

Film poster Symphony of the Body — Design: Studio THO

Symphony of the Body is a short dance film about architecture, with flamenco dancer Eduardo Guerrero and flamenco singer and saxophonist Antonio Lizana. It is an ode to the body's ability to claim space in the overwhelming architecture of Rotterdam.

Symphony of the Body is a short dance film about architecture, with flamenco dancer Eduardo Guerrero and flamenco singer and saxophonist Antonio Lizana. It is an ode to the body's ability to claim space in the overwhelming architecture of Rotterdam.

Synopsis

While trains and travelers come and go in Central Station of Rotterdam which is as massive as it is impressive, two men find each other in music and dance. This poetic and musical film explores functional architecture and the body. With prodigy flamenco dancer Eduardo Guerrero and magisterial singer and saxophonist Antonio Lizana.

While trains and travelers come and go in Central Station of Rotterdam which is as massive as it is impressive, two men find each other in music and dance. This poetic and musical film explores functional architecture and the body. With prodigy flamenco dancer Eduardo Guerrero and magisterial singer and saxophonist Antonio Lizana.

Motivation

How can a person contact the built environment? Filmmaker Monica Ruiz researches the balance between ratio and feeling while experiencing architecture, especially in Rotterdam, where functionality, efficiency and modern architecture dominate. Does the massive and impressive Central Station give way to the individual will?


The Central Station is designed by Team CS: West 8, MVSA Meyer, van Schooten Architecten and Benthem Crouwel Architects. 
Architect Jan Benthem: “I wanted to create allure of a global city directly at the platform. As if directly from the train you enter the city.”


Filmmaker Monica Ruiz is impressed by the beauty and grandeur of the station, but beauty does not make her feel at ease here. She wonders if allure is the most appropriate ambiance to build up intimate memories at a station, memories about traveling and meeting people.

How can a person contact the built environment? Filmmaker Monica Ruiz researches the balance between ratio and feeling while experiencing architecture, especially in Rotterdam, where functionality, efficiency and modern architecture dominate. Does the massive and impressive Central Station give way to the individual will?


The Central Station is designed by Team CS: West 8, MVSA Meyer, van Schooten Architecten and Benthem Crouwel Architects. 
Architect Jan Benthem: “I wanted to create allure of a global city directly at the platform. As if directly from the train you enter the city.”


Filmmaker Monica Ruiz is impressed by the beauty and grandeur of the station, but beauty does not make her feel at ease here. She wonders if allure is the most appropriate ambiance to build up intimate memories at a station, memories about traveling and meeting people.

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Jan Benthem at Rotterdam Centraal Foto: Monica Ruiz

Jan Benthem in het Centraal Station Rotterdam Foto: Monica Ruiz

Fiver special jury mention

Fiver, International Dance Film Festival

Symphony of the Body has been awarded by the jury of the VII Fiver, International Dance Film Festival, in Madrid (Spain) 6th October 2019.
 
“The jury has granted a Special Mention to Symphony of the Body for joining architecture, dance, music and film in an organic way. By maneuvering between documentary, performance and essay, the film offers a reflection on the relation between the human body and urban space, in this case the Central Station of Rotterdam.”

Jury:
Alain Lefebvre (Director Francophone Film Festival Madrid and Programmer of the ChangeNow Film Festival)
Elena Carmona (Artistic Coordinator of Graner Barcelona and co-curator of the SÂLMON< Festival)
Patricia Sánchez (Executive and creative producer of audiovisual prod and part of the L'alternativa festival) 
Juan Antonio Moreno Amador (Director, screenwriter, producer and founder of Makingdocs) 
Maria Luisa Ortega (Researcher and teacher)

“La música no llena el espacio, lo crea.”

“Muziek vult niet de ruimte, ze creëert juist ruimte.”

“Music doesn't fill space, it creates it."

“La música no llena el espacio, lo crea.”

R. Andrés

R. Andrés

The screening of Symphony of the Body is also offered combined with a site specific performance of both the artists, Eduardo Guerrero and Antonio Lizana, targeting the contact between the body, music and architecture.

Contact monica@movie-mento.com for more information.

Eduardo Guerrero

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Eduardo Guerrero, from Cádiz (Spain), studied Spanish dance, modern dance and flamenco. He is a great connoisseur of the essence of flamenco. He currently has 5 dance shows. His latest is Sombra Efímera. Guerrero is the great prodigy of flamenco.

Eduardo Guerrero, from Cádiz (Spain), studied Spanish dance, modern dance and flamenco. He is a great connoisseur of the essence of flamenco. He currently has 5 dance shows. His latest is Sombra Efímera. Guerrero is the great prodigy of flamenco.

Flamenco has a very strict regime of rhythms and dance styles. The purists prefer to conserve flamenco the way it is: dancers who do not adhere to this principle do not dance flamenco. Some even go further and say that you can only dance and sing flamenco when you are born in the clan, like the gitanos (gypsies). This puts a lot of pressure on maintaining the styles and forms.

Flamenco has a very strict regime of rhythms and dance styles. The purists prefer to conserve flamenco the way it is: dancers who do not adhere to this principle do not dance flamenco. Some even go further and say that you can only dance and sing flamenco when you are born in the clan, like the gitanos (gypsies). This puts a lot of pressure on maintaining the styles and forms.

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“Entonces el Flamenco es un muro con el que chocas y una y otra vez, pero ante el que yo no me paro, choco e intento escalarlo para ver que hay detrás de ese muro. No me importa seguir hacia adelante, saltar ese muro y volver a el cada vez que sea necesario.”

 
“Flamenco is like a wall that you come up against time and time again, but I won't let it stop me. I bump into it and try to climb that wall to see what lies behind it. I think it's great to step over it, go straight on and always return to it when needed.”

“Entonces el Flamenco es un muro con el que chocas y una y otra vez, pero ante el que yo no me paro, choco e intento escalarlo para ver que hay detrás de ese muro. No me importa seguir hacia adelante, saltar ese muro y volver a el cada vez que sea necesario.”

 
“Flamenco is like a wall that you come up against time and time again, but I won't let it stop me. I bump into it and try to climb that wall to see what lies behind it. I think it's great to step over it, go straight on and always return to it when needed.”

 

Eduardo Guerrero is always trying to conquer the limits and walls that flamenco builds: "It is the only way to grow for us, as artists and the art of flamenco itself."

Eduardo Guerrero is always trying to conquer the limits and walls that flamenco builds: "It is the only way to grow for us, as artists and the art of flamenco itself."

Antonio Lizana

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The saxophonist, singer and composer from Cádiz experiments with rhythms and melodies in his organic sounding flamenco-jazz mix. In the energetic improvisations he "sings" flamenco with his sax and makes his flamenco voice swing over modern jazz harmonies.
 
His music not only transcend the limits of flamenco tradition, but also the limits of what is possible in music. He sings and plays saxophone with incredible energy and a endless breath.

The saxophonist, singer and composer from Cádiz experiments with rhythms and melodies in his organic sounding flamenco-jazz mix. In the energetic improvisations he "sings" flamenco with his sax and makes his flamenco voice swing over modern jazz harmonies.
 
His music not only transcend the limits of flamenco tradition, but also the limits of what is possible in music. He sings and plays saxophone with incredible energy and a endless breath.

Cast & crew

Dance Eduardo Guerrero
 
Music Antonio Lizana
 
Written and directed  by Monica Ruiz
 
D.O.P. and colorist Matija Pekić

2nd camera and editor Jesse Immanuel Bom

Assistant producer Dzenita Camo

On set audio and sound mix Henk-Jelle de Groot

Sound Design Serge Dusault

Gaffer Mihai Gui

 Titles Abe Haine

 Producers Movie-mento / René Mendel & Mira Mendel

Special thanks to Ginette Lavell, Maaki Nurmeots, Noud Heerkens, Thomas Eekhof

 This film is made thanks to funders, in particular 

 

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Volkskracht-PMS
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and

Architectuur Instituut Rotterdam
Auteursbond
Flamenco Biënnale Nederland
Flamenco Festival Rotterdam
Podium Grounds
Poetry International
Rotterdam Architectuur Maand
Zeelenberg Architectuur