The life of a Galician militiawoman is the axis of a work with Ana María Cores
Theater, cinema, dance and literature are tools that the creator Leonardo Napoli he usually uses to tell some stories that he needs to transfer, depending on the format, before the attentive gaze of a spectator or reader. He likes to tell stories. He defines himself as a “fairground charlatan” because he says he feels pleasure when remembering those old stoves around which people would gather to narrate some fictional adventure.
Descendant of Italians, he remembers that he came to artistic activity a little out of personal interest and another due to a certain family mandate that, although not directly, made him approach the world of theater. He had an actor grandfather, Francisco Blota, a close friend, among others, of Osvaldo Miranda. His aunts, when he was little, used to take him to an old shed that was in the family house where they kept trunks in which old scripts, wigs and even certain half-shabby costumes that had belonged to Blota were stacked. And in an indirect way they were leading him to start his acting career at the age of 17.
Certain memories also come from that time that he has managed to transfer to a musical theater show, far glow of moon which, starring Ana María Cores, Lorena Lores and Alejandro Vazquez, is presenting in Hasta Trilce. The management is the responsibility of Nápoli and has music by José Luis Castiñeira de Dios and choreographies of Wick Fernandez.
Being also a child he made friends with a neighbor friend of his mother. Nati, a Spanish woman who had arrived in Argentina escaping from the war and whose personal story she told the boy in great detail. She had fought in the republican forces against the Francoist army and had led a very unique life that caused Napoli great concern. It can be said that after more than 50 years, the way to bring the story of that woman to a stage matured in her head.
“The idea –explains Leonardo Nápoli– is to narrate that life through a grandson (she never had) and some letters that she sent to a friend with whom she had escaped to France. Nati was born in Galicia, was in a relationship with a fisherman, suffered the civil war and acted as a militiawoman. He was at the front fighting in the famous battle of Vigo where Franco devastated the republican army. She ended up in a convent and her husband in jail. At some point he was very ill and they released him. They were able to get together again and went to the Basque Country, to San Sebastián. They decided to cross the border into France but he was unable to do so due to his complicated health condition; She, together with a friend, had to leave him in a forest and they left alone. Later Nati moved to Argentina.”
The author and director narrates with great emotion those anecdotes of that woman whom he admired for her fighting ability. Even today she keeps alive the memory of an old bargueño on which there were portraits of her dressed in her military uniform and with a gun in her hand..
“It is not our intention to make a work that lowers the line on the Spanish civil war the director explains. We notice how their path unfolded, how women are discovering a new world. It is a piece with a look at the women who took up arms, who did not resign themselves to being seamstresses for the soldiers, nor as the republican forces wanted them to be behind the lines, assisting, healing, as their role should have been. All of them became workers’ leaders, politicians.”
The work also seeks to highlight the complex universe of immigrants who have felt that their countries expelled them from their territories for reasons related to issues such as persecution, hunger, wars. In the text, a phrase stands out that summarizes the situation: “as you well know, my son, my land was as beautiful as it was unfair”. “In general these people – Nápoli clarifies – did not leave looking for America or a better future, they were persecuted, expelled by a ruthless world that abandoned them to their fate”.
Although Leonardo Nápoli worked for a long time as a performer, after training with masters such as Luis Agustoni, David Amitín, Franklin Caicedo and Rubens Correa, among others, he had an actor as a partner who led him to define his path as a director. On one occasion, working with Carlos Carella, he told him that he should leave acting to dedicate himself to directing. If at first that comment bothered him a lot, soon after he discovered something that Carella taught him: “an actor only looks at his character but you have the opportunity to look at the scene.”
Since then –although he has participated in various theatrical, musical (he was part, among others, of Miguel Ángel Soto’s company for several years) or film projects– he discovered something: “Perhaps as an actor I had a limit –he says–, but later I I realized that in directing or through writing I could go places I had never gone before as an actor. To feel fulfilled, finish writing something, for example, and say, ‘this represents me more than doing a gig on television’”.
far glow of moon
Direction: Leonardo Napoli
Until Trilce, Mace 177
Fridays and Saturdays, at 9 p.m. Tickets at the box office or through Alternativateatral.com