Santo Domingo. DR
The story was told, the monsters screamed and the butterflies turned to steel as they flew high, marking a milestone in the Dominican Republic Theater. What happened to the Mirabal sisters came to life in style over the weekend with the performance of the musical Mariposas de Acero by producer and playwright Waddys Jáquez at the Eduardo Brito National Theater.
A scenographic setting reminiscent of the stormy half of the 20th century, the contrast of the Rap dominated music and some first class interpretations with successful performances condenses in almost three hours on stage a heroic Dominican story that aroused the sincerest emotions of those present by telling the facts that perhaps they did not tell us about the group of butterflies of which we once spoke believed that they were only three.
“Butterflies of Steel” More than telling the fateful tale of the fate of the trio Mirabal (Homeland, Minerva and María Teresa), it gives expression to the brave deeds of all those who surrounded them and demonstrates the sense of honor that these lovers of homeland embodied.
The garden was full of brave women in Salcedo. From Mama Chea, a heroine who gave birth to four more, and Tonó (Ana Antonia Rosario), her faithful companion, to Sina Cabral, Dulce Tejada, Asela Morel, Fe Violeta Ortega and Mirian Morales, the “Butterflies of La 40”.
This quintet of women were part of the betrayed June 14 Movement and were imprisoned along with the Mirabals and tortured in the most heinous ways, yet they maintained their loyalty and integrity by not surrendering themselves to the tyrant of the time, Rafael Leónidas Trujillo. any of his classmates.
+ The fourth butterfly
How the events came about has several versions, but no one is better at telling the truth than the one who survived with a stamp on her forehead, cataloging her as a heroine, and one day with her own voice prayed that “she stayed to tell .”
In Butterflies of Steel, it is the revolutionaries of the June 14th movement themselves who ask the spokesman of their glory to let “the memory” speak for them.
The feelings and delivery of Dede Mirabal They were the protagonists of a story that sometimes forgets that it is the fourth butterfly.
The voice of Adalgisa Pantaleon staged the pain of those adults who, having lost their three sisters, had the strength to accept as their children those for whom the blood of the “girls” flows.
The play of light, costumes and visual elements is crucial in the staging as it gives the feeling of being at the scene of events (La 40, Ojo de Agua, the school and even the Mirabals’ personal room). They were essential elements to make the audience feel part of this story in a musical that is already the pride of the Dominicans.
Although most of the performers had voices with very similar timbres and nuances, the power and feeling they exuded in every musical scene where feelings like love, emotion or anger were felt was impressive.
In addition to the roles of Adalgisa Pantaleón, Nashla Bogaert, Hony Estrella, Judith Rodríguez, Frank Ceara stood out – among others as Trujillo, Gnomic, Nico Clínico, Ana Rivas, Diana Ramos, José Mota.
The repeated vocals and rhythmic impact kept the audience awake.
More than 15 cuts of musical scenes, moved by the accompaniment of a band played entirely live, in which, as promised, urban rhythms such as rap, trap and many fusions prevail.
Although the nature of the rapping can be a bit repetitive and it can sometimes appear that the actors are emulating the particular style, with the Gnomish acting as the commander of the secret police or SIM improvising his raps backstage, it is not boring ; in fact it gives the work a seal, as do the ballads. The danzón chosen for the star dance between Trujillo and Minerva sounds with magical charm.
The sequence of songs has a common thread in which the way they interact, both the Mirabal family and the rest, becomes more personal and familiar, allowing the public to perceive a closer and more human image of the sisters who already have always been so idealized solely inclined to the patriotic life.
The artists’ naturalness in moving components of the scenes on stage was a reinforcement of the excellent dance work.
The costumes, too, made an argument for the materialization of the time, although the visible fact that some dresses were not buttoned on the protagonists’ silhouettes was obvious.
The unwavering strength with which the love between Minerva and Manolo survives, how it is born at first sight, how it is sustained across the distance and how they go from hot romance to partners in the struggle for a holier love, that of love Heimat, earns him one of his most notable points in the entire storyline presented.
The talent that has always characterized Nashla, now more than in acting, in singing and dancing, added to producer Nico Clinico’s leap to stardom in this corner of the artistic scene as Manolo, is a fundamental excerpt of what she made for Show Waddy’s searched .
The letters with which Minerva and Manolo communicated are described in detail in the book by Minou Mirabal, their daughter, and were staged in such a beautiful and dramatic way that it moved those present.
The complementarity between romance and ideology that led the duo to start together the movement that sought the downfall of the tyrant, the mischief and the love they shared was portrayed in the chemistry between Nashla and the producer-singer.
+ Honey or Motherland
Communicator Hony Estrella in Patria’s shoes was one of the revelations of the evening.
With a role more focused on the communication realm, Estrella surprised by being an integral part of the dance choreographies that filled the room, but what drew the most attention was how she was seen singing high notes during her solo lines .
+ Frank and Trujillo
Maybe the evil of the story needed that evil to shine more on stage. Perhaps it was intended to lessen the intensity of the violence, or the fear Ceara expressed on several occasions of identifying with the rejection played out against him on stage by a figure as vile as the leader imposed, thereby developing a strong role, on several occasions of his outings did not correspond to the concept of who Trujillo was, although the power of his voice as a singer is undoubtedly undeniable.
His musical interpretations received loud applause, although the darkness of evil that tainted everything Trujillo touched was no stronger felt in this production.
Waddy’s Jaquez and Pablo Garcia, The creators of the musical managed to draw the public’s attention to each scene.
At the end of the charity event for the Fundación Hermanas Mirabal, it was with great emotion that Waddys Jáquez thanked the public, who listened to him committing himself to support this artistic proposal, which carries a strong message that cannot be forgotten.
“Thank you for being here, it has been a long road to achieve the staging of this work. This is the story of our country, but it is also the story of Latin America. We want to bring them out into the world so that dictatorships and abuse of women are never repeated,” said Jáquez.
The Mirabal family was present on the first evening of the opening of last Thursday’s musical, which combines urban rhythms with historical songs.
With rising feelings, Minou Mirabal, Minerva’s daughter left the theater after the play ended and spoke about this feeling that she could hardly describe.
“It is an excellent work, it touches the deepest sensibilities of the Dominican people. It seems to me that it reflects the best of us, it’s very beautiful,” he said tearfully.