“Another name, that is almost utopian: Arctic. It happens sometimes that you come across artists who create worlds. Those at Ponten Pie invent a nostalgic, intimate, magical corner. Sensory investigative theatre which does not want to give anything away, nor not take away the wonderful delight of ever having the opportunity to witness this exquisite approach, full of lyricism and visual beauty, directed with aesthetic mastery by Sergi Ots.”
“… Stories of loneliness and cold, of anonymous lives, of silences, of the origin of stories, of the end of life. A spectacle without words, minimalist, poetic, of an extraordinary aesthetic beauty, with attention to the smallest details and played with great intensity…”
“… A spectacle of emotions, experiences, despair and hope. This quest for survival through this short, thin thread, faith in life, that someone sensible collected and jealously guards in a glass container. Finally, before leaving and saying goodbye with the gratitude of each one of the spectators, the actresses give a thread to each of us. I’m keeping mine…”
“… Alongside Sergi Ots, the soul and driving force of the company, Emile de Lemos, co-author, and Natália Méndez appear. All three are excellent, intense. The careful soundtrack should also be highlighted with songs and music that evoke the Nordic countries and the intensity of Russia. The log cabin where the entire show is set is a real gem of scenery and props (a work by Jordi Dorado and Sergi Ots). The costumes, characterisation and special effects are impeccable…”
Arctic hits its mark. It invites a little experience, of unsuspecting, soft, dreaming characters, evoking an antagonistic world: a home which delicately embraces newcomers from the inhospitable universe. Still, a cold that is certainly notable (the coats assigned for the occasion are appreciated) is maintained like an evocative music. The play of light, the careful pictures, the drama with spools of thread that may indicate the extension of life, or of some sections have been hooked onto the coat sleeve, or the neck, or in the pockets… A thread that is also dead and a remembrance. There are no words; but there is a kindness in the eyes of the characters, whether hospitable or pained by loss, that invites a smile and a look at the depth from within. It is a show that seeks emotional connection, the experience, has a mystical point. Viewed from the cold conception of rhythm and the dramatic twists, it could be judged cruelly. Ponten Pie has left its funny COPACABANA behind (all of which was wonderfully absurd, with clowns, object manipulation, some poetic touches …and the stage itself generating more than a little surprise), cornered to huddle wherever they feel most comfortable. They are brave and, for their delicacy, they can cook up a new itinerary of roles everywhere.
The Catalan Company Ponten Pie built a cabin in El Molí de El Talladell, two kilometres from Tárrega. The power of suggestion of these artists was the best way to leave behind part of our initial bewilderment at finding ourselves in this remote place. After welcoming us, we were invited one by one to dwell therein. To go with them briefly into an icy interior, we were adorned with protective coats. The shelter that they had prepared for us was built of wood but what convinced us to enter it was the delicacy that covered it, made with the good methods of its creators. The three earned our trust by showing us that when the artist shows sensitivity, when there is subtlety in the staging and an ability to recreate an ambiguous but cosy atmosphere, the audience eagerly follows to where they are led.
“…Arctic is an approach that wipes the dust from the sensory ability of the viewer, that which tends to remain in a state of hibernation in everyday life: The view that shows a number of episodes of great frozen beauty, that one feels well protected inside the cabin and through the windows. The touch, by relating the master of ceremonies to each of us caressing those clothes that separate us from total surrender and uniting us across threads that have been previously woven with an irresistible fervour. It is heard as it delights us with some of the most beautiful melodies halfway between melancholy and the illusion of living a few magical moments together. And finally, the taste. Or rather (if I may be permitted to say), the good taste. That which Sergi Ots, Emilie De Lemos and Natália Méndez exude to generously convey an intimate stage to us from the spatial proximity, the complicity of lighting and taking down the stage as a team and the most difficult part in a theatrical show: Making us forget that we come from different places, and that we are brought together to create a unique, shared place in which we speak the same language, with artists and audience engaging in dialogue with our curious and affectionate gaze.