Transgender work premieres at Birmingham International Dance Festival

World premiere of Mariposa, a queer tragedy inspired by Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.

Following the success of Ham and Passion and Toro: Beauty and the Bull, Spanish-born choreographer Carlos Pons Guerra and his DeNada Dance Theatre return to UK theatres in 2021 with Pons Guerra’s latest dance theatre work, Mariposa, a transgender tragedy inspired by Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.

Mariposa (‘butterfly’ in Spanish) debuts this autumn, with its world premiere at DanceXchange, Birmingham (30th September and 1st October), presented as part of Birmingham International Dance Festival.

Nicknamed “the Pedro Almodóvar of dance” by the BBC, Carlos Pons Guerra is one of the UK’s leading emerging queer voices in contemporary ballet. Hailing from Gran Canaria, he trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds, and the Royal Conservatoire for Dance of Madrid, before founding DeNada Dance Theatre in 2012.

In Pons Guerra’s dance reimagining of Puccini’s seminal opera, action takes place in a Caribbean port. Under flickering neon lights a local rent boy and a foreign sailor fall ominously in love in this queer take on the Madame Butterfly classic, which is immersed in the mist of a Havana’s smoke; a cigar cloud in which a young man is asked to sacrifice his gender in exchange of love and a better life.

Mariposa has been commissioned by Birmingham Dance Hub and Spin Arts, with further support from DanceXchange and the British Council. The creation and tour of Mariposa is also funded by Arts Council England.

Pons Guerra, who has recently premiered his new family work about transgender childhood, The Bull and the Moon, has also created work for companies such as Ballet Hispanico of New York, Nashville Ballet, Rambert, Sadler’s Wells, Northern Ballet, the National Dominican Ballet, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Cahoots Northern Ireland, amongst others.

In 2016 DeNada Dance Theatre received a UK Critic’s Circle National Dance Awards nomination in the category of Best Independent Company, and in May 2018 Pons Guerra featured in Prejudice and Passion, a BBC Four documentary that portrayed his journey as an emerging independent choreographer creating LGBTQ work. A young choreographer that has quickly stepped into the international scene, Mariposa follows years of on-site research into the queer and transgender sex worker community of Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

Tickets: 0844 338 5000 or here.