Music is a Window that Opens to the Soul

R.Evolución Latina’s BARBA musical was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that left a lasting impact on everyone involved. From the first rehearsal to the final performance, the production was an opportunity for individuals to come together and create something beautiful, regardless of their age, race, or sexual orientation. That is what made one of the most remarkable aspects of BARBA: the diversity of the cast and crew. Despite coming from various countries worldwide, including Spain, Colombia, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Canada, the USA, and more, the cast and crew were able to unite and create something magical. No matter someone’s background, we were all seen as artists and capable of creating beautiful things; for example, a successful production like this one.

From R.Evolución Latina’s Beyond Workshop Series 2024 I felt the sense of community and family everyone. This feeling grew and flourished throughout the production of BARBA, and for many, being part of this musical felt like being part of a family. That sense of community and family that developed during the production was incredible. We were all united by our love for the arts and the music of Fernando Barba, which we learned through the Music Director, Carlos Bauzys. 

Learning body percussion was an exciting and challenging experience that was both rewarding and empowering. The first few days of practicing percussion, my fingers hurt after snapping so much, but after overcoming that, it was just amazing to see how the human body could become a complete instrument and how body percussion could complement singing, acting, and dancing. As Carlos says: “We are the composer, the instrument, and the musician.” The experience taught me a great thing that I’ll keep with me throughout my life and career, which is that we must have fun when taking risks, trusting ourselves, and believing in what we bring to the creative process.

The artistic process of putting the entire musical together in just five days was intense, but it was made possible through the collaboration and dedication of the director, Luis Salgado, and the entire cast and crew. There were moments of uncertainty, but everyone pushed themselves to go beyond their comfort zones. The result was a stunning performance that left the audience in awe. All succeeded after having fun while telling the story of Barba.

At the end of every performance, the audience was invited to participate in body percussion and creating music along with voice melodies, which was an incredible way to experience the work of Barba. On the last performance, I wanted to do something different, so I took a moment to listen to the sounds instead of just participating, and what I listened to made it a magical moment. I felt how we all were connected through the music. I’m pretty sure some people may not even have experience in singing or playing an instrument, but they were part of the creation of that music by doing their body percussion or voice melody part.

BARBA was more than just a musical; it was an experience that was diverse, empowering, and unifying. It was an experience that touched the soul and left a lasting impression on all those who were part of it. It showed that music has the power to transcend differences and touch people’s souls, leaving a lasting impact on everyone involved. The production was a testament to the power of collaboration, dedication, and passion for the arts. For many, it was one of the best experiences of their lives, and it will be remembered for years to come. And I’m not only taking with me all the tools I’ve learned from the talented instructors: Luis Salgado, Matthew Steffens, Valeria Cossu and Carlos Bauzys, during this process; I’m also keeping the great connections and memories with all the beautiful people I met from BWS until the last performance day of BARBA.

Many thanks to R.Evolución Latina, and the production team behind BARBA for everything! I’m also deeply grateful to Pregones PRTT, and Raúl Juliá for their invaluable collaboration in bringing BARBA to life. Their support made this production possible.

By Miguel Barreto

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