The original play “Ernesto” by Rafael Minvielle was premiered in the Theatre Santiago in October 1842 and is considered by many as one of the main exponents of Chilean romantic literature.
The independence of Chile and America was propelled by liberal ideas that originated in foreign cultures and from foreign social processes. Thus, this project of a “modern” nation was built mainly in –and by means of- discourse, deploying the power of language as constructor of reality. A discourse that builds –as it imagines- a new independent country, that, at the same time, will never cease to appear to us in part imaginary and in part dependent.
Minvielle uses a romantic story and literary style to advance modern, positive, rational ideas. Therefore the reader experiences the text as esthetically ambivalent. This constant dialectic between the rational and the romantic has constituted a creative axis for us to work on in this piece. In Ernesto we seek to pose questions regarding modernity precisely starting from the ambivalences that underlie it as a social project, and that are still negotiated by us in our everyday lives. Ernesto looks to perform the sense of struggle that arises when one tries to find a consensus between body and text, reason and emotion, the real and the imagined, the idea of freedom and of subjection. Commissioned by the Santiago a Mil Festival in the context of a special bicentennial edition of the festival, “Ernesto” revisits passages of the original play but is more a re-writing of the piece where the whole play (movement, action, emotion, lighting, stage design, etc.) is created only in language, things are only said to happen.