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Carmen Loisaida by Eva Cristina Vàsquez


65 East 4th Street #11, New York, NY 10003

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Professor Eva Cristina Vàsquez will star in her play "Carmen Loisaida" at the Teatro Circulo

Carmen Loisaida is mostly based on the novella by Prosper Merimee, using musical references from Bizet’s famous opera. It also explores a variety of film versions such as: Saura’s Carmen (Spain); U-Carmen (South Africa); Carmen Gei (Senegal); and Carmen Jones (U.S.A.), among others. It will use Bizet's music as a guideline for emphasizing dance and rhythm in the piece, not singing. Carmen is a story about passion, unrequited love, the underworld, and fate among other themes. In this particular version, the well known love story will be measured against the background of human trafficking and illegal migration. The Lower East Side will be the playground for a group of people who live as illegal immigrants trying to survive a diversity of personal, social, and economic reasons that make them settle in New York City in search for a better life. Carmen’s world is the world of illegal workers, squatters, arranged marriages in exchange for citizenship, intercultural relationships, bohemia, and a hectic night life. The story takes a twist when Carmen gets emotionally involved with a migration officer who unwillingly gets seduced to help her advance her sometimes questionable social agenda in exchange for love/lust. The story is never the same for those who are struggling to survive, those that will be exploited and yet not included, those who work more for less. A clash between what is socially promoted vs. human ethics will ensue. Inspired by the vast variety of versions that have appropriated the story of the outlaw seductress and the authority figure fallen out of grace, my interest in this project arises from my curiosity in how this seemingly universal story reads in an urban environment resulting from the demands of globalization; demands that foster a brutal migration and the survival of the fittest.