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Following the success of previous family production, Penguins, created with director Paul MacEneaney for Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Cahoots NI, which toured across the USA, the UK and Ireland, Carlos Pons Guerra presents his latest outdoor dance theatre production for children and their adults, The Bull and the Moon, an endearing story that breaks gender stereotypes while celebrating and supporting young people who identify as trans or non-binary.

Premiered in Bradford in July 2021, The Bull and the Moon will be performed in Birmingham as part of Birmingham International Dance Festival on 25 and 26 Sept at Mac Birmingham and Leeds’ Yorkshire Dance on Oct 2.

The Bull and the Moon tells the story of Lolo, a little Spanish bull that doesn’t feel like the other bulls in the farm. He doesn’t like wrestling with other bulls, he is scared of the big loud bullfights, and he really doesn’t like cowboy rodeos either. Instead, every night he secretly watches the dazzling Moon, who teaches him how to dance and soon Lolo realizes that, deep inside, he dreams of being Lola: a famous flamenco dancing cow!

Choreographed in collaboration with flamenco artist Ana García, this joyous, comical, and dynamic flamenco dance theatre production celebrates anyone who dances to their own tune. Inspired by traditional Spanish song, La Luna y el Toro (The Bull and the Moon), as well as Munro Leaf’s 1936 iconic children’s book, The Story of Ferdinand, children 3+ and their adults are invited to reflect on and celebrate gender diversity and inclusion.

The production is set to a delectable salsa of Spanish and Latin music, including traditional flamenco, pasodobles, mambo, mariachi and tango, constituting a true Hispanic cultural offering for all audiences. Ryan Laight (who recently designed Blak Whyte Gray for the Olivier award-winning Boy Blue Entertainment) has created costumes and set, which are inspired by traditional flamenco outfits and 1930’s Spanish fairgrounds.

Partially created during lockdown, the work is a response to the particularly difficult situation experienced by many young trans people during the pandemic, when isolation, school and support group closures and intolerant homes made realizing nonnormative identities difficult or impossible.

Director and choreographer Carlos Pons Guerra said: “I am so excited to finally share The Bull and the Moon safely with audiences. It’s a very special story because all of us have lived it to some extent- who amongst us has never been held back from doing something because of their perceived gender identity?

“But it is particularly special because it is for, and about, a beautiful group of children (and their carers) that never get represented onstage and deserve all our love and admiration. It has been wonderful to engage with families with trans children to understand the joy of transitioning, acceptance and love, which ultimately is all that matters. For all that, I’m very thankful to this work.”

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, since founding his company, DeNada Dance Theatre, in 2012, he has created a wealth of exciting works for both adults and children internationally. One of his most recent family productions, Penguins (which told the real-life story of two male penguins who form a family) was the subject of BBC 4 documentary, Prejudice and Passion, which aired in May 2018 and followed Carlos’ own story of bullying and homophobia as a child and how dance has been such a healing force for him and many.

The Bull and the Moon has been commissioned by Bradford Producing Hub and Birmingham DanceXchange, with further support from Arts Council England, Kala Sangam Arts Centre and the Canarian Institute for Cultural Development. Produced by Spin Arts.