Rafael Padilla « Chocolat »
Bilbao, enero 2015
30.04.15 20:15h Presentación del video realizado con motivo del homenaje a Rafael Padilla, clown Chocolat. 12′
Dirección: Txemi Alonso
Producido por Claro De Luna Producciones Audiovisuales y Kalao Panafrican Creations.
30.04.15 20:15h Presentation of the video made as an homage to Rafael Padilla, clown Chocolat. 12′
Directed by Txemi Alonso and produced by Claro De Luna Producciones Audiovisuales & Kalao Panafrican Creations. 12′
Last week exhibition in Kalao. CHOCOLAT TRIBUTE by Cheikhou Ba. Works. Exhibition in Kalao: « Chocolat: street M, line 22, nº2 »
A tribute exhibition to the first black artist on French stage: famous Rafael Clown Chocolat, Cuban slave (Havana 1868 – Bordeaux 1917) who found liberty in the docks of Bilbao working as a miner until 1880.
The second individual exhibition of the works by senegalese artist Cheikhou Ba, held in Kalao in memory of Rafael Chocolat, one of the leading circus artists in Paris in the late 19th and early 20th century. After being bought in Havana by a Portugese merchant, eight-year old Rafael arrived in Bizcay to work on a farm. At the age of twelve he fled the farm and arrived at Bilbao´s docks where he lived poorly working as a miner until about 1885 when he bumped into Tony Grice, an English clown, who was performing in the city at the time. He offered Rafael assistant job, and after the debut in our city, they set off together to London around 1885. The year after they got to Paris where, after being hired by Le Nouveau-Cirque, they split up; Rafael achieved his first big role in ¨La Noce de Chocolat¨. Not long after he met another English clown Fottit, with whom he formed the most famous comic duet in the Belle Epoque, an authoritarian white clown and foolish black clown who receives punches. Their success lasted for 20 years until 1910 when, after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the show was cancelled and Rafael fell into oblivion. He died in 1917 in Bordeaux. He was buried in a pauper´s grave (street M, line 22, nº2) together with his memory.*
Kalao would like to pay him tribute and for this purpose, apart from the exhibition in the showroom, Chocolat will come to life and visit us during the event.
15.01.15, 19:30, after the presentation, departure of the parade accompanied by the music of Senegalese band Sapali, until muelle Marzana. In Zubiburu restaurant reception and welcome for Rafael ¨El Rubio¨ (The Blonde), so-called in Bilbao. Innauguration of commemorative plaque in his memory.
Mbaye Sene, an actor from Senegal will play the role of Chocolat.
*Biographical investigation, together with the interpretation of the causes of the rise and fall of Chocolat in Paris, was carried out by the French historian Gerard Noiriel. The study was published in his work: ¨Chocolat, clown negre¨(Bayard éditions 2012).
Translation by Gosia Moskala.