Traitor, a powerful work about the darkest and most violent plot of the Conquest of America

Traitor, a powerful work about the darkest and most violent plot of the Conquest of America
Traitor, a powerful work about the darkest and most violent plot of the Conquest of America

Massacres, murders, amputations, rapes, among thousands of other crimes committed with true viciousness, seem to come from a disturbed mind. However, this was daily life in the battles and usurpations that took place during the brutal conquest of America. A period of our history that tends to be mythologized, ignoring its darkest passages. Much of this is told in Traitorthe work of the actor, playwright and director Daniel Panaro.

Of the stories of the Spaniards who arrived in these virgin lands, between the 15th century and the 16th century, that of the Basque Lope de Aguirre is perhaps the most revealing of the dark recesses of the human soul. His adventures are found in that swampy terrain in which myth and historical facts mix. The character so seduced filmmaker Werner Herzog that he immortalized him in his film Aguirre, the wrath of god from 1972 that was filmed in the Peruvian Amazon jungle with the emblematic performance of Klaus Kinski.

Nicknamed the Crazy Pinto, the Tyrant or the Pilgrim, at the age of 21, and following news from the so-called New World, he embarked from Seville on an expedition that reached Peru in 1536 and quickly became popular for his cruelty and violence.

Years later, after a series of outrages committed against his own fellow human beings, he set out in search of the mythical city of El Dorado, accompanied by soldiers, slaves and Elvira, his only mestizo daughter whom, in a fit of madness, he stabbed to death. “Because someone I love so much shouldn’t sleep with mean people,” he justified.

In “Traitor”, Daniel Panaro occupies the roles of actor, playwright and director. Photo: courtesy of José Muzlera

His greed for power was so great that he signed a declaration of war on the Spanish Empire, proclaimed himself prince and He communicated his plans to King Philip II with a letter signed as El Traidor.

A captivating work

Such a story, summarized here to the maximum, is the trigger that served the actor, playwright and director Daniel Panaro, deserved winner for this text of the first prize for playwriting from the now unfairly battered National Arts Fund, to create a captivating work.

In a one-person format, Aguirre’s last night is told, where he decides to leave testimony of his actions and his transgressions, before a clergyman who despises and acts as a scribe, embodied in an allegorical form. Captured and narrated in Spanish that includes old words, although perfectly understandable, the content mimics the language used in the chronicles of the time.

But the setting is far from naturalism; On the contrary, a few elements accentuate the existential loneliness of the protagonist. Furthermore, the plot not only exposes his fierceness and recklessness but also aspects of heroism, sacrifice, and even greatness. “You are macho when you do what you should, not what you can“, says.

“Traidor”, by Daniel Panaro, can be seen on Sundays at 7:30 p.m. in the La Gloria room. Photo: courtesy of José Muzlera

Panaro, as a performer, viscerally provides a very convincing mask, with notable physical ductility and expressive display of infinite nuances. He even transmits his anger and sarcasm when he is silent.drink from a jug or let the water run down your face.

Without a doubt, the show manages to capture attention due to its theatrical power and is among the best alternative theater proposals.


Dramaturgy, direction and interpretation: Daniel Panaro. Lightning: Alberto Madin. original music: Babu Cerviño. Hall: La Gloria, Yatay 890. Features: Sundays at 7:30 p.m.

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