Escena 1: Dance your Socks Off!

On 5th July, in a conference room of the Centro Gabriela Mistral, the cultural production firm GESTUS and three cultural institutions - Centro Gabriela Mistral, Matucana 100 and the Museo de la Memoria, presented the First International Festival of Contemporary Dance: Escena 1.

Running for the duration of the Winter holidays, Escena 1 presents a rich programme of pieces by both Chilean and international dance companies.

 Lo Que Puede Un Cuerpo, Courtesy Gonzalo Donoso
Lo Que Puede Un Cuerpo, Courtesy Gonzalo Donoso

The festival director, Christian Ahumada, explained during the press conference, the importance of such an event. While Santiago benefits from a thriving dance scene, no institutionalised effort had yet been made to acknowledge this activity. The Festival, recipient of a FONDART grant, fills this lack by inviting young and dynamic companies to show their work in three of the most important cultural institutions of the capital.

 Pequeño Hombrecito, Courtesy Macarena Quezada
Pequeño Hombrecito, Courtesy Macarena Quezada

Two rooms of the Centro Gabriela Mistral, also known as GAM, will be showing works for the duration of the Festival. From 14 until 17 July, the Sala Grande will present Pequeño Hombrecito, a work by Chilean choreographer Paulina Mellado. The work was awarded Best Work for 2010 by the Circle of Chilean Art Critics and was nominated for other prestigious prizes. The title’s Pequeño Hombrecito refers to the small man or woman, the internal voice that we all have within ourselves. In the same week, the GAM will also present Jujuy, a performance by the Argentine company Garatbeamonte which discusses the difficulty of communicating and relating to the other, as embodied by the performance of two dancers. The GAM will also present four performances by the Chilean Claudia Vicuña, Lo Que Puede Un Cuerpo. This an investigation into the limits of physical capacity and the questions raised in regard to our understanding of one’s identity.

 Inventario 4, Courtesy Consuelo Mujica
Inventario 4, Courtesy Consuelo Mujica

The cultural centre Matucana 100, located in Quinta Normal, will also be showing a wide range of works: the Brazilian Ceu Na Boca, Bolero, by a Chilean company and, in the Festival's second week Inventario 4, a re-creation of a work first performed in London in 2007 by Jose Vidal and Company. To celebrate this First International Festival, the troop reanimates the work in a performance that combines absurd humour, sound effects and a strong notion of play among the dancers. All these factors excite many possible narrative trajectories that the performers follow, always newly created, combining technique with an incredible sense of improvisation.

The Museo de la Memoria focuses its participation in the festival on three works with a strong emphasis on physical torture and human rights. Two of these works are by Chilean choreographers and one by a Brazilian. They all tackle the question of the body in conditions of confinement and pain such as prison and torture. The three works, performed as one, have the audience moving from one part of the museum to another. This physical form of storytelling addresses the question of physical abuse and its representation through dance. To accompany these performances, the museum will be organising a round table on Saturday 23rd July to discuss the place of the body in relation to the themes of memory and human rights.

To find out more about the performances:

Tickets cost:
$6,000 (US$ 12.8) for international works
$4,000 (US$ 8.5) for national works
Pass for four performances: $14,000 (US$ 30.04)

Tickets available from Ticketmaster and the box offices at Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral and Matucana 100.

Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral
Metro: Universidad Catolica

Matucana 100
Metro: Quinta Normal

Museo de la Memoria
Metro: Quinta Normal

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