• Dance

LA BAILARINA

By Paulina Mellado

Chile

  • 40 minutes
  • General Audience

One of the most important figures in Chilean dance is back in this piece, inspired by the poem of the same name by Gabriela Mistral. Dance and writing, movements and words all come together in this acclaimed production.


La bailarina is a piece by choreographer Paulina Mellado, created as a result of the Pe Mellado Dance Company’s interest in 2015 in relating their bodily research methodology with the verses of Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of her winning the Noble Prize for Literature. Based on poems like Una mujer, La humillada and La fugitive and especially on La bailarina (Lagar II), the play reveals the female poet searching for refuge in her creative state. The production links dance and writing, movements and words, leaning towards poetic gestures in its creation and managing to reflect her essence, her free spirit, the driving force behind her struggles and her restrained dreams.

On platforms set up at different levels, eight dancers - five women and three men, all permanently on stage and dressed as Gabriela Mistral - move to the beat of this musical piece made up of digital sounds, voices and the sounds of the wind in the desert, varying between solos, duos, trios and group pieces. The mood of the performance is complemented by lighting that both opens up and isolates different spaces.

Cast and crew


Company: Pe Mellado Dance Company | Director: Paulina Mellado | Assistant director: Andrea Torrejón | Performers: Macarena Pastor, Marcela Retamales, Camila Jiménez, Beatriz Zeiss, Gonzalo Venegas, Esteban Cerda, Jorge Carreño, Vannia Villagrán | Musical score: José Miguel Miranda | Visual artist: Richard Solís | Staging and lighting: José Antonio Palma | Video producer: Riolab.

De Paulina Mellado

Creator

A Chilean dance master

This director, choreographer and teacher studied dance in Chile. Since 1989, she has been taking part in different Chilean and international festivals, with the latest being the Internationale Tanzmesse, representing Chile with the choreography La bailarina. Director of the Balmaceda 1215 Cultural Center’s Dance Company between 1999 and 2001, she has worked as a teacher at the theater schools of Gustavo Meza and Fernando González and at the Pontific Catholic University of Chile, as well as at the dance schools of the Arcis University, the Espiral Dance Center and the University of the Americas. She is currently an associate professor in the Department of Dance at the University of Chile and director of the CIEC (Center for Choreographic Research and Studies), as well as running the Sala Santa Elena cultural venue, where different choreography and theatrical seminars and workshops are held.

Among her most outstanding works are Solo (1991), El cuerpo que mancha (1992), Cien golpes (1993), Cuerpos febriles (1995), Altos, delgados, frágiles (1997), Lugar del deseo (2001), Ser Tocado (2003), Lo que acontece (2007), Pequeño hombrecito (2010), Cuerpo pretexto (2010), El Baile (2012), Diana (2013), La Bailarina (2015), El cuerpo que mancha (2015), Paisajes en torno a la idea de territorio y territorialidad (2016), El Cuerpo de la letra (2017) and Decisiones Compartidas (2019).

—It uses dance to look into the complexity of the work and personality of the Nobel Prize winner. The production itself reflects the different levels of her writing using either different platforms on which each performer is isolated or through the lighting. It’s a comprehensive piece that shows that Mistral is much more than we think she is.

—It’s a play by Paulina Mellado, one of Joan Turner’s pupils at Danza Espiral. She held dance workshops in poorer areas during the dictatorship and has built up a consistent body of work over more than two decades, in addition to her teaching work. She’s one of the most important names in the discipline in the country.

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