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Interview with Amparo González Sola


One of the creators of Caravana

Can you introduce yourself?

I was born in Mendoza, in the West of Argentina, in a small town surrounded by vineyards, very close to the Andes. I am the oldest of 7 sisters and 1 brother.
My relation with dance started very early, at the age of 4. However, when I was compelled to decide my future I opted for Political Sciences. When I was almost finishing my studies, I decided to dedicate myself to the performing arts.
With these two backgrounds, I am naturally oriented to a trans-disciplinary work, where art, science and politics can be creatively integrated. With the objectives of generate new networks and set my own practice to tension, I participated in different festivals, seminars and labs as a dancer, teacher, researcher and choreographer.
My ongoing research in dance/performance is around the “complex experience of the body” taking the Paradigm of Complexity as base point.
I am part of the KM29 project, Juan Onofri Barbato is working there since 2011. We are partners in teaching, creating and also in our political engagement.

What is your opinion on the social relevance of theatre?

I believe that the creative process itself, independently of what you are creating, is the key. The “how” is more important that the “what”.  It doesn’t matter if you are performing in a group, teaching in a school or training athletes; the relationship that you create and develop with others, the way you exchange with them, the things you share -or not- are fundamental. The theatre is by nature a process generating multiple relationships.
When I create, I am conveying and reproducing a specific point of view of life. Not only through my creation – the “piece”-, but also through the place that I give to the audience, the materials I produce, the backstage environment and the way I take decisions -artistic, political and practical decisions; everything is part of the creation process.
I don’t think that Arts has to talk expressly about “politics” or “social options”, but I think that they are profoundly embedded in our work. We can’t be naive about that.

What drives you to be creative?

Creation emerges from a state of uncertainty. A situation where we are not fully clear about the “what” and the “why” and we are induced to make use of our own intuitions, feelings and instincts. In front of uncertainties, we have to try, to test, to decide, to create in very complex dynamic. I believe that failing is an extraordinary important ingredient in the creative process. This is the only way to create something particular, not because it is “different” from other things, but because it is authentic. It expresses our most profound intuitions, feelings and instincts in dealing with uncertainties.

Can you tell us about how you and your colleague Juan Onofri Barbato took turns directing and performing in this piece?

The decision of sharing both roles was indeed very challenging. However, we were tempted to deepen an approach that we were exploring in other areas of our work –as teachers or activists-, which is the “collective construction” of something.
We were very much interested in understanding how decisions are taken collectively in a creative process. Collective decisions are not the sum of individual agendas, but a very complex and dynamic process where contradictions, consensus, antagonisms and agreements are taking place. We were particularly interested in exploring this common space where dialogue and conflict happen. A space that is frequently neglected by the simple fact of being intangible. A relationship itself is always very difficult to grasp and it brings a lot of paradoxes. The relationship between objects or partners is not owned by any of them, but at the same time it belongs to all of them. Like the role of “tension” in the concept of transegrity.
With Juan, we are interested in engaging in this collective construction, where we put together our wills, expectations and contradictions in a joint process. Directing and performing necessarily changes the subjectivity of the creative process. To be inside the scene allow us to have another perception of the piece – a sensible perception-. Directing from inside the scene generates a different type of commitments. In any case, the experience helped us in understanding the blurred borders between the “in” and the “out” of the scene, the blurred borders between fiction and reality.
Playing both roles has required getting out from the comfort zones. The experience has been extremely rewarding.

How has the concept of ‘tensegrity’, which comes from the world of architecture and sculpture, inspired you for this piece?

In our work, the concept of tensegrity works at different levels. At the beginning it was a way to understand the architecture and dynamic of the body.
Tensegrity describes the relation between isolated components in compression inside a net of continuous tension, constituting and balancing a structure. If we apply this concept to understand the body we can say that our structure is the results of the relations between isolated components (bones) and the continuous network of soft tissues, in situation of compression and tension at the same time, so, we can say that each body is the results of his own relations. Thus, we can say that the “relation” precede the “shape”. This approach is an important element in our work.
Tensegrity helps us to think in dynamics terms, to move from static and rigid ideas respect of how we are, how we should be, how we should feel our self.
Once we understand our self through this complex set of “relations” we can understand that if we modify some of this relations, we modify our self and the way we perceive our self.
The idea of totality and connectedness in the body allow us to have another  experience of our own bodies but also another experience of the relations with others. Tensegrity unveils a more comprehensive understanding of our so called “identity” and our relation with others. Its implications on the creative process are enormous
Caravana is a piece created by, and inspired in, this idea of “connectedness”. Everything take part of a dynamic and complex system, system that gives rise to the uncertainty, the contradictions.

How do you determine which theatrical elements you will use to render an architectural concept within a theatrical space?

A critical element in the theatrical space is, precisely, the “relationship” amongst “materials”. In our perspective, the most important reference to the materials is how they can be in relation. We place the objects in an expanded space where tensions puts them together. They bring meaning as they contribute to the whole.
Every element, also our bodies, takes parts in this architectural system. Everything is connected and every little change in this relationship can inevitably change the whole structure. A sort of Lavoisier’s universe where “nothing is lost, everything is transformed. That is tensegrity.


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