Hi everyone, my name is Anna Castillo.
I am a choreographer and Flamenco dancer based between Berlin and Barcelona.
I had the privilege to grow up between Chile, USA, Germany and South Africa. The constant movement of my body with the clashing of cultural phenomena have deeply shaped my identity. Through living transnationally in-between and around boarders this lifestyle has shaped my interest of new forms of moving but also lead up to questioned already existing ones. Personally I think this is the main reason that has lead me to my research in investigating the space in-between Flamenco and Contemporary dance. Because I have kind of always lived in-between space.
The first two weeks I have looked into floor work with Marti Corbera. Marti Corbera and I share both the same dance background, from an early age on our identity has been shaped by Flamenco but foud ourselves within time to fid more and more interest into contemporary dance.
Its been interesting to see which difficulties and advantages our body and minds shaped by Flamenco have to offer:
There is a strong attachment to rhythmical pattern, which is very difficult let to ignore. Event if we try to. Each time we worked with music our impulse to move with the rhythm became bigger and bigger. We have been so strongly conditioned to understand rhythm its its smallest detail, that ignoring it become actual difficult task.
We found a very big difference in doing same exercise with and without flamenco shoes. There is an immediate change in presence and corporal feeling, when we put our shoes on. Already the shift of gravity in the entire body changes and therefore also the movement. But also years of training and associations seem to come up as well. I dont know if I have ever understood or questioned before the symbolic weightor meaning and physical affects these shoes have on my movement.
I would say the use of Flamencoshoes showed us what an actual mental burden into movement languages it was.
One challenge we faced was to move a liquid as possible by interconnecting our bodies on the floor. To put this into a context as a Flamenco point of view: A) as a flamenco dancer you usually never lie on the floor and B) you also never touch another person. That meant it was quite a challenge.
For instance we practiced this sequence for serval days, how to improvise together in this unsusal form for us. After finding a comfort level of liquidness of movement, we tired to use the shoes. For me suddenly the entire excercise felt like we had to start from 0.
The use of flamenco shoe had completely changed the corporal experience. First it was difficult to find balance and grasp on the floor. Second eventhough we have become great in moving together, I suddenly had a big fear to hit Marti with the one of the shoes / foot even though it had never occurred before. It was more the unusualness of this actuation which had become our biggest challenge.
Flamencos main fascination to me its the improvisation skills. Most People don’t know this about Flamenco, but it’s a highly improvised dance. If you ever go to see a Flamenco show (tablao) in Spain half of the dance performance will probably be improvised. Its an improvisation with a certain type of structure and loose rules between dancer and musicians.
Therefore we tried to take our improvisations skills into the floor and in the communication between each orther,
to be continued …