Twists and turns: a magical flow of stories

Spontaneous dance in unconventional spaces

Rasia Friedler and Brenda Castro

In this age of acceleration and lightness, spaces are scarce development of social processes and construction of collective memory, art is an invaluable tool.

How to work in depersonalized spaces, incidentally, “without time or history”, defined by Marc Augé as “non-places”, to turn them into places of sensitivity, awareness and memory?

Heritage Day 2003, the date intended to spread, consolidate and create an awareness of international solidarity in the protection of the World Cultural Heritage, members of the Dance Company Spontaneous SaludArte * perform a function spontaneous dance in the Carrasco International Airport of the city of Montevideo, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, which was called “Comings and goings.” We set out to create a space of speech and movement in an unprecedented scenario: Carrasco International Airport. The idea was to encourage the emergence of travel stories, encounters and separations, also targeting the processing, in the “here and now”, how we cross the strong migratory wave of Uruguayan in recent years, especially the drain of young people who left the country, fragmentation of families, etc.

First we did a performance in the hall of Items of airport and then develop the function in a more sheltered place, next to a huge window overlooking the runway where the planes took off; vivid background of our stage. That link with elements of reality moved the people with us, and vice versa. The audience sat in a semicircle in front of the dancers, musician and me (conductive). The chronicler, an excerpt from whose story reproduced below, was among the audience and the artists. The scenery was stripped minimalist, with wooden cubes of different sizes on which they sat dancers to be chosen by the audience as characters; cubes that were also used as elements in scenes with a coat hanger hanging fabrics of different sizes, colors and textures. Spontaneous dance is a genre of artistic improvisation based on occurrences, feelings, feelings and stories public, which once expressed by the narrator who emerges from that audience, are “returned” (played back) and recreated by artists through dance, also including theatrical resources. There is a flow of shapes and scenes that give new meaning, more complex, richer and revalue the stories.

Art, we know, feeds on meetings, mergers and unimagined edges. A few years ago I had an informal dialogue with Moyses Aguiar, psychodramatist and director of the Companhia do Teatro SPONTANEOUS of Campinas, Brazil, who told me his dream of creating a spontaneous dance company, which for various reasons could not specify. Some time later I had another encounter with Analía Alvarez, dancer and director of the ballet Dalica, who knew the work we were developing in SaludArte (an organization to promote health through art and humor) through spontaneous theater spaces unconventional, and that dialogue came the idea of working together. At that moment I remembered that old idea and suggested Moyses develop. That was the origin of our company is based on the Playback Theatre, a form of spontaneous theater created by Jonathan Fox. In spontaneous dance movement and dance are the privileged means of expression, also integrating the theater. Since we were going to be the first spontaneous dance company in the world (based on Playback Theatre), the challenge of creating, researching and experimenting caught us from the beginning. I started to train the artists in this artistic genre and work quickly boosted thanks to the interest and previous and / or simultaneous formation of the members of the company, held in Uruguay and abroad (Brazil, Cuba, United States, Germany , El Salvador, etc.) including: contemporary dance, dance-theater, Butoh dance, dance Contact, classical dance and other arts, humanities and health field disciplines. This note is an expression of gratitude to all who made this unforgettable experience. We’ll see!*

On the terrace of the airport Saturday afternoon September 20, 2003.

A dream

The audience settles on the chairs. These are very white by the brightness of the afternoon that pick glasses that separate the terrace of the track. The dancers breathe deeply from the cubes, almost glued to the glass. abdomens inflates, the sound of breathing sounds. The driver takes the microphone, the Company presents and explains briefly what is the spontaneous dancing.

Immediately dancers appear, saying each phrase that reflects what causes them the theme: “Comings and goings.”

Comes my turn: ‘I love airports connect with me because I have a dream since childhood: to fly.

Together we seek to create a climate of confidence to stimulate public participation. The driver, who tries to keep all times eye contact with the audience, the musician and dancers, tells a figure to the latter and says the magic words: “Let’s see!”

Suddenly the music comes and gives birth to the movement. Several dancers stand. The black cube hovers between the legs of a dancer rulitos that is delivered to the trance dance. His whole body follows the swing of the chords; It looks like a black pencil drawing on a smooth red leaf; the stage floor. the toes of his feet and jumped reaches the window sill extend. It’s a bird dazzled by so much light; on track two airplanes emit a loud sound and take off almost together. The bird becomes a butterfly to give bright colors; bat wings, solidifies into a sculpture, it looks like something that may be suspended in the air, and at the same time get close to each of us.

The rest of the dancers standing in a seem sync code catchy gestures. The dancer tousled hair, big eyes and thick lips, jumps over and over again spreading his hands toward the sky, opening the fingers, with the anxiety of waiting for the return of a loved one, in a sort of silent prayer, dance the rain that aims to melt inside clouds to irrigate the land. Another dancer, the highest, deep look, take a blue cloth, the holding end, it puts on the shoulders and long to run around the stage floor is the super-hero we want all ever be ; now bears the coat with one hand and directs the opposite forward fist; It is more aerodynamic. Tight bun dancer joins the synchronized duo; is a spring that turns on itself, seesaw moved by something invisible that exerts power over his body, after a few laps becomes shaken by a funny puppet strings are tightened and loosened; entangles peers, the three move as one towards the dancer rulitos following on the windowsill, impregnated with his trance and get to dance all four together, facing the audience like four birds coddle up of a cable between two concrete columns. So figure freezes, a fluid sculpture that gives tenderness and desire to come forward to receive, why not, some of these expressions of affection.

Sounds triangle. The audience applauds, laughs, comments:

What you are – ask an old lady from her chair.

‘It’s a bird – replied slim girl sitting beside her, still staring straight ahead sculpture just formed.

Then the others are also birds – the lady asks again, adjusting his glasses, somewhat impatiently.

-If! Can not you see all fly – continues the young uncrossing her legs, still concentrated in the fluid sculpture.

-Do not! It’s a plane – adds the blond boy who sits behind the two.

-¡No – He follows his brother, kneeling on her chair

– It’s a long angel wings!

– He has the last word.

Sea of hugs

The driver encourages the public:

Who wants to say something?

A man becomes restless. Cross your legs to one side and the other. It accommodates lenses. It is very fair, has blue eyes and a deep voice:

I’d like to represent the duality go-stay.

Dancers receive their words and are prepared to transform them into motion with different energies. The driver tells them figure: “fluidic sculpture” and makes it a yawing the musician to mark the start.

Sounds triangle. The writer tries to mentally record every second. A wave of hand and foot slips from the buckets into the center stage. Three dancers climb on an imaginary plane, greet and fly. Others crouch, extend hands, claim to land, they kiss again and again, until finally we fail to distinguish who is who and who does what. All dancers blend into a single sea of hugs.

Mr. smiles; now it looks calmer.

It can

Audience smiles and applauds. A bald man, of Andalusian features, raise your hand. A few seconds pass, again silence. The driver takes the microphone and approaches the man who remains with raised hand.

What would you like to have? – Asks, putting his right hand to his waist.

‘My name is Pepe, I work with young people for many years, I am teacher. I would like to show me the “you can not” and “can” – gather a little frown, you make wrinkles olive-colored skin.

The driver listens carefully, delves a little more and then offers the dancers recreate those words in three “pairs” a classic figure of Playback Theatre.

Sounds triangle. Three collinear dancers move. Three more moving behind them. The first left crouch and jump with your hands up:

-¡Se Can – again and again screams, accompanying the movement. The dancer who goes behind him wallowing on the floor, the abdomen is taken, twists from side to side like a caterpillar that can not emerge from its chrysalis; whispers: No.

The average dancer turns on itself; It looks like a spinning top that can not stop, but do not know where to go. The partner who makes his shadow sways sideways with uncertainty, it is a balance in imbalance.

The first dancer on the right is a boxer who gives pineapples while shouting: Yes! It looks very happy. The dancer who came behind him lie on the floor face up, chest protects hands as if they were hitting.

Resumes the triangle. The six dancers are frozen in their positions. The audience applauds enthusiastically. Pepe laughs: ‘It’s just that I’m seeing.


In the second row forward a girl with long hair is sitting, brown and curly; his eyes are full of tears; is the fray with fists and smiles as if he would remember something beautiful and sad at the same time; What is it?

The dancers, after representing what he asked the man wearing glasses, return to the black cubes; They sit, take on a neutral position, staring, his face serene, no gestures. The driver approaches the girl chair long hair, looking tenderly and asks:

-What’s your name?

‘My name is Lucia replied the girl.

Tenés want to share something with us?

– Question the driver, inviting her to occupy the chair of the narrator.

The girl smiles, has very white teeth, he settles into his chair and leans his elbows on the arm rests.

-If; all these images did surprise me a lifelong friend whom I love very much and today is not with us, he went to Spain to work with his father. I start to remember her happy because we grew up together. I come to mind memories beautiful, but on the other hand, makes me really sad. She did not want to go, did not want to leave his people, he loved this country, and is not going well there, The strange!

The conductor invites the narrator to choose actors from dancers for their characters while conducting the interview to clarify the key points of history that will soon become scene. At the same time it is attentive to what circulates between the narrator, the audience, dancers, musician, writer and herself. Look at the dancers to verify if history has proved sufficiently clear to leave for the theater action, he makes it a yawing musician and pronounces the ritual words that open to the multiplicity of movements.

The dancers leave the neutral position. The first stand is the dancer who will make friend, protagonist of this story. Lucia chose the most bajita for his physical resemblance. Then follows the dancer curly hair will be Lucia for a while, then dad’s friend and so is formed the cast.

Starts playing the guitar, chords are alternated with drums, it all evens out in a wave that moves like the tail of a kite in spring.

The dancer who plays the role of long-haired girl standing at center stage, just where converge the orange evening light with the brightness of the track. The windows of the terrace act as giant reflectors of light coming. The dancer makes dad talk with her daughter, both dance with the tips of outstretched feet. It is a slow, smooth motion as Lucia’s tears; with every turn it is putting more dynamic, intense.

Father and daughter laugh; is contagious, now all the audience laughs uproariously. The dancer who makes Lucia seen from an angle, come to find them holding hands, integrate, and laugh together. The heat vaporizes human tears. The music accompanies a perfect curtain swaying with feelings, but it is invisible. Successive turns are estatizan in a human picture of smiling dancers. The reporter looks to the public. Lucia is laughing.

An emergency

While the dancers draw on stage, many things move, more than can be seen with the naked eye. Each drawing, each represented form becomes a spiral that turns from left to right on its center advances tucking on the chest of each of those present. The spiral of energy is so powerful that keeps turning even when the dancers stop and the audience applauds.

Someone in the audience asks a feeling:

-¡Dolor – Lights, which are well tenuous to mark the space between a story and another, they turn to turn slowly. A lady dressed in white robes raises his hand; He is sitting in the last row; the color of his robe contrasts with the rest of the public; He has blond hair, curly and perfectly round, rosy cheeks.

I’d like to represent the pain of mothers when their children Vandice spontaneously. The driver is about to her, asked her name, and asks if he can say something more about that pain. Mrs. close your eyes, concentrate and speech. As the story begins to take shape, the driver finds out who participate in it, and invited the lady to choose among the dancers who will represent them, to her first.

‘In this story I wish you were my little son (the brother of him who is), my husband, an old man, and me.

People in the audience broken in his seat to watch the lady’s face, as if trying to find out more from their gestures.

I want the dancer with a Cuban accent represent me; the dancer dreadlocks make my old husband, hunched; and the highest is my little son.

The three chosen dancers stand for now in neutral position; other notes. The driver stimulates the narrator to develop history, synthesized to facilitate the task of the dancers, and gives the foot to start. It sounds and music triangle follows; It is a soft melody.

The chronicler writes a few sentences; quickly he puts right and look towards the center of the stage. A husband, a wife and a young son are on the terrace of the airport saying goodbye to the eldest son. The plane takes off. The dancer with a Cuban accent greets with both hands, crying incessantly. The dancer also welcomes dreadlocks, but with a kind of nostalgia mixed with listlessness. Something happens to the lady, stop saluting; a hand to her chest takes and starts coughing, as if drowning. The husband takes her in his arms, but can not hold it, he too chest hurts. The child laughs, turns around their parents lying on the ground.


– Shouts a skinny dancer entering the stage with another partner. Comes an ambulance siren to stop. Both dancers hold hands and build a stretcher in the air. Mrs. rise, then Mr. and take them. The melody becomes more acute. Several tulle swaying in the air, are now white birds.

Sounds triangle. the lights go out. All sobbed and applaud at the same time, we feel the pain. The driver asks the narrator if you just saw some fidelity reflects what she wanted to express. The lady nods, smiles, thanks.

A great idea

the murmur of the public is heard. The driver takes the microphone, accommodates the cable that looks like a piece of toast snake on the red carpet of the stage and says:

Well, it is time for another story we who have something else to tell – the murmur is muted. A boy makes hand signals, wants to talk. The driver asks for the name, it reaches the microphone and invited him to move to the chair of the narrator.

-¿Empiezo – Question staring at the driver.

Yes, when you want – she responds, providing confidence.

Well, I want to share that I felt cold all over his body when my best friend told me he wanted to leave the country. I do not judge, but I disagree. I think we should stay, all part of this country, its identity. Why not fight it first here?

His eyes alight on one of the windows of the terrace, on the track is falling the sun; descends an intense orange light, tinting goes objects, tulles, faces.

Where were you when your friend gave you the news – he asks the driver lifting blond eyebrows.

-In The esplanade of the Municipality, on the bank of the medium; there was where my friend told me his project. I remember also went around an old drunk who kept saying inconsistencies.

The conductor invites him to choose protagónicos continue dancers and makes history. The musician accommodates instruments; This improvisation is more musically driven. Vibrates a clang in the triangle. Toca small drums that play a warm rhythm, cheerful. Begin representation. Two dancers sit on two chairs with improvised black cubes; friends are conversing, relaxed tone first, then something is tense. The highest dancer, making friend of Nicholas, jumps up and yells:

‘I’ve got to tell you something beautiful! I’m leaving the country! Be gave me, skinny, it gave me -; pouncing on the other dancer, she embraces it again and again. The other dancer, boy, remains hard, static on the big chair:

-Eeee … I do not know what to tell you …

-¡No Worry – says the other, excited, elated. An old man, drunk on the park bench, sings: He climbed rice, behind the devil, no longer give anything else; crisis, chaos and rubble …

– Looks everywhere, has a red nose and bulging belly. Now shut up, came hiccup. The friend of the project seems not to hear the absurdities of the old, still very focused on his inner monologue; shouts:

‘I’ve got an idea – He gestures with his elbows, he raises his arms skyward!; imaginary is hanging threads, strings of the puppeteer of joy. Keep going:

-¡Se Occurred to me a great idea !, Let’s say hello to everyone we see !, we will cure giving hugs – hugs They go together. Ends the function. The audience applauds excited whispers, comments and thanks; he was eager to continue seeing and telling stories.

* Spontaneous Dance Company SaludArte


Rasia Friedler


Analia Alvarez, Jorge Bell, Alejandra Darriulat, Florence de Freitas, Vera Garat, Leandro Núnez, Gonzalo Pieri, Francisco Ramirez, Mauricio Rosso, Ana Karen Suarez. Musician Martin Castrillejo


Brenda Castro

* “Let’s see!” Is the slogan ritual Playback Theatre which, when pronounced by the driver and directed towards the actors and musician, gives rise at the beginning of each scene.

Rasia Friedler and Brenda Castro