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19 Nov - 14 Dec 2019

Cuerpa is a festival created by Aitana Cordero that aims to share and make accessible the work of a group of women related to the performing arts (choreographers, body composers, concept dancers) whose investigations shine a spotlight on the body—specifically the female body—and associate it with intimacy, sexuality and violence.

At a time when appropriation or the need to belong to macro-discourses is so acute—but no less necessary—and words seem to speak louder than deeds, micro-spaces, short distances and self-knowledge have become secondary or irrelevant.

We are drowning in paradoxes, and Cuerpa responds to the need for a frank, open discussion of what it means to inhabit a physical body and the idea that bodies can be generators of knowledge, change and experience.

The festival attempts to identify and explore the ethics and aesthetics of the possible, the permissible, vulnerability and the limits of what can or cannot be shared on stage and with other bodies. The body as a battlefield and discursive subject devoted to practices that speak for themselves.

From 3 to 14 December, Cuerpa invites us to plunge into works by artists who are questioning how they bodies signify, how they are perceived and categorised, but who continue to test their limitations and possibilities, playing with their own capacity for self-construction and self-destruction.

Their pieces wrestle with the need for new corporealities and forms of stage art from a perspective that does not just highlight the benefits of embracing these actions and discourses, but also defends and displays the pleasure, effort, violence and doubt involved in the continual process of transferring them to the physical body, of working them out through corporeal experience.

Bodies with skin and guts, bodies with orifices, bodies in which pleasure, sensuality, and mental and physical pain are intertwined. Bodies that challenge the power of culture and its rules. Festive bodies, dedicated bodies, constantly inquiring bodies that exhibit themselves to be shared and celebrated.

Motivated by her own need for a more experiential, less theoretical discourse, in creating this festival Aitana Cordero has devised a game: drawing on her own life experience and her work as a choreographer and creator of spaces and bodies to extract her primary obsessions and recurrent themes, her own ways of understanding the stage, the body and the act of “receiving as an audience”, she then connected each aspect with other women artists who have inspired her in recent years, and so came up with a programme.

In that way, she identified the themes to be addressed and questioned during the festival:





DECONSTRUCTION as a constructive strategy,

and SHARING, the act of sharing ourselves.

One of the main activities will be the preparatory workshops for Cuerpa, held before the festival opens, where Aitana Cordero will work with groups of people who have no prior experience of the performing arts, dance or art in two different neighbourhoods and contexts of Madrid. To make this possible, the festival will partner with Casa San Cristóbal of Fundación Montemadrid and Carlos III University (Leganés and Getafe campuses).

These workshops aspire to dialogue with new audiences, create an inventory of questions and reactions, and construct a space where we can explore new tools for receiving and appreciating the performing arts and sharing ourselves with other bodies. During the festival, La Casa Encendida will partner with Fundación Instante and Casa de las Alhajas, both of which will host some of the planned activities.

Project produced with the support of the Madrid City Council festival grants programme

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