La Pieza

By Movimiento en Paralelo | Directed by Hernán Meléndez Cáceres

  • Spanish
  • 20 minutes
  • + 14 years

Living in the vastness of the driest desert in the world and having to go into confinement. That’s what this show that brings together dance and the visual arts from the Atacama Region is all about.

La pieza is a dance installation with two parts that looks into the already blurred limits between what is public and what is private. It’s made up of a room that the audience goes round in reduced numbers, with an 360 degree image of the Atacama Desert projected onto its four walls. In this space, there are two cubicles measuring three meters by three meters each, where two dancers use their bodies to reflect the space’s themes of confinement, what is public and what is private and the body’s relationship with its surroundings. The audience is free to decide which one to look in to once they are inside.

Co-created by: Hernán Meléndez Cáceres and Bárbara Villarroel Barraza | Performers: Bárbara Villarroel Barraza and Andrea Peralta Leiva | Musician: Juan Alaniz Pacheco | Audiovisuals: Rolando Yañez Cortés | Set design: Juan Pablo Lara Zepeda.

Hernán Meléndez Cáceres y Bárbara Villarroel Barraza


The driving force behind creation in Atacama

This pair of creators live in the city of Copiapó. In 2012, they founded Movimiento en Paralelo, constantly developing the performing arts in the area through ongoing exploration and research into different performance styles and formats. To date, they’ve developed numerous plays positioning dance development at a regional and national level. They currently complement their work as artists with cultural management, as the driving force behind several different creative and educational projects in the Atacama Region.

Movimiento en Paralelo

Movimiento en Paralelo

New formats for dance

This company was founded in 2012 in the city of Copiapó by a group of dancers to encourage new kinds of research into and the creation of dance in the area, coming up with productions that question and permanently reassess conventional theatrical structures. They have put on productions such as Anagrama de un cuerpo (2012) that was part of the Arica Dance Festival, Geográfica (2014) and Permeable (2016), a piece that talks about the mudslide that affected the Atacama Region.

-The company’s interesting crossover reflects how its inhabitants experienced confinement, ironically in the middle of the driest desert in the world where there don’t seem to be any borders and journeys are endless. All this experience of ‘feeling’ the desert is reflected in the small room where the dance piece occurs.

-It forces the visitors to be active spectators, since there’s no one way to go round it: part of each person’s experience depends on their own capacity to watch and be awed.

Contemporary dance: A dance genre that emphasizes composition rather than technique, it emerged as a reaction to classical versions and aims to satisfy the need to express yourself freely using the body. It’s a kind of dance that aims to transmit an idea, feeling or emotion, combining bodily movements from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It also incorporates elements from different genres to convey that dance is a work of art.

The Atacama Desert: Located in the regions of Arica and Parinacota and reaching south to Coquimbo, this desert covers an area of approximately 100,000 square meters and is the second driest place on the planet after the McMurdo Dry Valleys (in Antarctica). In other words, it’s the place with the least rainfall that a traveler can visit. It’s more than 2,000 meters above sea level and even gets as high as 6,000 meters in the mountains.

—Take a look at Once, a project by Movimiento en Paralelo produced during the Covid pandemic confinement.




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