l'animal a l'esquena
L'animal a l'esquena responds to the need of its founders: María Muñoz and Pep Ramis, the artistic directors of Mal Pelo, to open up their dance company structure to a network structure based on the interchange with other artists and creators. In 2001, together with Toni Cots - artistic director and producer of many international performing arts projects -, they define the objectives of the centre and they have been sharing its artistic direction since then until the end of 2010.
The name "L'animal a l'esquena" ("The animal on the back") alludes to the image of an animal carried on one's back, over a column which is the central axis of the body and the movement. It is as well an image that evokes a certain condition of fragility and questions the place and expression of the body.
During this period, the main aim of L'animal a l'esquena has been to set up the links and connections between artists, scholars and the public, in such a way that the centre convert itself into a ‘shared place', into a framework to research body based artistic practice. A framework for research understood as an accumulative process, of contextualisation and reflection, of training and exchange.
L'animal a l'esquena has attempted to reflect the actual need of contemporary arts practice to define a critical frame based on the presence of different voices and views, in order to look for a change in the values related to visuality, textuality, identity and corporality. L'animal a l'esquena proposes a temporary refuge in which the difference is recognized and accepted.
During 2001-2010 the activities promoted and organized by L'animal a l'esquena have mainly taken place at Mas Espolla, within the municipal area of Celrà, Girona (Catalunya, Spain). The whole plot-located in the rural surrounding at the Natural Park Les Gavarres, is made up of a main country house ("masía"), two attached buildings and a studio of 22x14m. The whole is surrounded by 19 hectares of forest and crops, at the moment still in use.
Certain activities have taken place in the metropolitan area of Girona (Celrà, Salt and Girona) and in Barcelona, Alcalá, Basque Country. Other net cooperation activities and the Master MACAPD have been developed in countries like England, Portugal, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Holland, Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon and Canada.