(Creation Residence )L'animal a l'esquena (Celrà) From 05/09/2016 to 18/09/2016Presentation :
On 10/09/2016 at 20:00 in L'animal a l'esquena (Celrà) Aimar Pérez Galí Based on deep research into the impact of the AIDS epidemic on the Spanish and Latin American dance community, Aimar Pérez Galí uses Contact Improvisation in this piece, in dialogue with the ghosts of the departed. This dance technique, introduced by Steve Paxton, in which movement is improvised from the physical contact between two bodies, is contrasted with the immunity policies brought about by HIV/AIDS.
The Touching Community is an intimate and affecting piece dealing with a time which we still need to raise awareness of today, and tackle with the sensitivity it requires. It is a piece about memory, about the dancers who stopped dancing too soon, about a community that made itself strong at a time of great weakness, and about touch and contact as tools of survival. But, above all, it is a piece that speaks of love, change and fear.
Concept and Direction: Aimar Pérez Galí
Dance: Óscar Dasí and Aimar Pérez Galí
Script: Jaime Conde-Salazar
Research assistance: Aimar Arriola
Set and Lighting Design: Cube.bz
Graphic and Book Design: Roger Adam
Illustrations and Photography: Jordi Surribas and Aimar Pérez Galí
Production: Aimar Pérez Galí / ANTES
With the support of research grants from the Generalitat de Catalunya, Graner - Centre de Creació del Cos i el Moviment (Barcelona), Programa de
Ayudas IBERESCENA, CaixaForum Barcelona, Tabakalera (San Sebastián),
L'animal a l'esquena (Celrà, Girona), PAR – Programa Artistas en Residencia
(Montevideo) and the Centro Cultural de España en Montevideo.
“A month before I was born, in September 1982, the United States Centre for the Control and Prevention of Diseases used the term AIDS for the first time, to avoid the use of GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency), on discovering that the virus was not exclusive to the gay community.
While I was learning my limits as an individual through contact with my parents, many people of the age I am now, or a few years older or younger, were dying from this epidemic. Fear was growing, it was not yet clear how the disease was passed on, and touching had become a risky activity, a source of mistrust. Fluids were in the spotlight and even sweat had become a dangerous one. In dance studios tensions were arising between dancers who had to touch each other’s sweaty bodies in order to practice choreographies.
While my previous piece, Sudando el discurso/Sweating the Discourse, used sweat as a tool to legitimise dance as a discourse, in this new piece it becomes the starting point for understanding a complex, dramatic context. During the 1980s and 1990s HIV grew into an epidemic. The virus is still spreading, though palliative treatments have developed greatly and today it is no longer considered a terminal illness. It spread mainly through the gay community, though not exclusively so as had been thought at first. The dance community suffered particularly, given that a high percentage of dancers are gay. In the space of twenty years a hole had been ripped in a generation, that is little spoken of. The silence is still there, and the need to break it, as the ACT-UP collective declared with their slogan Silence = Death. The story of these events needs to be told.
The Touching Community is based on research into the relationship between dance and AIDS during those those twenty years. The result is a performance in which the spectator is invited to read a report on this research in a welcoming space where a Contact Improvisation is going on. This practice, introduced in the late 1970s - that is to say at the same time as AIDS - by the US dancer Steve Paxton, is based on contact with another person as a starting point for the dance.
While Contact Improvisation was spreading internationally as a new post modern dance practice, a democratic practice based on trust in the other person and sharing the burden, HIV was also spreading, producing the opposite effect as it marginalised and separated the AIDS victim from contact with others.”
The Touching Community, Aimar Pérez Galí