The Museo Reina Sofía brings International Dance Day forward to Saturday 28 April with a double programme showcasing the work of choreographers Sofía Asencio (Societat Doctor Alonso) and María Muñoz (Mal Pelo), accompanied by Tirso Orive and Federica Porello, respectively.
Both proposals, despite differing in points of departure and focal points, come together over a specific concern with the relationship between the languages of dance and music. Both are presented as "situations of investigation" around the body; Study for Tambourine draws from popular tradition and the idea of travelling dance, while the choreography of Mal Pelo explores the possibility that the transfer of a performance does not necessarily mean copying and repeating.
“St. John of the Cross speaks in his stanzas of ‘to understand without understanding’
I leave home with Tirso and a tambourine. We look for ecstasy with tired contemplation, imitating the song of certain birds, but without any idea of the meaning of these sounds we are making. We embark on a journey that closes inwards. Merely doing or saying with an iPad, a tambourine and some verses for company. We have made the maxim of St. John of the Cross from the Ascent of Mount Carmel our own, where he says ‘to come to what you are not, you must go by a way in which you are not’.
In the autumn-winter of 2017 we started on this work, which relates dance and music in the spirit of mystique incarnate. For us movement is akin to wondering around places with the aim of ensuring the signs we emit become marked and transformed by the external accidents of the journey; at times intimate, at times abrupt and invasive.
What we are performing here is part of a process of investigation which will culminate in the presentation of a broader work in the autumn of 2018”
Drawing inspiration from the writings of St. John of the Cross and the mystical music of the 15th and 16th centuries in Spain, Study for Tambourine is conceived as a moving dance which strikes up a dialogue between folk references and a widely considered heightened culture. This polarity between knowledge located between the quotidian and the popular and excessively encoded knowledge is used by choreographer Sofía Asencio and experimental musician Tirso Orive to explore the idea of displacement in their own art-related comfort zones.
Sofía Asencio is a choreographer. Between 1989 and 1993 she studied contemporary dance at the Institut del Teatre in Barcelona, while participating in a music magazine with the companies of Tania Doris and Lita Claver La Maña, and in the Music Hall La Belle Epoque. She subsequently worked with Vicente Sáez, Lanonima Imperial, Mudances and Cía. ACTA, and in 1998 she joined the collective General Eléctrica. In 2000 she created, with Tomàs Aragay, Societat Doctor Alonso, a stage company and platform for the research and production of shows in collaboration with other artists and researchers. From 2003 to 2011, with Ernesto Collado and Tomàs Aragay, she directed the collective Cèl·lula, which ran the festival MAPA and collaborated in programmes such as the series Contraban in the Teatre Jardí, Figueres, and the curatorship for Escena Plural in Girona’s Teatre la Mercè.
The work of Tirso Orive Liarte is linked to performance, visual and sound disciplines, with collaboration projects such as DuoCaphre and MarTir. In 2014, he produced the solo Tirsomàtic plays… an infra-active pop concert which later became the playful workshop En què m’he convertit? Through the series GLOSTROPO, started in 2015, he set up PARASITE TOUR, referencing the infrastructure of the companies he has collaborated with, for instance Kokoharuka, Aimar Pérez Galí, Ariadna Rodríguez, Les Brönte, ECDT and Mar Medina. He has also participated in other collaborations, including [Infra] for Xarxa Zande, Possible Bodies for Constant, Testigo Pogo for MACBA’s Habitació 1418 space and CCCB, and the experimental art platform ARTAS, associated with La Poderosa. At the present time, he designs stage pieces for specific sites, for instance GLOSSTROP VII (La Cadena De Negación) for the Antic Teatre in 2017.