PHOTO ESSAY: ‘Frontera | Border – A Living Monument’ At Tanz Im August
A dance born at the Mexico-United States border fuels a recent work by Mexican-Chilean-Austrian choreographer Amanda Piña.
“The dance was used to invent colonial difference – we must remember the modern world exists because of the plundering of others – it’s a very interesting dance, and through the years many people couldn’t get its complexity, and the dance was recorded as something where people had to represent their own defeat,” Piña told Exberliner Magazine.
Frontera | Border – A Living Monument, which ran Aug. 20 – 22 at Berlin’s Haus der Statistik as part of the 33rd Tanz im August international dance festival, is a tribute to people who cross borders, figuratively and literally.
Piña continued, in her Exberliner Magazine interview, to explain that Frontera | Border – A Living Monument draws on the larger narrative of the dance at its core, when one of the lead dancers in the piece, Rodrigo de la Torre, began to “dance this dance in a different context and it became very famous and expansive.”
As the title suggests, it has an architectural feel to it at times, with the dancers creating statuesque tableaus with their bodies, particularly at the beginning, building toward a highly energetic dance to percussion.
The summary on the Tanz im August site describes the choreography as, “interweav[ing] hip-hop culture, colonial tales, indigenous practices and mysticism.”
“Piña reminds us that the border is not just a line on a map, but that it cuts into some bodies more than others.”
The dance work, performed on an outdoor stage, was accompanied by “Danza y Fronterato,” an exhibition featuring a film about the performers in the piece, as well as research and costumes. And it’s the fourth installment of a larger work from Piña called Endangered Human Movements.