With “Unison” Cecilia Lisa Eliceche works with one of the most compelling concepts in choreography: the simultaneous execution of the same movement by several people. But what does the idea of unison actually suggest? What are the political and even feminist possibilities of this concept? Eliceche asks whether we can redefine the way we experience being together in society through this formal tool. With an enigmatic yet precise ritual, the piece conjures up dance histories and popular traditions, weaving minimalism with complex relationships, subtlety highlighting our physical experience of togetherness.
- About Cecilia Lisa Eliceche
As a dancer and choreographer, Cecilia Lisa Eliceche (1986, Argentina) is fascinated by the endless potential of the body and movement. She conceives dance as a site to experiment and rethink notions such as ‘democracy’, ‘community’ and ‘the political’. With a cannibalistic and erotic approach, she creates rigorous compositions in tight relation to the history, codes, and traditional heritage of the dance medium.
Eliceche: “I self-identify as a feminist, queer, postcolonial subject, drawing inspiration from seemingly disparate sources, such as Steve Paxton, the cumbia of Pablo Lescano, Trisha Brown, Merce Cunningham, tango, George Balanchine, South American folklore, Anna Teresa de Keersmaeker, tropical music, nature, my fantasies of Lygia Clark and the Tropicalia movement, Native American craft, romantic ballets, social dances, Basque witches…” Her choreographies can be read as personal, bastardized, ‘creole’ mixes of all these sources.
Eliceche studied ballet and contemporary dance at the Bahia Blanca conservatory and attended the University School of Agriculture and Farming at the Universidad Nacional del Sur in Argentina. In 2004 she moved to Madrid to study ballet with Victor Ullate. Two years later she enrolled at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels. This also gave her the opportunity to spend time at Movement Research in New York as an exchange student and to collaborate on DD Dorvillier’s “CPAU Get ready!”
In 2011 she created “Cow’s Theory”, a dance production for three female performers following one principle, that of always maintaining contact with each other. It won second prize in the Prix Jardin d’Europe ‘because of its intense physical exploration of structural dynamics and social relationships’. “Cow’s Theory” was followed in 2014 by the quartet Unison which takes the classic dance format of ‘unison’ as a starting point to re-think ‘togetherness’ and ‘the political’ from a personal, feminist perspective. Recent festival commissions include “Candle Solo with 2 Pianos” (2013) and “The Non-Massage Bastardised Cumbia Performance” (2014).
As an alternative to the standard ‘creation’ process Eliceche has developed the ongoing series of Dance Concerts, which take the form of two-week residencies with a culminating presentation. In these performance events, she explores choreographic, political, social and process-based themes in an evolving dynamic format. The Non-Massage Dance and Touching Sessions are another expression of her commitment to challenging typical modes of production, in search for new forms and collaborative constellations. One of the forms this takes is “TNMD a performative treatment”, developed in partnership with Manon Santkin.
In addition to her work as choreographer, Eliceche is a freelance dancer and an assistant to ballet master Janet Panetta. She danced in work by (among others) Eleanor Bauer, Heather Kravas, Claire Croizé, Etienne Guilloteau and DD Dorvillier. Currently, she is attending the Master of Choreography at the Amsterdam Hogeschool voor de Kunsten. She is an active member of State of the Arts and practices political activism in her daily life as an member of civil society.
Concept & direction: Cecilia Lisa Eliceche. Practical & conceptual mentorship: Manon Santkin . Alternately performed by: Eveline Van Bauwel, Gilles Polet, Michael Helland, Tarek Halaby, Manon Santkin, Cecilia Lisa Eliceche. Music: Christophe Albertijn. Technical creation: Johanes Vochten. Research & creation: Michael Helland, Gilles Polet, Eveline Van Bauwel, Cecilia Lisa Eliceche, Steven Michel, Boglarka Borcksoc, Pablo Esbert Lilienfeld, Guiomar Campos Acosta, Elisa Yvelin. Production creation 2014: STUK (Leuven). Production re-run 2015: wpZimmer (Antwerp). Co-production: Workspacebrussels (Brussels), Vooruit (Ghent) with the support of Départs / European Commission (Culture Program) and DNA (Departures and Arrivals / co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union). Residencies: STUK (Leuven), Workspacebrussels (Brussels), Vooruit (Ghent), wpZimmer (Antwerp), La Casa enscendida (Madrid), TAKT Dommelhof (Neerpelt)
- Cecilia Lisa Eliceche
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