© Sara Santervás / “A·Dentro”, by Mercedes Quijada / Palcos Instáveis
The gestural memories were aligned in a visceral choreography, marked by dancing and flamenco singing, in a dialogue with the spectator where the public and the performer nourish each other. Through her body, the artist explores physical and material transformations of a markedly ritualistic nature, in a scenario where the earth invades the space that the body occupies.
Strongly influenced by Tenebrist painting, and its themes associated with suffering, torture and sacrifice, with her new solo, Andalusian dancer Mercedes Quijada hides more than what she lets on. The movement is confined to an area no larger than a small platform, where the lighting seems determined to show only wounds in the darkness. It is from your body that the sound and rhythm of the show emanates, and it is also from your body that we take any image or reading.
In a show of great spatial and visual concentration, Mercedes Quijada creates a lacework made of stories and emotions transformed by the mysterious need to swallow and store them inside, deeper, further away.
Drawing on family experiences, and the “natural school” that has preserved flamenco through generations, Mercedes Quijada seeks to get closer to the roots that determined hers, namely in the expressive use of her hands, and in the way her percussive vocation encompasses a legacy of desire and seduction, as well as violence and servitude.
Marked by the absolute predominance of the body, or the energy contained within it, “A·Dentro” seems invested with an iron will to contain the manifestations of the body within it, and to not allow any expansion in the scenic space, which is reduced to black on black. Black on black. As if everything were darkness, beyond the wounds that illuminate it.
Mercedes Quijada is a choreographer, dancer and visual artist. Born in Granada in 1991, she graduated in Contemporary Dance at the Conservatório Profesional de Danza Reina Sofía, in Granada, and at Oficina Zero, in Porto. Between 2008 and 2015, she was a student of two flamenco masters, Manolete and Mariquilla, and since 2017 she has studied improvisation with Mozambican choreographer Horacio Macuacua.
She studied Fine Arts and has a postgraduate degree in Art Education. Since 2019 she has lived in Porto, where she investigates the technique of improvisation and its relationship with the visual arts, voice and theatricality.
He accumulated stage experience with Eva la Yerbabuena and Victor Hugo Pontes, among others, and participated in the projects “Let’s Dance Europe”, directed by DE LooPERS-dance 2gether, “Cova”, by Mafalda Deville, and “Lowlands”, directed by Hélder Seabra for the Unstable Company.
She collaborates with visual artists Luísa Mota (Porto) and Ania Catherie and Dejna Ti (Berlin) and with the Oficina Zero training program. She has been part of the Self-Mistake project since 2021.
That same year she created “Entre la Pena y la Pared” with Sara Santervás, premiered at the Súbito festival, and the solo “BESTA”. She co-created and danced the duet “SELF”, premiered at the INTERFERÊNCIAS festival, directed by Beatriz Valentim. In 2023 she creates her new solo “A · Dentro” for Palcos Instaveis.
She directs “Perforartes”, a program of proposals for intersections between dance and visual arts in different galleries in Porto.
Dance, M6 – 30 min
Nov 3 and 4 / Sala Estúdio do Teatro Municipal do Porto Campo Alegre
Created and interpreted by: Mercedes Quijada
Sound design: ter/rajo
Light design: Cristóvão Cunha
External look: Horacio Macuacua
Dramaturgical support: Rui Catalão
Visual artist and costume designer: Andy James
Guitarist: José Pedro Lima
Coproduction: Instável – Centro Coreográfico and Teatro Municipal do Porto
With the support of: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian