May 2013

Behind the door

Atempo Danza is a dance collective in Cochabamba that was founded in 2001. It works in three different ways to make the people of Cochabamba aware of Contemporary Dance. These ways are teaching dance to schoolchildren, creating dance projects during (art) events, and choreographing dance shows in Cochabamba and the rest of South America.

By: Davied Meerstra
Projects Abroad Volunteer
Gelderland - Netherlands


Dancing on the street toward the door

Ana Cecilia Moreno and Patricia Sejas are the directors of Detrás de la Puerta, a Contemporary Dance project during the BAU festival of Martadero (a social development project through arts and culture.) in the southern part of Cochabamba. BAU stands for Bienal de Arte Urbano and is an art project where artists will create art in public spaces and streets along the Paseo de las Artes. In the middle of all the graffiti projects, Atempo Danza is performing at the Plazuela Corazonistas on Saturday, April 6th. At eleven in the morning, a bigger crowd than usual is gathering at the Plazuela. They are all dance lovers or former students of one of the directors. With two professional photographers and someone to film the entire performance, surely the whole performance will be captured.


Arriving at the door


Making a room behind the door

Detrás de la Puerta is a contemporary dance project that shows how people move in different spaces. In English, the performance is called “Behind the Door.” The dancers have many items to make a room at the square. This includes a chair, a lamp, a mattress, a coat stand and most of all, a real door. The beginning of the play is marked by crossing the large avenue to get all the items to the square. With a nice calculated pause, when the cars have the green light, the performers smoothly cross the street.


Marcos is dancing behind the door


Marcos and Antonio are dancing behind the door


Marcos uses the new room

Here they clearly show with many small movements how we move in public. When they reach the square, they create make the room. All except two dancers show their moves with the door, which is the center of the whole performance. When the room is finished, the dancers make sure they leave the room for Marcos, who shows the crowd our rituals in our own room: getting in, relaxing, writing, changing and going to sleep. The crowd can relate and is completely silence. When Marcos is asleep, the other dancers come back to change the room and show their moves.


Marcos is going to sleep


Marcos sleeps


Dreaming in his sleep

A contrast in dance moves is visible with the first part outside the room. Great moves with plenty of expression mark the part inside the room. It is up tov the crowd to draw up the conclusion. That is all about contemporary dance and this group. “We ask the questions but don’t answer them.” Ana Cecilia says. “It is up to the audience to draw up a conclusion with our performance in their mind.”

Andrea, Valeria, Gabriela, Antonio, Any, Marcos, and Patricia started this project just three weeks before the performance at the BAU festival. Because all the dancers have other duties during the day such as college and work, they can only practice during the evenings.


Marcos dreaming

Patricia Sejas states that they only had eight practice sessions before the big performance at Plazuela Corazonista, and seven of them were held in the dance studio of the Universidad Católica Boliviana “San Pablo.” They practiced on location only once.


Dancers are taking the room


Dancers are taking the room


Dancers leaving the room


Dancers leaving the room

A great thing about this project is that everyone can join; there is no certain level of experience necessary to be part of the project. Four of the dancers have more than two years of experience, while others have between six month and one year.

After this project Ana Cecilia and Patricia will be performing at the international dance festival at the end of April in Cochabamba just before they will fly to Brazil to choreograph another dance performance. Contemporary Dance is because of it actuality and it link to society booming business!

Letters of visit and
photographic portraits
On one hand, many sectors of the population that before could not have access to an individual or family portrait (mainly cholos and racially mixed) because it was only done through painting -- a luxury only accessible for people
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