Aitana Cordero

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body, pain, power, sexuality, tenderness, violence
Performing Arts (Dance/ Free Dance)
Europe, Southern
created on:
May 28, 2009
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A Perverse Interest in Bodies

Bodies fascinate Aitana Cordero, almost to the point of obsession. The Spanish choreographer, dancer and performer even thinks of herself as being perverse. Cordero observes and explores the body: individually or in interaction with other bodies, anatomical features that can give meaning to social and cultural patterns of behavior. She has been fascinated for years by bodies getting together and touching. In "Three Duets,” for example, three dancers roll, throw, drag and tear her body across the floor as if she was a crash-test dummy.
Two men and a woman are seated on chairs at the front of the barely illuminated stage to the right. Aitana Cordero enters the stage and lies down. A bright spotlight envelops her, moving her to the center of the otherwise darkened stage. One of the men gets up, goes towards her, and continuously walks along the edge of the spotlight. Finally, he penetrates the circle of light and begins to pull her body. He vigorously tears at her arms, pulls her jeans and rolls her over him. Then he drags her body along the floor. Cordero doesn’t resist, she doesn’t react at all; she is being moved by forces acting upon her. Yet, still, there are brief, almost tender moments. The two bodies become a single structure and appear to complement one another, sometimes Cordero’s leg glides over her partner’s leg, giving the impression of a reaction, or you hope for one. But the tenderness remains a point of contrast.

Then the second dancer circles around her. He rushes straight at her, throws himself onto the floor and slings her body over him. Her head jerks backward and slams on the floor. Now, at the very latest, the line between performance and reality blurs. It seems as if the man is trying to make Cordero react. The dancer is rough, grabs at her breast, acts aggressive and sexually abusive. You want to protect the victim, you feel Cordero’s pain. Even when the dancer slows his movements, it doesn’t look gentle, rather it’s like a predator pausing a moment to examine its prey.

In the third and final duet, the female dancer also pitilessly drags Cordero’s body across the floor, flings it to the left and right, lets it drop, bends and twists it. "Who and what is this body?" you ask yourself again and again. It seems to be a mere object, and Cordero no longer exists as a human being.

Cordero wants the audience and performer to share responsibility in the creation and perception of her pieces. In "The Three Duets," she presents herself as an empty space for the audience to fill. And without a doubt, the performance is experienced rather than interpreted, which is precisely her intention. Yet, we are mystified: In each of the three duets, the dancer is tossed around like a puppet, and in each we are left with a different image. But none that goes without question.
Author: Katharina Koschorreck


Prior to devoting herself to dance, Cordero had been a professional judo practitioner for 10 years. In 2002, she earned a degree in contemporary dance in Madrid. In 2006, she earned a BA in dance, and in 2008, a master’s degree in choreographer and new media, both from the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor Kunsten. In 2006, she obtained a degree in Gender Studies at the AHK Keuzevak. Cordero is the recipient of numerous scholarships, including the ImpulsTanz Festival in Vienna and the Spanish Cultural and Educational Ministry. Parallel to her studies in 1999, she began creating her own projects. She achieved early success, winning first place in 2000 at Maspalomas, Spain’s International Choreography Competition with "A Falta de Pan de Nuestra Linea Prima.” Several pieces followed, including "Do You Want To Use Me?" (2005), "Sex Me Not" (2006), "Where We Are Not" (2006), in collaboration with Lina Issa), "Surviving to Number 3 "(2007) and "The 3 Duets "(2008) and" Solo ...? "(2008), which will be performed at HKW. Since 2003, Cordero has created numerous video installations, including "La Afirmatcion del Tú-Tú," a work that won the 2004 International Video Dance Festival Award in Caceres, Spain, and was shown at FIVU05 in Montevideo, Uruguay and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Cordero has been leading dance workshops since 1997, in Madrid, Barcelona, London and Amsterdam.



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This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the partner institutions.


Resistance of the Object

(11 June 09 - 21 June 09)


Homepage of the artist

The 3 duets