Carta Blanca for Pablo Messiez With Mónica Valenciano
6 NOV 2023 at 18:00
When I received the invitation to set up a round table discussion around The Gestures, I thought that it would be better to establish a dialogue on stage rather than sitting down to talk. Since it is about gestures, instead of thinking with words and interpretations, think in and with the body, scenically. On the other hand, it has long seemed fundamental to me to insist on recognising the stage as the common medium of choice for those of us involved in the performing arts. And that separating theatre, music and dance only leads to narrow-mindedness.
So I spoke to Mónica Valenciano, one of the stage creators whose work I most admire, and I proposed to her to have this encounter in which, based on words/phrases (instead of the questions at the table, which won’t be the case here), she could respond by improvising scenically, sharing her presence.
Fortunately, despite – or thanks to – the leap into the void implied by the vastness of the proposal, Monica said yes.
The idea is to share a time, alert to the appearance of the gestures that manifest themselves, and then chat with Monica and the play’s team about the experience.
And perhaps, who knows, we’ll be creating a new form of round table. A round table without a table, with space to see and hear how the scene thinks through our bodies.
A proposal by Pablo Messiez, with the participation of Mónica Valenciano.
Pablo Messiez was born in Buenos Aires in 1974. He made his debut in 2007 as playwright and director of Antes, a very free version of Carson McCullers’ Frankie and the Wedding. He has performed for Argentinean stage directors such as Leonor Manso, Cristian Drut, Rubén Szuchmacher and Daniel Suárez Marsal, among others.
In 2005 he was directed by Daniel Veronese in Un hombre que se ahoga, a version of Three Sisters by A. Chekhov, which was part of the Summer Festival at the Lincoln Center in New York and the Tokyo International Arts Festival. It toured Spain in 2006 and returned in 2007, opening the season of the Centro Dramático Nacional at the Teatro María Guerrero in Madrid and being performed at the Teatre Lliure in Barcelona. Messiez continued to work with Daniel Veronese until leaving Argentina in December 2008.
In 2013 he premiered Las palabras at the Autumn Festival in Spring. In 2014 he was invited by the Grumelot Company to create a piece based on texts from the Spanish Golden Age. The result of the collaboration was Los brillantes empeños, a production of the Festival Internacional de Teatro Clásico de Almagro. In 2015 he was invited by the Centro Dramático Nacional to direct the text La piedra oscura by Alberto Conejero, for which he received the Max Award for best direction and best show. In the same year, he premiered his text Los bichos at the Festival Teatro Bombón in Buenos Aires and at the Festival Temporada Alta in Girona.
In 2016 he premiered La distancia, a stage version of Samanta Schweblin’s novel Fever Dream, produced by Bacantes Teatro and performed at El Pavón Teatro Kamikaze. In the same year he also premiered two of his own texts: Ningún aire de ningún sitio, as part of the festival El lugar Sin Límites at the Centro Dramático Nacional, and Todo el tiempo del mundo at the Teatro Palacio Valdés in Avilés, at the Naves del Español in Matadero and at El Pavón Teatro Kamikaze.
In 2017 he premiered Santiago Loza’s text He nacido para verte sonreír at Teatro de La Abadía, and Federico García Lorca’s Bodas de sangre at Teatro María Guerrero of the Centro Dramático Nacional.
In 2018 he wrote and directed for the Kompanyia Lliure El temps que estiguem junts, which he premiered at the Espai Lliure, and he was nominated for the Valle-Inclán awards for his production of He nacido para verte sonreír. In the same year, he premiered the stage version of Manuel Puig’s Cae la noche tropical at the Teatro San Martín in Buenos Aires.
In 2019 he was invited by the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid to direct his version of La verbena de la Paloma as part of the Zarza Project, and premieres at El Ambigú del Teatro Kamikaze La otra mujer (a concert), a piece inspired by Nina Simone and Nina from Chekhov’s The Seagull. Also in 2019 he premiered Las canciones, a play he wrote for El Pavón Teatro Kamikaze.
Parallel to his work as an actor, author and director, he has developed his teaching activity in various studios and institutions. Together with Lucas Condró, he published Asymmetrical-Motion: Notas sobre pedagogía y movimiento, wrote Las palabras de las obras, a compilation of some of his texts, and El tiempo que estemos juntos, all published by Continta Me Tienes.
In 2022, he premiered La voluntad de creer, of which he is the author and director, at the Naves del Español in Matadero, winner of the Max Award for best show in 2022 and currently touring Spain.
© Laia Nogueras
Mónica Valenciano is winner of the 2012 National Dance Prize in the category of Creation.
She holds a degree in Dance and Drama from the Institut del Teatre y Danza in Barcelona and the RESAD in Madrid. She continued her training with different courses, including Dance Improvisation with Katie Duck; Archery, Chi kung; Afro-Peruvian Rhythm with Victoria Santacruz; R. Laban Technique with Pilar Urreta; Boxing; Iyengar Yoga; Kathak Dance in Benares (India); Flamenco Compás (Madrid); Seitai and Tai chi in the traditional Wudang School (China).
She investigates the ability to inhabit any space – to learn to accompany time – to free the voice of the body hidden in the dancing body – to be in the air of any movement. Disappearing better, allowing something to appear, thus becoming the essential movement.
She continues a line of creation and research in collaboration with (G.I.B) El Bailadero, as well as giving workshops and open laboratories. She gives occasional sessions for students on the Master’s Degree in Creation at the Universidad Carlos III and on the Master’s Degree in Performing Arts at the Reina Sofía.
© Jorge Ferreira