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CAI: Itziar, so my experience of the journey, and I am speaking about the movement’s journey, has been from one point to a very different point, starting with very abstract movements, not literal in a way, very abstract. Over time the movements changed into something much more known perhaps, or popular maybe, or…

LUIS: pop, popular, claro, claro, sí.

CAI: pop, pop, and I found this super interesting, and I ought to say something briefly about the way in which we always started was with the cards was like a tarot.

LOLA: was like a…?

CAI: the tarot. We always start with the cards, every time, and I always wondered actually, we need this form, this ritual as a way in, always. And every time we worked with the cards, Itziar drew the cards of the female, every time, almost identical. Out of the cards, of 200, she drew the same, each time. Each time the feminine, the body, the hands, the hair, and one session I asked which cards is the one that feels most important? And she drew a card of three females with their back, with very long hair. And this was the point of the story of pelo, the story of the hair. When Itziar was dancing, over the months she was dancing an imitation with a gesture of the hair. And then we asked the question of what would it be like to have the hair. This is when Lilli came in to make the costume and to make this gesture real, to bring it into real. So, yes, this question of the feminine, the power, the archetype has become more present since September. When I came back in September, it was like wow! What happened? This pop dance, this expressive pop feminine, the body, the sexuality, everything … and I was like wow! Lost!. I was lost, I don’t know, I had no idea. What to do, how to be, how to … I felt like wooh, wooh, how do I?

Because she was dancing, very kind of powerfully…

LUIS: sí, playing the archetype, claro.

CAI: so then, in this point, in that week, I realized, it took me some time, but I realized I don’t need to make any restriction on her expression. I don’t need to direct, advise, suggest. Nothing. I need to get out of the way as much as possible so that she needs to dance, the dance that she dances, because there’s enough restrictions in life, no? and this is a place of theatre, it’s the place where possibly she can experience some kind of freedom, and some kind of joy and a reverence for her body. And if that can be possible, then fantastic! and that’s when something changed for me in the work. 

LOLA: ¿y cuándo se decidió el traje? o sea, el traje que lleva ahora, ¿cuándo lo decidieron?

LUIS: when was the dress made? When was it decided?

LOLA: before the change or…?

CAI: after. With Lilli she drew, they drew the picture of exactly the costume and Itziar said: I want this on my eyes, I want this…

LOLA: this, she said or she drew?

CAI: I think Lilli was asking what do you want.  I want this on my face, I want arms to have …I was this… and then Lilli was drawing.

LOLA: with pants, no vest, she said that…

LUIS: ¿el qué?

LOLA: que eligió pantalones ajustados, no?… o sea se fue un poco del, del tipo más romántico de la mujer, no?

CAI: so I was lost in the middle, I was like wow, wow, wow! and it was great because, once again, any expectation, idea, or thought that this process would be like this, was broken again and I had to do my work, no? To do my work of being with the reality of what was happening, be with the reality and attend to this, don’t attend to my expectation and this feminine, when Lola, when we went out for the first time to work with Itziar and we worked with the paper…

LOLA: yes, I remember that.

CAI: and we wrapped the paper around Itziar she made a belly. And this belly appeared and she was shaping the belly as if, like the Mary Magdalene. 

LOLA: sí, sí.

CAI: shaping with reverence to this baby. So the story of the feminine, the story of the female, I think, in my writing, has been almost like underneath, like a river, underneath, flowing through the whole of the time working. It’s been always there, coming out, sometimes coming down. The river of this femininity and how that is transformed and changed through the work.

LOLA: yes, yes. This is… I like very much that because I think the hair, the feminine hair is a very strong archetype but it has two senses. It’s a great power of the woman, and also submission towards man. Por ejemplo, el otro día en el museo del Prado, there is a very old painting from the, ¿cómo se dice?, romanic painting with Magdalena… lava los pies de Jesús.

LUIS: washing the feet of Jesus.

LOLA: lava los pies de Jesús y su pelo largo cae sobre los pies… es como un indicio de sumisión frente al hombre, pero también es un poder de seducción, no? Por eso el velo, para cubrir el pelo. Yo creo que en la elección de las cartas de Itziar están esas dos formas. 

LUIS: tengo que buscar, I have a very good diccionario de símbolos.

CAI: the symbol of the hair .

LUIS: I have to look the meaning of the symbol of the hair.

LOLA: hair is very important. The religion covered the hair. The hair of woman is a pecado. ¿Cómo se dice pecado?

LUIS: sin.

CAI: interesting one.  And her movements? You know, my experience of her movements… the way in which she composes… the other day was exceptional. Again I was like, wow! how is this, how, where, where does this composition come from? Because she was making pop movements with her elbows and arms, and her spine, and her body. And then all of a sudden she would make an imitation of rowing a boat. She’d break the form, cut the form of the feminine, of this act,  cut it like a sword and then she would begin again. But she would punctuate something with this almost literal movement, like a thought appearing, and I found this very powerful. 

LUIS: sí, It’s a dialogue between, in my opinion, what is borrowed from outside, no sé, the videoclip of Madonna, Beyoncé, maybe Madonna is very old but something between this dialogue from the borrowed and what is yours.

LOLA: borrowed qué es?

LUIS: Borrowed es prestado. Lo que es prestado de fuera y lo que es tuyo. Y en ese dialogo,  en ese encuentro aparece la expresión, no?

CAI: Yes, what is borrowed and what is yours, for sure. And the complexity in a way, but also not, of her expression, of this search of what’s mine, what’s coming this way from the culture. But the way in which she composes the movement I find…

LUIS: we have talked about the need of the… la necesidad del personaje, es decir, el dialogo entre yo y el personaje, entiendes? The need of something that is not you but you use as a vehicle, como un vehículo, to appear, no? para representarte a ti mismo. Maybe this is part of this dialogue between what is borrowed from outside and what is mine.

LOLA: maybe in Itziar the movement is first than the…maybe the movement brings the character.

LUIS: sí, sí.

LOLA: because the  movement is very spontaneous and she changes… The last day, le pregunté, I asked her what images do you have when you dance? Because she made some movement of character, como de bruja, las manos, the witch… a lot of persons, a lot of characters.

LUIS: sí, es un catálogo de personajes.

LOLA: I think is the movement the first.

LUIS: sí. Lo que se pliega al movimiento es lo que entra. 

LOLA: eso es.

CAI: it’s got a lots of borrowed qualitie but also within this parts of borrowed there’s an inherent whole. I can see the whole. Yes, absolutely.

LOLA: y es muy segura, me encanta cuando… I like very much that she is very sure when she is in vest…

LUIS: investida, no?

CAI: yes, invested. Before she starts, you say Itziar, are you ready? And she is standing.

LUIS: claro, you enter in the character.

LOLA: no hay duda.

LUIS: you leave behind this other Itziar to enter in the new one.

CAI:  and I think the question, which is maybe a question for all of the work, there’s something which you said before Lola, it’s something about appearing. The appearance and the disappearance. The appearance… and my sense with Itziar is that she appears through the dance.

LOLA: yes, this is very important.

LUIS: and also … this is the main question of your project and of Debajo del Sombrero. This is the question. Nacer.

CAI: movement seems to be, I don’t know if it´s one, if not, one of her primary languages, no?

LUIS: sí, sí, claro, of course.

CAI: as in the one that she may be goes to first as a way of expression.

LUIS: yo iba a decir que estamos hablando del uso de imágenes externas, no? combinadas con lo que uno es, no? Para en el caso de Itziar, y yo creo que un poco en el caso general.

LOLA: sí, de todos.

LUIS: y bueno, a mí eso me recuerda a eso que escribe María Zambrano de nacer sin imagen . Es decir, nacer en el sentido de aparecer sin toda la carga de prejuicios, sin toda la carga en definitiva de imágenes no prestadas sino puestas encima de ti. En el caso de la discapacidad intelectual es manifiesto. Así que curiosamente esa relación entre la imagen, o sea entre el personaje, el carácter y la persona, creo que inciden en esa dirección de nacer sin imagen. Do you understand what I said? I said that this dialogue that we are talking about between the images borrowed from outside, the archetypes and what is you, is a mix that goes in the direction of appearing, but also in the sense of nacer, to be born, without images, without all the prejudge above you.

CAI: yes, the cultural, the expectations, the familiar.

LUIS: which in mental disability is super heavy.

CAI: strong.

LUIS: everything that surrounds mental disability are, cómo he dicho, imágenes, prejuicios, above you. You are this, you are that, you are child. Right now the modern politics about disabilities says, we were talking about that last days, they are not child, they are adults. Suddenly. But this is a new image, a new prejudge.

CAI: I think this, I was writing last night about Itziar and this thing of reclaiming. Reclaim. Something, this is an interpretation to say, this is my… but a reclaiming of things that society has taken away by of course being, or having a disability.

LOLA: yes, because her disability is very small, and she is like a child and she is… for every woman is very difficult to have an identity in this society. But for Itziar is…

LUIS: even more.

LOLA: even more, because she…

LUIS: se multiplica la dificultad.

LOLA: it’s very difficult. This character of strong woman. She makes a good choice. it’s the best choice. I  am a woman with sexuality, powerful, and yes, in the stage I can be taller, because no se ve que eres bajita.

CAI: you can claim.

LUIS: she becomes bigger.

CAI: she can claim her space. When I watch her move I feel nothing but a joy, a sense of celebration, for this time, for this spirit to come through is celebrating.

LOLA: and she makes that true, the same with Belén, she is not … It’s not important, no tanto como Belén, but it’s not very important what we think.

LUIS: when she dances she’s in, inside, in the dance, she doesn’t pay attention to the other. 

main screen

camera: John Collingswood

drumloop: Meilyr Tomos

costume: Lilli Hartmann

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second screen

camera: Cai Tomos & María Sol Álvarez

edit: John Collingswood

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