Amparo González Sola

South America, Argentina
Art discipline: Dance
Participated in ICAF in: 2020

Dance as a relational practice: exploring reciprocity 

Amparo is a choreographer, dancer, teacher, activist, and researcher from Argentina. She currently lives and works between The Netherlands, Paris and Buenos Aires. Her main field of work is dance, but her approach is very multidisciplinary. Amparo studied philosophy, political science and neurophysiology. She works at the intersection of all these fields. She thinks of her practice as a constellation in which dance and politics, theory and practice, research, creation, and activism, are intimately connected. 

At ICAF, Amparo will facilitate an interactive, literally and figuratively moving workshop in which she shares her experiences in Argentina and elsewhere in the world. In her work, she encourages us to think about dance not as something to be seen from outside, but as a practice to connect with others. To her, aesthetic/ethic/therapeutic/politicalare all intertwined. The aim is to create a space in between where we move while listening to each other. 

In Buenos Aires, Amparo coordinates the programme “Danza/ Grupo KM29" in an institution for young people and women in a situation of social vulnerability (drug abuse, problems with the law, homelessness). For many years she has offered dance activities there, first only for the young people. More recently she has started to involve the teachers of the institution and relatives (the mothers and grandmothers of the young girls, some neighbours). Amparo: “It was especially in this context where I understood that through dance it is possible to produce relevant transformations, not only at the personal level - in the perception of ourselves - but also at the level of the community - in the perception of others and in our relation with others.” Over the past few years years, Amparo has developed similar projects in other contexts, such as Panamá, the United Kingdom, elsewhere in Argentina, and now in The Netherlands.

At the moment and in the coming months leading up to ICAF-8, Amparo is working at the Fifth Season, an arts initiative based at Altrecht in Den Dolder, a facility that provides psychiatric treatment. She is the third artist in a new residency programme financed by the City of Utrecht. Amparo’s interest in the groups she works with in Den Dolder stems from her earlier activism in the Argentinian collective Escena Politica[political scene], which tried to link social movements, activists, and collectives from different fields and countries to think and act about "the common". Finally, Amparo also has strong connections with the feminist movement in Buenos Aires. As she puts it herself: “I think that the intense work we do there to deconstruct the ‘mandate of masculinity’ (in the words of the Argentinian antropologist Rita Segato), our militancy on concrete issues (such as the legalization of abortion), and our spaces for reflection, are fundamental in my practice nowadays.”

Amparo: “In Den Dolder I work with clients and therapists, developing the idea of ‘dance as a relational practice’. Through very simple exercises, I want them to experience a kind of relation - that I named ‘reciprocity’ - in which we are at the same time moving and being moved, affecting and being affected, active and receptive. I have also invited people from outside the institution: the daughter of one of the therapists, who is a neuroscientist and interested in the relationship between brain and dance, a group of students from the Summer School of The Fifth Season who are interested in the relationship between Art and psychiatry, and many more. They were all invited to join the practice - not to observe it from outside - and to reflect about that. I was wondering if it is also possible to have a more "reciprocal" relation between the field of theory and practice. So, everybody was invited to move/be moved and everybody was invited to reflect/listening.”

In the months to come, Amparo wants to extend her circle of participants to members of Den Dolder, a nearby village whose residents were shocked last year by the brutal murder and rape of a young woman by one of the clients of the psychiatric facility: “I believe that to have the opportunity of connection "through reciprocity" – even on a very small scale - could help to change people’s perspectives.

All those experiences, confusions, and fragments of insights will nourish the workshop that Amparo will facilitate at ICAF-8.