recorte cara redesMERCEDES BORONAT (Barcelona, 1962)

After having completed her dance studies at the Institut del Teatre (Barcelona), she started a 4-year formation period in New York’s Marta Graham School, in the José Limón Dance Company and later on the Merce Cunningham Studio, thanks to a grant awarded by the Generalitat de Catalunya.

Techniques and styles learnt in these three modern dance grandmaster’s schools can be sensed in her artistic work. Features of her works, such as body control, the role of the floor in the dance and the inherent expressiveness in visceral – and to some extent violent – movements capable of imparting a high degree of spirituality and emotion, certainly springs from Martha Graham’s school. Other notions also found in her work find its origin in the José Limón Dance Company, such as the “fall and recovery” technique, or the interplay between wheight and wheightlessness. And, finally, her working inbetween dance and performance, and her non-linear and non-figurative approach to dance based on pure movement have been irrevocably influenced by the learnings acquired in the Merce Cunningham Studio.

In 1987 she was awarded the II Premio Tórtola (Valencia) for the coreography Jaucetz Gött, starting point of her career as a coreographer. She created the company Satsumas in 1993 and directed several shows, the most important among them being the piece Petunias, in 1995. In 1997 she performed Francisco Nieva’s Pelo de Tormenta in the Centro Dramático Nacional in Madrid. In 1999 she would join the team of pedagogues and coreographers in the Centro Andaluz de Danza (Sevilla). She toured around Andalucia performing La bicha del Edén and Bichos de Hierba among others. In the year 2000 she founded the center El Palacete de la Boro in Barcelona, which is devoted to research in movement. In this center, besides creating her own pieces, she defines and conveys her methodology based on the “movement awareness” to those actors and dancers seeking to develop their creativity.

In 2001, she created The Red Fox, a piece for the film The Tulse Luper’s Suitcase by Peter Greenaway. Throughout her career, she has created multiple opera and theatre productions, and she has worked as a stage manager in several emerging companies. Her work currently merges performing and visual arts. A good example of it can be found in her video-performance Moksha (2008), the stage productions Magic Home and Butterfly (Sevilla, 2008), or the performative installations To Vibrate (Palma de Mallorca, 2010), and the trilogy Cold- Fred-Frío (Barcelona, 2008), The End. Off (Lisbon, 2009) and To Cook For (Barcelona, 2010). Thus, relying on a solid experience and training, the work of Mercedes Boronat has progressively been placed halfway between dance and performance, in a constant search of the essentiality of the movement.

All her art creations consider the dynamism of the body as the only driving force to physical, psiquical, spiritual and collective transformation. This premise, intuitive in the beginning and later on defined as an essential matter, has become the cornerstone of her artistic research during the last 12 years. Throughout her progressive research, Mercedes Boronat uses dance resources in an unconventional manner, with rather ambiguous linguistic structures and therefore becoming closer to the performance’s world. Her work is well inside the performative field and, although it keeps the body control associated to dance, it avoids the classical Cartesian discipline and the meaningless forms, with the aim of reaching an essential, liberated and visceral physical and mental state.

A search for transformation based in essentiality, which brings the performer/actor beyond the performance, in a personal physical experience, private and public at the same time. Thus, the performers in her performances are “actors” and “audience” at the same time. They’re actors because they assume Boronat’s axioms and they participate actively in them, and they use their techniques to reach free expression; and they’re audience from the moment they let themselves go, although in the control they have over their body lies a sort of chaos from which they can only participate partially.

Within the work of Mercedes Boronat there is a profound interest in spirituality in permanent relation with the physical body actions. This relates inevitably to the main features of the oriental thought, as well as to old culture’s initiation ceremonies. Her research topics deal with fundamental aspects of human nature, which are proven inseparable from bodily experiences and lead in all cases to highly symbolic transcendental mutations.

Mercedes Boronat’s is a mystical approach, because their creative forms are defined by experiences in which the highest degree of attachment of the human soul to the essential/sacred is attained through a physical/earthly experience.


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