Codified Mandarins under Clock

  • Julia Barros de la Maro / Dance / Honours Programme / Arnhem

My experience with architecture – I took an architecture Bachelor’s at the University of Mexico (UNAM) – greatly inspired my choreography. I want to link the human body with a context that includes objects and buildings as well. In doing so, I try to look past objects as décor and architecture as space.


In my fourth year I danced for three choreographers who shed new light on the relationship between man and animal: David Weber Krebs with Balthazar (Brussels – Amsterdam), man and object: Clement Layes Public in Private (Berlin) and man and elusive material (light, smoke, air, music): Ula Sickle Lights Solo (Brussels).


These three artists are the topic of my Honours Programme research. This research is about the philosophy of new materialism. New materialism rejects dualism and the idea of interaction as a relationship between forces. Instead, it looks at the space between the different agents, giving a new dimension to identities and knowledge.


In dance this would mean questioning the traditional notion of the body in a material world. Dance is usually about the endless possibilities of the human body. I prefer to draw inspiration from seeing how these artists surpass the body to confront the audience with their own sense of humanity.


I was able to put my research into practice at the Bains Connective in Brussel, where I collaborated with Dominik Feistmantl to create the forty-minute duet Codified Mandarins under clock. Repetition, interaction with the audience, playing with social assumptions and amplified sound made this performance possible. Even though this performance has a strong theoretical background, it is still a playful event for the audience, as they get drawn in and participate in a game of reinventing meaning.


I came to Europe to grow and discover. Back in Mexico I want to apply the theories learned to give a new impetus to our creativity and rich culture.