Paula Almiron is an Argentinian choreographer and performance artist living in Brussels. She obtained a Master’s degree in Choreography and Arts from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Brussels (ISAC, 2019). Previously, she studied a BFA in Theater at the National University of the Arts in Buenos Aires (2007).
Her practice unfolds at the intersection of choreography, fictional writing and geology, focusing primarily on the different ways in which spaces function. In her work she explores choreography as a listening device: the potential of choreography to write relationships; with special attention to the ways in which the social and the geological construct each other.
Since 2019, she has been working on a series of works that grow in relation to a desert-forming group of water bodies in South America. She also collaborates with Wouter De Raeve in ‘I Build My Language with Rocks’, a choreographic project about the movements of the Noordwijk in Brussels.
Paula’s work has been shown at various locations such as Bâtard Festival (Brussels), Veem House for Performance (Amsterdam), Kunsthalle Zürich, Munar Arte (Buenos Aires), Volumes Art Publishing Days (Zürich), Teatro 25 de Mayo (Buenos Aires), Hamlet Gallery (Zurich), Sala de Belleza (Bogota), among others.
It is said that in colonial times, in the Bolivian Andean plain, settlers labeled the Desaguadero River as devilish, as an evil body of water. By calling the river “the devil,” they wanted to turn it into a place to be avoided, destroyed, and extracted. The accumulation of centuries of continued destruction and extraction resulted in the continued desertification of the Desaguadero River; the transformation of her body from water into salt.
In The River and The Devil, Paula Almiron hosts a choreographic reading space in which a circulation of words, sounds, gestures and objects embodies and imagines the ruins of a disappearing river. What kind of (life) forms can arise in a salt ruin? How can we collectively imagine the living world in a constantly changing environment?
The River and The Devil is a semi-fictional choreography in which the Devil appears as the guardian of the river. Can we learn from the Devil’s power as a tool for resilience? Where has the Devil gone now that the water is gone?
Is the Devil in fact the ruin we are left with? Going to the river was forbidden, but the people disobeyed and kept going…