Plataforma Chocó: Nemecio Berrio

Más Arte Más Acción asked Colombian dancer-choreographer Nemecio Berrio to participate in a three month African diaspora workshop in Senegal at the Escole des Sables. We then invited Nemecio to share his African experiences with the remote communities of Joví and Coquí, forming the first Plataforma Chocó project.

During his month in the rainforest Nemecio had time to reflect on how people live within this extremely isolated setting. During his stay he worked with women from Coquí, exploring their ideas of culture and ancestry through dance and movement. The women sang a beautiful song about their black ancestry. Despite it's negative first impression "Nobody loves me because I'm black...only my mother loves me because I'm black..." the song turns out to be a joyous celebration of their colour.

With the song as a starting point and through workshops with the group, Nemecio created a dance with over 20 women to talk about his encounters in Chocó. His processes in were recorded by Andrés Vélez and the results can be seen in this video, which was screened at the 2011 New York Independent Film and Video Festival.

Nemecio's Plataforma Chocó terminated with a two-week residency at Casa Tres Patios in Medellín. Here he led a series of workshops based on his experiences in Senegal and Chocó, with a group of dance students at the University of Antioquia. The workshops were highly valued by the students who were given a unique opportunity to learn techniques and ideas taught at Escole des Sables in Senegal and learn more about Chocó.

Plataforma Chocó and Nemecio's project were finally presented to a packed audience at Casa Tres Patios. In association with Red de Emprendedores Bavaria, a live Internet broadcast enabled over three hundred viewers to watch and participate on-line.

In December 2011 Fernando Arias was invited to create the opening performance for the Prince Claus Awards at the royal palace in Amsterdam with Nemecio and Escole des Sables in Senegal. The new piece combined a video installation revealing Chocó's powerful natural environment with a compelling dance duet.

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