Prisma 2023: Dance Takes Over Panama
This year, PRISMA (International Contemporary Dance Festival of Panama) will take place October 12-21.
By Panorama de las Américas
In October, Panama City becomes one big stage. The 12th PRISMA Contemporary Dance Festival, now a tradition, will present the city with first-rate programming, filling its principal indoor and outdoor stages with artists from Germany, Argentina, Spain, France, Mexico, Norway, the Netherlands, Panama, and Taiwan.
As in previous festivals, this year’s celebration focuses on three lines of action: performance, with top-notch international artistic presentations; community outreach, with free performances for public school students and beneficiaries of social foundations in spaces open to the public; and pedagogy, with master classes and free workshops.
International guests include Jo Strømgren Kompani (JSK), which was founded in 1998 in Norway and is now ranked as the most successful independent group in Scandinavia. The group is known for its unique mix of dance and theater, its language of the absurd, and its humor.
Marcat Dance, the artistic home of multi-award-winning Spanish choreographer Mario Bermúdez and North American dancer Catherine Coury, the company’s co-director, also boasts multiple international awards.
And Cia. Nadine Gerspacher explores the everyday in dance-theater of small worlds inhabited by eccentric characters with narratives that mix the absurd and the poetic.
The festival’s main stages will be the National Theater and the Ateneo Theater, but there will also be performances in the Panama City subway, Biomuseo, and the Escuela Nacional de Panamá. In addition, videodance pieces will be projected in different places, including subway cars in Panama City and La Manzana in the Santa Ana sector.
According to Analida Galindo, the festival’s co-director, the free open-air performances hope to cultivate new audiences by bringing dance to passersby who wouldn’t normally go to see it in a theater.
The pedagogical component includes two artistic residencies of approximately two weeks each: one for professional dancers, led by Argentine creator Juan Jesús Guiraldi; and the other, led by the Mexican choreographer Omar Carrum, geared toward young people from vulnerable communities who use dance as a tool for transformation. The choreographer will hold auditions for the workshop with young dancers from the Espacio Creativo, Danza Aérea, and Movimiento Nueva Generación foundations in a creation laboratory culminating in a performance during the festival. There will also be more than a dozen free classes and a hands-on dance writing workshop.
For the first time since the pandemic, the school program will invite 1,100 public school children to enjoy a performance by the French company &CO.