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The 2023 archive

Lazaro Benitez

A choreographic manifesto which brings together the gestural, dance, and musical tradition of Wayuu culture in Colombia and a more contemporary vision. A documentary dance between reality and fiction. 

Occupation, Lazaro Benitez, 2023 © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


Occupation was conceived as a choreographic manifesto. A dance which brings together the gestural, dance, and musical tradition of Wayuu culture and a more contemporary vision. A dance which documents the context of violence and tension that has been the reality of the people of the territory of La Guajira in Colombia since the arrival of multinational companies. 

With this show, we want to create a witness gesture, a documentary dance crossing over through reality and fiction, a dance which can manifest, which can revolt against the establishments of a colonial domination imposed on the Wayuu people to this day. 

The action of protesting invites us to build a fictional space which brings together the stories of the inhabitants of La Guajira (a region at the border of Colombia and Venezuela, where the Wayuu people live), the Yogna dance (a rite of passage for Wayuu girls upon reaching adolescence), the archives they’ve compiled about the occupation of their territory and the damage caused by the company El Cerrejòn, the exploitation of coal, and the privatisation of the only river that grants access to water in the region. 


With Lazaro Benitez, Astergio Pinto, Isabel Villamil
Design and choreography Lazaro Benitez
Sound Isabel Villamil
Choreographic assistant Aime Gaster


Production La Frontera
Coproduction Festival d'Avignon, SACD
With the support of Maison de la Culture d'Amiens Scène nationale
With the help of Casona de la Danza Idartes (Bogota), Montévidéo Centre d'art (Marseille) and La Zouze - Cie Christophe Haleb (Marseille), Accrorap Direction Kader Attou
Acknowledgements Camelia Pinto, Misael Socarras, Luis Carricaburu, Aimé Gaster, Philippe Murcia, Sarah Saby, Henriette Pécoul


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