Demonios: las huellas del dolor (Demons: The Traces of Pain), written by  Ingrid Águila, and directed by Luis Santillánis part of the Movement of Intimate Theatre Made for Apartments created by Javier Villanova in 2011 in Mexico. One of the movement’s main goals is to turn any space into a theatrical space. Thus the actors will perform in any inhabited space where they are invited. They perform for small audiences to be able to exchange “an honest glance, a word, a whisper that will create a connection” between the actors and their audience. Every week the plays move to a different apartment, art gallery, or any other space where people are willing to welcome the theatrical group with open arms. Therefore, to find out where the play is showing audiences must twitter @demoniosolas or @movteatro or go to Facebook / Movimiento Teatro Íntimo Para Departamentos.

Águila’s play is constructed around four characters, however, there is no plot development. Instead, it is comprised of a series of situations that unfold as the characters meet each other. In each situation, the characters confront the traces of pain which then translate into their individual demons, though fictionalized. Each of the characters’ responses to a particular situation constitutes the components that advance the drama. Even though it is a project born out of an exploratory process, the play is presented as a finished product, not as a work in progress.

Each one of the actresses portrays a different type of demon. According to one reviewer, the director sensibly plays a role that functions more as a means of support for the other characters. The play includes dance performances and the one they dance to the song “My body is a cage” seems to be the best one.

Bulimia, the death, love, and sadomasochism are some of the topics dramatized by the characters. Águila claims that these difficult issues are not meant to agitate for the sake of agitating, but to make audiences feel, to encourage them to participate.

In an interview on Youtube Ingrid Águila and Tanya Valenzuela comment on the experience of arriving at a stranger’s home and adapting to the surroundings. They have to make do with whatever is available to put on the play. By performing in closed quarters, in a space where the fourth wall has disappeared, and where the distance between the actors and the audience may be an arm’s-length away, this theatrical movement hopes to dissipate the distinction between actors and spectators. The idea is to find spaces where difficult issues can be raised and everyone dialogues freely.


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This post was written by Margarita Vargas.

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