Dance in the 80s

The first steps of contemporary dance in Spain

October 25, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. and October 26, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.
Cesc Gelabert Accio-I La vida i la mort. Photography: Viki Sánchez
Cesc Gelabert Accio-I La vida i la mort. Photography: Viki Sánchez
Organized by
Museo Reina Sofía
In collaboration with

In parallel with the presentation of the new section of the Collection: Minimal Resistance. Between late modernism and Globalisation a seminar is to be held, entitled Dance in the 80s: the first steps of contemporary dance in Spain. It includes two round tables, lectures and the display of archival materials in the Collection’s interpretation areas.

It offers a space in which to reflect on a key period in the development of this discipline in Spain.


Once Spain’s transition to democracy was complete, an important new stage began in the configuration of the contemporary culture system and, particularly, that of dance. In the words of the art historian José Antonio Sánchez “the decade of the 1980s was understood as a normalising process”. New exhibition venues appeared, contemporary creation was promoted, in 1980 it became possible to study contemporary dance in a public institution (Institut del Teatre, Barcelona) and in 1985 the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music was founded.

As these new languages took shape, the appearance of festivals, exhibitions and theatres was decisive, since they enabled creators to see international productions and present their own work through new structures such as “Dansa València” (Valencia), Centro Nacional de Nuevas Tendencias Escénicas (Madrid), and Mercat de les Flors (Barcelona), among others.

To explore this period of great creative effervescence, two round tables have been organised. One about institutional development – the different modes of managing and exhibiting the new trends – and another about choreographic creation, which during this decade was very much a melting pot of different languages and forms of experimentation.


Actividad pasada October 25, 2013 - 7:00 p.m.
New agents/new institutions

Debate in which various managers with important roles during that time will analyse institutional development: different methods used in the management and exhibition of the new national and international trends in contemporary dance in Spain.

Moderated by: Beatriz Martínez del Fresno

Participants: Manuel Llanes, Guillermo Heras, Beatriu Daniel and Toni Pastor

Manuel LLanes. Founder, programming director and general director, successively, of the International Theatre Festival of Granada, over a period of 16 years. This Festival specialises in contemporary theatre and dance. Currently the artistic director of Espacios Escénicos, an initiative of the Department of Culture of the Regional Government of Andalucía (at Teatro Central in Seville, Teatro Alhambra in Granada and Teatro Cánovas in Málaga).

Guillermo Heras. Director of Centro Nacional de Nuevas Tendencias Escénicas (1983-1993), which was founded as a platform for exhibiting and producing contemporary dance in Spain. Currently the director of the Muestra de Teatro Español de Autores Contemporáneos and executive secretary of the technical unit at Iberescena.

Beatriu Daniel. Cultural manager specialised in dance. Member of the generation that in the 80s did a great deal to advance contemporary dance in Cataluña, as the co-director of the magazine DANSA-79 and director, from 2005 to 2011 of  “Centre de creació de dansa i arts escèniques.”  

Toni Pastor. Cultural manager for the past 30 years, working for different private enterprises and also public bodies. Through the Generalitat Valenciana, in 1987, he created the Circuito Teatral Valenciano and the contemporary dance festival “Dansa València” in 1988, which he also directed for the first five years. 

Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200

Actividad pasada October 26, 2013 - 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Creation: tendencies and geographies

Round table on the creative effervescence of contemporary dance in the 80s in Spain. Several of the main creators active during those years will discuss the diversity of the languages so characteristic of that period in this country.

Moderated by: Isabel de Naverán

Participants: Angels Margarit, Bocanada Danza (La Ribot and Blanca Calvo), Rosángeles Valls and Antonia Andreu

Angels Margarit. Angels Margarit / Company. MUDANCES began its activity in 1985, taking its name from its first show, MUDANCES. In 2010 Angels Margarit was awarded the National Dance Prize, creation modality, by the Ministry of Culture.

La Ribot and Blanca Calvo. Choreographers and dancers, had the idea in the 80s of founding Bocanada Danza (1986 – 1989), thus creating a young platform for experimentation, one of a kind at that time in Madrid. Afterwards they worked separately: La Ribot began her internationally recognised work with the series "Piezas Distinguidas", which had a major influence on the new conception of contemporary dance. Blanca Calvo would collaborate with the Basque choreographer Ion Munduate in various pieces, and together they undertook the project Mugatxoan, which focused on emerging practices and projects located between choreography and the visual arts. In 1997 La Ribot and Blanca Calvo worked together again, when they organised Desviaciones 1997- 2001, with José A. Sánchez. This project consisted of a series of presentations, debates and lectures of what now might be called “expanded choreography.” Many of the artists and intellectuals who later marked the new currents in international contemporary dance during the following decade were involved in this initiative.

Rosángeles Valls founded Ananda (a Sanskrit work meaning "be happy in all that you do") in 1981 in Valencia. Since then, over 18 shows and numerous prizes and other types of recognition have dotted her long career.

Antonia Andreu. Dancer and choreographer. In 1980 she traveled to New York and studied with Merce Cunningham at the latter’s Professional Training Program. During her time in the city she learned about and took part in the work of other choreographers of post-modern dance, such as Douglas Dunn, Thrisha Brown and Lucinda Childs. In 1986 she returned to Spain and founded her own company.

Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200