By Cristina Vázquez
It is commendable that, from independent production, the binational artistic duo made up of the French Sarah Matry-Guerre and the Mexican Renato González launch the first edition of Solid-Air, an online festival dedicated to dance, where the importance granted to international cooperation makes it possible for 18 countries to be represented in the programming, which takes place from April 1 to 25, 2021.
Although the pandemic triggered the exhibition of artistic work in virtuality, this pair of dancers and choreographers found a different mechanism to promote the creation of young colleagues by combining dance with film and offering the public something more than the visual register of a show.
Solid-Air accommodates a diversity of cultural expressions such as documentaries, video dance, digital animation, dance-theater, interactive works and proposals that explore sound art. And its diversity is also thematic, as it reflects on identity, the LGBTTTIQ community, man’s relationship with nature, ambivalences, human confrontation and the use of our voice.
The festival offer comes from Germany, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Spain, Slovakia, United States, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Israel, Mexico, Poland, Switzerland and Taiwan. These are key countries in the generation of contemporary dance proposals.
Both the richness of dance formats and themes, as well as the different trajectories of the thirty artists and companies, and the wide range of nationalities that make up the program, highlight Solid-Air’s values: inclusion, diversity, equity and creativity.
The relevance of this festival is its birth outside the institutional sphere and the different way of disseminating and consuming the arts. The public chooses what they can and want to see from the 41 works, including eight world premieres, and creators are favored by receiving 70 percent of the revenue generated at the box office, under the modality of pay per event.
The minimum cost of the tickets is three euros (equivalent to 74 pesos), there is a fee of 7 euros (equivalent to 172 pesos) and a solidarity fee with the artists, in which the public can contribute a greater amount of resources.
The program comprises no less than 11 Mexican groups and soloists: Lux Boreal, Cuatro x Cuatro, Laleget Danza, Foco al Aire, the UNAM Choreographic Workshop, Moving Borders, Proyecto al Margen, Catalina Navarrete, Yuki Pastrana, Omar Carrum and Renato Gonzalez.
It should be noted that Solid-Air marks the debut of the Working Ensemble Company (W.E. Cie), a civil association, headed by artistic directors Sarah and Renato, with the mission of promoting art and exchange between artists (their plan is to organize residencies between France and Mexico), and also among audiences from widely divergent latitudes. And it is precisely the virtual stage that allows breaking established borders.
It is the purpose of the company, headed by the Franco-Mexican duo, for the festival to transcend the barriers between disciplines. It is true that it focuses on the work of the body, but it puts it in dialogue with the visual arts, science and technology.
Solid-Air will take place once a year, for four weeks, with the intention is to enrich it with master classes and lectures. The platform that hosts the festival will remain throughout the year to offer seasonal programming online in order to gradually form audiences, to familiarize them with pay-per-view while supporting creators financially.
By recognizing diverse work, inclusion, and equity in cultural and artistic expressions, we can actively participate in these efforts from our trenches, be they creators, audiences, managers, presenters, and other arts professionals.
More information about the festival can be found on the website: solidair.art and at @SolidAirFest (on Facebook) and solidairfest (Instagram).
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Cristina Vázquez, director of Contenidos Artísticos Production and Diffusion, is a cultural manager, programmer and producer. One of her main purposes is to promote the circulation of the Performing Arts.
Mexican, from the city of León, she graduated from the Communication Sciences career and continued her training as a cultural manager with studies from the National Council for Culture and the Arts and in 17, the Institute of Critical Studies, where she obtained the Cultural Management Certificate from the Critical Entrepreneurship.
Cristina Vázquez has the strong conviction that going to meet new viewers, both in Mexico and in the United States and other countries, contributes to fighting stereotypes, opening new communication channels and forming communities.
Her quest is to create lasting relationships between audiences, artists and institutions. The expansion of audiences, she thinks, generates knowledge and understanding among the inhabitants of this global village.
In 2012 she founded Contenidos Artísticos, a firm dedicated to the programming, production and dissemination of artistic and cultural projects, based in Mexico, which is complemented, since 2015, with Contenidos Artísticos INC, based in Chicago, Illinois.
With the multidisciplinary collaboration of important allies, Cristina Vázquez advised the Municipality of Zacatecas in the elaboration of its Cultural Development Plan and coordinated the National Book Fair (Fenal) from 2006 to 2009. Since 2016, she has been collaborating permanently with the Cultural Institute of León in various programming and production projects.
She was a programmer at the Teatro del Bicentenario in León, has worked with the Teatro Juárez in Guanajuato and developed and operated the urban meeting “Todo sobre Ruelas” in Zacatecas.
In addition, in 2012 and 2013 she produced and programmed the José Alfredo Jiménez International Festival, which pays tribute to the great Mexican icon and singer-songwriter, in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato.
Since 2013 she works for the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature (INBAL). She has produced and coordinated important projects with the Mexican National Ballet Company having as headquarters the Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Juárez Theater, during the Cervantino Festival, as well as with the National Opera Company and the National Theater Coordination. In 2019, she began a collaboration with the National Center for the Arts (CENART) by producing the International Black and White Piano Festival.
In 2018, she made alliances with agencies in the United States for the circulation of the performing arts in Mexico. This is how she presented Fuse, a group based in Italy, with its multimedia performance Dökk and the Colombian company Sankofa Danzafro with its acclaimed show La ciudad de los otros.
Through Contenidos Artísticos INC, the production agency, for the past five years she has focused on bicultural work between Mexico and the United States. Her work has been to find spaces for Mexican artists to present themselves on the other side of the border, while contributing to the construction of an image of Mexican culture and art that transcends the folkloric.
In 2017 she introduced the Mexican poet Rojo Córdoba, who worked with Spoken Word groups, in Chicago. And the following year she promoted three Mexican bands: Troker, electronic jazz; Doble Redoble, contemporary cumbia, and Sonido Gallo Negro, a psychedelic cumbia group for which she organized a tour in the United States. This in conjunction with various Latino festivals and organizations in Chicago, such as the Mole de Mayo Festival. Thanks to these alliances, she has produced tours for artists from Chicago and other cities in the United States in Mexico.
During November 2018, she invited Mexican programmers to see, both in Chicago and New York, the work of Manual Cinema, a multidisciplinary company that combines cinematographic techniques with shadow theater, sound and music to create immersive experiences.
She co-produces the Tania Pérez-Salas Company since 2018. During 2019 she worked on the organization of their tour through Mexico, the United States and Canada, which would take place in the following year.
As of January 20, 2020, Vázquez is the first Mexican woman to be part of the Board of Directors of the Association of Professionals for the Performing Arts (APAP), which emerged in 1957 in the United States and is a world leader in this cultural field. One of their main tasks is to participate and promote REDI (Racial Equity Diversity and Inclusion) policies.
The great pragmatism and permanent professionalism of Cristina Vázquez has allowed her to contribute to the artistic and cultural development of Mexico and its international projection.
Versión en español
Cristina Vázquez, directora de Contenidos Artísticos Producción y Difusión, es gestora cultural, programadora y productora. Uno de sus propósitos principales es fomentar la interculturalidad a través de la circulación de las artes.
Concibe la interculturalidad como el encuentro, la interacción y reconstrucción de las distintas culturas locales. En palabras del experto argentino Carlos Moneta, permite comparar formas de vida y establecer comunicaciones portadoras de imágenes, valores y contenidos que afectan las identidades más allá de la nacionalidad.
En 2012 fundó Contenidos Artísticos, firma dedicada a la programación, producción y difusión de proyectos artísticos y culturales, con sede en México, que se complementa, desde 2015, con Contenidos Artísticos INC, con sede en Chicago, Illinois.
A través de Contenidos Artísticos INC, la agencia productora, se ha enfocado desde hace un lustro en el trabajo bicultural entre México y Estados Unidos. Su labor ha sido la de buscar espacios para que los artistas mexicanos se presenten del otro lado de la frontera, aportando a la vez la construcción de una imagen de la cultura y el arte mexicano que trasciende lo folclórico.
Esa apertura de espacios permite visualizar, en ambos países, que las artes escénicas son una herramienta indispensable para construir un intercambio artístico de calidad permanente y atender a la diversidad de públicos.
Originaria de León, Guanajuato, Vázquez es egresada de la carrera de Ciencias de la Comunicación y
continuó su formación como gestora cultural con 17, Instituto de Estudios Críticos.
El gran pragmatismo y la permanente profesionalización de Cristina Vázquez le han permitido coadyuvar
al desarrollo artístico y cultural de México y su proyección a nivel internacional.
A partir del 20 de enero de 2020, Vázquez es la primera mujer mexicana en formar parte del Consejo Directivo de la Asociación de Profesionales de las Artes Escénicas (APAP por sus siglas en inglés), surgida en 1957 en Estados Unidos y líder a nivel mundial en este ámbito cultural.
Recientemente organizó la gira de la Compañía Tania Pérez-Salas por México, Estados Unidos y Canadá, pero debido a la pandemia derivada del coronavirus el grupo de danza contemporánea únicamente alcanzó a dar un par de funciones, el 13 y 14 de marzo, en el Teatro Juárez de Guanajuato con el apoyo de EFIDANZA.