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Breaking barriers: Colombia-based street theater group to perform at festival

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Nicolás CiFuentes enjoys pushing boundaries.

It’s what he has done all his life within live performance.

“We created boundaries for ourselves,” he says.

CiFuentes is the founder of Nemcatacoa Teatro – a street and experimental theater group.

It was founded in Bogota, Colombia, at the end of 2000 as an expressive necessity for a group of youths focused on training, exploration and use of stilts as an instrument of the actor.

Over the course of nearly two decades, CiFuentes says, the company members have worked together to create pieces that inspire and have a message.

The group will perform at the Paseo 2018 in Taos on Friday, Sept. 14, and Saturday, Sept. 15.

Nemcatacoa Teatro will recast its show, "Landscape Re-Invention Society," to the surroundings in Taos. (Courtesy of Nemcatacoa Teatro)

Nemcatacoa Teatro will recast its show, “Landscape Re-Invention Society,” to the surroundings in Taos. (Courtesy of Nemcatacoa Teatro)

The Paseo Project – now in its fifth year – is a series of immersive and participatory art installations that harness art, science and technology as tools for the contemplation of “Space,” which is this year’s theme. Installations and performances will take place in the Taos Historic District and Kit Carson Park to showcase the art installations. Admission is free.

Colombia-based Nemcatacoa Teatro will perform “Landscape Re-Invention Society” in Taos. (Courtesy of Nemcatacoa Teatro)

Colombia-based Nemcatacoa Teatro will perform “Landscape Re-Invention Society” in Taos. (Courtesy of Nemcatacoa Teatro)

CiFuentes and NemcatacoaTeatro will perform “Landscape Re-Invention Society.”

The piece is a mobile spectacle that intervenes in the streets with acrobatic language on stilts and live music.

CiFuentes says the performers are silent and move through the street as their bodies explore the details of architecture to reinvent it.

He says subtle music serves as a thread between the pedestrians and this mobile society, which will create images that fit into the space and its context.

“The Paseo allows us to do what we want in that space,” he says. “In this case, we have a freedom to push ourselves within the performance. Because the space is open, we are going out there a few days before the show and creating a new show based on the surroundings. It’s going to be a different piece. That’s the challenge of doing the performance. It’s also the beauty of it. It’s always different.”

CiFuentes is now based in Albuquerque, and the rest of the company is based in Colombia.

He says the piece will be scaled down from its original version, released in 2012.

There will be three people – two dancers and one stilter.

“In the original piece, we have six musicians,” he says. “This is one of our most successful performances. We toured in the States for six months, and it’s been performed more than 120 times to date.”

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