The Lost Trail
Speech by Ambassador Mauricio Gonzalez Lopez of Colombia to South Africa introducing the performance ‘The Lost Trail’ in Pretoria on 17 November 2011.
Besides the natural pride that I may feel as Ambassador of Colombia with tonight’s presentation THE LOST TRAIL by Colegio del Cuerpo – due to its choreographic excellence, artistic capacity of its cast and the conceptual richness of its directors – I would like to share with you another reason why the performance that we are about to see in a couple of minutes, generates a particular joy.
It has to do with the main message transmitted to us by the work lead by Alvaro Restrepo and Marie France Delieuvin, which with its simplicity amazes me but also gives me a personal feeling filled with nostalgia.
The core idea is that harmony that leads to happiness starts from my body to my surroundings. The fortunate and talented dancers that we are going to see on stage, have the fortune of having constructed the harmony in their bodies, in their minds and in their surroundings, besides the fact that they have achieved these notwithstanding complex social conditions and a great personal effort.
I mention nostalgia because I definitely believe that for me it is already impossible to completely reconstruct this harmony between my body and my surroundings, previous and present. And this is true because I have never been aware of the importance of expressing with the body and have fallen into temptation – as many of you too might have done – to only communicate through the word, a tool that without doubt is indispensable to establish contact with others, but is not a perfect one to fully express yourself.
To dance is a primary expression that, as many others related to the human being, we lose as the years pass in our lives and with that we also lose the path to happiness, the door to true feeling begins to close and our option for a true life begins to fade away. I once heard in the Caribbean coast in my country, a region that embraces an important part of the Afrodescendency that gives so much to Colombia, that the one that doesn’t dance forfeits the will to live, and the one that dances – even though not perfectly – honors his presence in this world.
What we are about to see is above all an expression that we can cherish or not as it happens with any other artistic expression, but it is inspired by the interest of transmitting through the harmony of the body. As its Director has said “In a dance class you are sculpting yourself and you are sculpting others. In each dance activity you work with leadership, self esteem and you learn to touch other bodies with respect.”
Colombia is sculpting itself, with mistakes, with achievements, with wounds, but with the undeniable right that we have, of self definition. We haven’t yet found our formula for internal harmony, but please be assured that we are going to find it, because in Colombia we are used to persevere and to make out of adversity our dance partner. We will dance with this partner until it surrenders itself to our outmost desire which is peace, that peace that we have been searching for in my country for decades.
The Colegio del Cuerpo dancers are a true example of this ordeal, they have made dancing their life calling, and have shown to the whole world – with the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia – an expression that comes out of their body harmony to transmit the complexities that surround Colombia’s reality.
I have the good fortune to present them this evening to all of you, to facilitate this opportunity of expression and, above all, I have the privilege of saying that this night the bodies of some Colombians will talk, showing how they have conquered adversity, just the same way as all of us Colombians will soon do.
THANKS AGAIN, AND ENJOY THE PERFORMANCE