Episode #1: Challenges for the Performing Arts: Voices from Latin America

As the pandemic accelerated the process of digital transformation around the world, the Performing Arts were not left behind in this process: artists, producers and curators plunged into virtual territoriality, creating new formats, projects and methodologies. We now see new channels of artistic expression that have come to stay.
The discussion aims to give an overview of new possibilities in the Performing Arts and discuss the challenges in maintaining an exchange and network to developing projects in a pandemic context from the perspective of Latin American women working in the cultural field.
Carla Estefan graduated in Performing Arts and Cultural Production. Since 2002 she has directed Metropolitana Gestão Cultural, an agency for management, production and distribution of contemporary Performing Arts. For 12 years, she managed the production of several award-winning projects and plays by Brazilian artists and theatre companies that toured nationally and internationally. Since 2014, her work has mainly focused on promoting Brazilian theater worldwide, collaborating in the implementation of national initiatives such as MTbr-Brazilian Platform and BCA Encounter, presenting associated artists to the international network, creating opportunities for artistic residencies, co-productions and touring, coordinating workshops and participating in discussion panels on curation and internationalization of the Latin American performing scene. In 2020, during the pandemic, Carla started Sala Aberta #REC (Open Room #REC), an independent project that began under the premise of social isolation and aimed to reconnect artists and audiences during confinement to explore new possibilities for artistic expression in the digital world.
Cecilia Kuska (ARG) is a creative producer and independent curator. She currently lives between London and Brussels. She is particularly interested in projects that contribute to collaboration and collective creation in all its forms. Currently she coordinates a network between South America and Southern Italy and the EU and is producer and co-curator of the multidisciplinary arts festival CASA London and the Festival Próximamente of the Royal Flemish Theatre Brussels KVS. Previously, she was general producer and artistic assistant of the Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires FIBA, production director of FAENA ART and FAENA Festival, guest curator of Mid Atlantic Arts (USA), Santiago a Mil Festival (Chile) & Carlow Arts Festival (Ireland). She is also artistic associate at Brixton House London.
Karin Elmore (PER) is a choreographer, research artist and project manager. Master in Cultural Management and professor in the Dance Specialty and Master of Performing Arts at PUC Peru and member of the ARTEA research group. Karin was trained as a dancer and choreographer in New York (80’) at the Merce Cunningham School and with Alvin Nikolais. She has lived and worked in Lima, Rome, Mexico and in France. Her research and artistic creations have been supported and included in the programming of leading museums, theaters and festivals around the world.
In 2015. she founded the yearly international festival INDISCIPLINADOS which she directs since then. She is currently the Director of Cultural Affairs at the Alliance Francaise Lima.
María José Cifuentes (CHL) is a PhD candidate in History at the PUC of Chile. She has a master in Scenic Practice and Visual Culture from the University of Alcalá, Spain (2009) and works as a historian, teacher, researcher, manager and curator in the field of performing arts. She has participated as a programmer and curator in festivals in Europe and Latin America and has also held conferences in different countries. She is author of the books Social History of Dance in Chile 1940-1990 (2007), Independent Dance in Chile, Reconstruction of a Scene 1990-2000 (2009) and editor of the book Rethinking Dramaturgy, Errancia y Transformación, Centro Parraga (2010) . She is also a member of the ARTEA Research Group (Spain), a research group led by José Antonio Sánchez. She has directed MOV-S Chile (2015), a project by Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona and curated Espacios revelados, a project of the Siemens Foundation of Germany (Chile, 2016). Currently, she works as Artistic and Executive Director of NAVE, Center for Creation and Residence in Santiago de Chile. In 2020, she has led several projects around NAVE’s creative industries, including the NODO de Artes Vivas and the co-production platform for dance, TACTO.

Paola Irún (PRY) is an artist and producer, Bachelor of Communication (UCA -Paraguay) and Master of Fine Arts in Multidisciplinary Theater (SLC, New York). Paola has a 20-year theater career as a manager, director, dramaturge, actress and theater teacher. She lived in New York for 8 years and worked Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway. In 2009, she created EN BORRADOR_teatro en construcción (THE DRAFT theater under construction), an experimental project in which she creates, writes and directs projects, plays, installations and interventions in unconventional spaces. Based on a collaborative dramaturgy, she collaborates with professional and amateur artists in each project, exploring themes of identity, migration, gender and social issues developed at a national and international level.
EN BORRADOR was declared a project of cultural interest by the National Secretariat of Culture of Paraguay in 2012. Due to the pandemic, she moved part of the project to the virtual environment.