|Season 2000/01||begin of collaboration with Pina Bausch|
Silvia Farias Heredia
Silvia Farias Heredia was born in 1976 in Córdoba, Argentina, but grew up in Ecaudor. The Argentinian took her first dance classes at the early age of six but gradually realised that modern dance appealed to her more than classical ballet. By sixteen, she was dancing with Compañía Nacional de Danza del Ecuador, but she was keen continue her dance education abroad once she finished school. When a dancer friend told her about the Folkwang Hochschule (later Folkwang University of the Arts), she applied and was accepted. She studied dance there from 1995 to 1999 under teachers including Jean Cébron, Lutz Förster, Anne Marie Benati, Malou Airaudo, Dominique Mercy and Libby Nye. Proximity to Wuppertal made it easy to see Tanztheater performances, and Silvia was thrilled by what she saw, by everything that dance could be. She went to Paris for an audition and was hired by Pina Bausch, initially as a guest artist, for Das Frühlingsopfer (The Rite of Spring). This led to a permanent position with the company in 2000.
Her early days with the company were not easy. Farias Heredia had to find her place among the strong personalities at Tanztheater Wuppertal. Also, Pina Bausch’s work method – asking dancers many questions – called for great openness. Dancers had to be prepared to show their vulnerable sides in order to find honest, authentic answers. This rarely worked immediately and usually took several attempts. There was also no guarantee that an answer, once found, would make it into a piece. The process of joining all the fragments together was gradual, as was the decision regarding which moments ultimately suited the theme and became part of the dramaturgy. Água (2001) was the first production in which Silvia Farias Heredia was involved from its inception. She was among the original cast in five further pieces: Nefés, Rough Cut, Vollmond(Full Moon), Bamboo Blues und … como el musguito en la piedra, ay sí, sí, sí… (Like Moss on the Stone). She also played roles in nineteen other repertoire pieces. In time, she learned to love Pina Bausch’s way of working, which was based on deep mutual trust between choreographer and dancer and always allowed for the possibility of self-exploration too. As Pina Bausch put it herself: “The things we discover for ourselves are the most important.” After Pina’s death, Farias Heredia worked on projects including the Wim Wenders film PINA and Seit sie (Since She), created for Tanztheater Wuppertal by guest choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou.
Between 2020 and 2022, she studied for a master’s in dance pedagogy at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. Since then, she has been director of training at Tanztheater Wuppertal, teaches occasionally at Folkwang University of the Arts, and loves to teach amateur dancers as well. Farias Heredia is also glad to help with rehearsals of the Pina Bausch repertoire at Tanztheater Wuppertal, passing her skills and experience on to the next generation of dancers. In this way, she contributes to keeping the spirit of the work and its evolution alive – a spirit that imbues dance with reality but also invites people to dream.
Text: Norbert Servos
Translation: Rachel McNicholl