Lisi Estaras (b. 1971, Argentina) first got into dance in Cordoba. Initially she tried to combine her social work studies with professional dance training. When that didn’t work, she chose dance. She won a scholarship and left Argentina at the age of 19 to go and study at the Rubin Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem. Not long afterwards, she joined the ranks of the Batsheva Ensemble in Tel Aviv. She stayed 5 years in Israel before travelling to Europe, where after a spell in the Netherlands, she started her career in Flanders at les ballets C de la B in 1997.
She created and danced in Iets op Bach, Wolf, vsprs, pitié!, C(H)OEURS and Tauberbach by Alain Platel and in Tempus Fugit by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. In addition, she was one of the performers in Learning how to walk directed by Benny Claessens (NTGent).
Over the years, she has also created her own work in collaboration with other artists. Bartime with Einat Tuchman (Campo, Ghent), Cocina Erotica and No Wonder with Constanza Macras (Schaubühne, Berlin), Leche (Passerelle, Kortrijk) and A distancia (Teatro Real, Cordoba, Argentina). Under the flag of les ballets C de la B she choreographed Patchagonia, Bolero, The Gaza Monologues, Primero-Erscht and Dans Dans, a co-production with het KIP (Ghent).
Lisi also works as a choreographer and coach for other theatres and companies. She collaborated on Hiob by Sandra Strunz (Theater Bonn), Das Brennende Haus by Emilo Garcia Wehbi and Maricel Alvarez (City Theatre Bern), Het Hamilton Complex by Lies Pauwels (hetPALEIS, Antwerp), Collective F (Dampfzentrale Bern),...
In 2015 she created the solo La Esclava with choreographer Ayelen Parolin in a co-production with, amongst others, the Charleroi Biennale, Les Brigittines (Brussels), Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles (Paris) and Le Gymnase (Roubaix, Julidans (Amsterdam). In 2016 she created the performance the Monkey Mind with three dancers with Down’s syndrome for Platform K (CAMPO, Ghent) and the solo The speech for dancer Irene Russolillo (Festival Equilibrium, Rome). In 2017 came Monkey Mind Feest for Kaap (Festival Dansand, Ostend) and When I look at a Strawberry, I think of a Tongue, a collaboration with Serge-Aimé Coulibaly, Sara Vanderieck, Kristien De Proost and Mirko Banovic (Kaap, Grote Post, Ostend; Théâtre des Doms, Avignon) and the first work phase of the dance creation The Jewish Connection Project reached an end point during the Festival Machol Shalem, Jerusalem.
2018 saw the premieres of two of Lisi’s pieces, Hillbrowfication - a collaboration with Constanza Macras I Dorky Park (Berlin) and Sapiens for the Ballet Contemporano Teatro San Martin (Buenos Aires, Argentina).
For Passerelle (Kortrijk) in late 2018 she created D-Effect, a performance with 3 young dancers, 2 dancers with Down’s syndrome and a double bassist. This performance was part of the exhibition Bloodtest that Lisi created together with Francis Vanhoutte for the Museum Dr. Ghislain in Ghent (June to October 2019). No Human No Cry became Lisi’s first dance creation commissioned by the contemporary dance company Bhodi Project/Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance. This performance premiered at the Festival Sommerszene Salzburg on 19 and 20 June 2019.
The Jewish Connection Project - which she created along with Ido Batash - premiered in Ghent (CAMPO) on 14/02 and then toured to Cologne, Vienna and Bern.
On 5 March 2020 the production SONICO - the heart is the muscle we like to work out premiered at De Grote Post in Ostend. Once again, this was a collaboration with Ido Batash and with the eponymous Brussel-based music ensemble.
Unfortunately this production was hardly performed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Lisi continued the relationship between Art Brut and the Monkey Mind method from September 2021, in the research project entitled Art Brut, dance and disabilities at the AP University of Applied Sciences and Arts Antwerp.
In autumn 2020, SEAD again invited Lisi for a creation with the students of the Dance Academy. During the same period she made Bibliomaniacs in Berlin with the Itinerant Dance Ensemble and Dorky Park, directed by Constanza Macras.
The COVID-19 crisis brought her creative work to a halt for part of 2020, but in spring 2021 she travelled to Naples for the creation of the choreography in the project HO VISTO MARADONA (director Clara Bauer; text Daniel Pennac) and in the autumn to Barcelona for the dance creation La Honte with ASSOCIACIÓ COL.LECTIU ESCÈNIC in co-production with Mercat de Flors.
Her new production #THISISBEAUTY - a solo that she made together with a number of female partners in crime - is set to premiere in spring 2022 in Kaap, Bruges. In the summer Lisi will be running a comprehensive workshop in Bloemfontein - Vrystaat Festival with professional dancers and persons with reduced mobility. This will lead to a short creation that will be presented at the festival.
In autumn 2022, she will make a large-scale dance production at Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, A Bigger Thing with dancers from the Royal Ballet of Flanders, persons with reduced mobility, amateurs and professional dancers.
Lisi runs masterclasses and workshops in Belgium and abroad, is much in demand as a panel or jury member, and in 2017, 2019 and 2021 received a grant from the Flemish Community for her research into kinaesthesia, empathy and mirror neurons as part of the further development of her monkey mind method.
Photo: Ioannis Tsouloulis
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