performer and video maker, Rodrigo
Pardo was born in 1971 (Argentina). At the age of four he made
his first contact with the art of representation by running away from
his mother’s hand, straight down the corridor of a crowded
theater-cinema, crossing the stage and crashing his face against the
large screen. Then he faced two revelations: Bugs Bunny was not real and it felt
great to be on the stage (even in front of an angry audience).
At 15 years old a second event will push him definitely
into the art world, this time is the Danish group Odin Teatret presenting pieces in
public spaces of Bahia Blanca which makes Pardo arrive to a third
revelation: The city is not real.
The sudden change of meaning of all the elements used by the performers
(monuments, statues, public buildings) made him realize the power of
art to reshape reality, an instrument that creates parallel worlds
proposing a dialogue with the unknown.
In the following five years he will graduate as an
actor from Escuela de Teatro de Bahía
Blanca, collaborate with independent projects and work as a
street performer in Argentina and Europe.
In his pursuit of a more physical theatricality he will move to Buenos
Aires in 1993 to study at Taller de
Danza Contemporánea del TGSM. Pardo will graduate three years
later as contemporary dancer and will start working with some of the
most representative choreographers of his country: Oscar Aráiz, Ana María Stekelman and Gustavo Lesgart, among others.
In 1997 he will relocate to New York to continue his
dance studies at Movement Research
and Dancespace Project,
but after few months the initial plan will change completely when he
meets Armando Orzuza and Daniela Arcuri, an astonish tango
couple who will guide him into the traditional Argentinean dance.
Together with his dance partner Gabriela
Lavagnino they will quickly became relevant figures of the
Manhattan tango scene.
From there on tango dance will be present in his work adopting
different forms, first in its most traditional way and later as a
recurrent fascinating element that combines physical and relational
complexity in one form.
With the clear need of producing his own work he will
be back in Argentina one year later to create Cuadrado Negro Sobre Fondo Negro, a
dance duo with Victoria Ansiaume
and Marina Brusco, inspired by
the Russian painter Kasimir Malevich.
In the piece a couple is designing squares on the floor as
representational spaces for daily life, the perfect geometry contrast
with a millimetered yet violent choreography that evolves showing
different layers of a relationship.
The main action will happen in a square of 2 by 2 meters, in fact, the
maximal usable space available in Pardo’s apartment, which due to
budget reasons has become the rehearsal studio.
For several years he will keep collaborating with other
companies, teaching tango and contemporary dance, and producing his
work supported by foundations like Antorchas,
Prodanza, Fondo Nacional de las Artes and Centro Experimental del Teatro Colón.
In 2004, with the help of a scholarship offered by Fundación Antorchas,
he will move for one year to Brussels to investigate the inspiring
Belgian dance movement, but just before leaving Buenos Aires he will
again gather dancers in his small apartment and produce with Guiye Fernández the future award wining Dos Ambientes, a dance film made
with almost no budget that will tour extensively the world and open
many new doors. Dos Ambientes will reach the Venice Biennale and give place to a
new offer: two commissioned live performances based on the film to be
presented at 5th. Festivale Int. di Danza Contemporánea. The re-take
results in Ognat , a trio with
Cristina Cortés, Sebastián Scandrolgio and himself,
and Tango Toilet, a duo with Cortés in
which his Buenos Aires flat’s toilet room is reproduced in a
sanitary-wares shop in the historic center of Venice and performed for
the audience in the street.
The year 2006 will find him in Amsterdam participating
in Dasarts (Postgraduate
Studies in Performing Arts). There, the happy encounter with visual
artist Shirin Neshat will
encourage him to investigate more in depth the relation of movement,
space and camera. Result of it is the experimental short video Una Toma, a long, not edited
sequence (made in one shot) that plays with casual and constructed
images passing in front of the camera, and Framing Soul, a documentary film
about the work of renowned dance-maker David
Zambrano which trough framing, camera movement and editing
attempts to give back to the recorded images the feeling of a live
Being by chance on the 8th floor terrace of Amsterdam’s
Theater School, Pardo will find inspiration for his Dasarts graduation
The wide open perspective of the city connects him immediately with
this initial sensation he experienced when, back in Bahía Blanca, he
saw how the familiar landscape of his hometown changed in front of his
eyes due to the action of the performers.
As a synthesis of all the elements Pardo was using till
this moment, the piece is defined as a live movie in which the
audience, placed on the 8th floor terrace and helped by binoculars and
wireless headphones, follows the live action performed in the windows
and roofs of the buildings across the street. Like a movie cut in
different pieces and spread out in the city, the structure of the
performance is based on separate scenes that the audience has to put
Suddenly the whole city has become a stage and the
borders between reality and fiction have being blurred. Underneath the
shape of an entertaining performance based on dance and classic films
quotations, a second layer of interpretation opens the awareness on how
we perceive reality, exposing the very core of a society that grows out
of the collective imagery.
In June 2009 a second version called ROOF a live movie / Napoli is presented and produced by Napoli Teatro Festival Italia
In between 2010 and 2013 he develops his next project called FLAT .
It is produced mainly by EMPAC (US), IN-SITU Network and Lieux Publics
(FR). Using elements of aerial dance and video mapping , the piece
tells the story of a character (Yves Fauchon) who is inhabiting an
apartment tilted 90 degrees.
FLAT continues currently on tour after being presented in some of the most representative contemporary street festivals as Chalon dans la Rue, TAC, Les Tombées de la Nuit, and many others.
While all the work mentioned above continues, Rodrigo Pardo begins in
2016 developing his own musical quest that includes elements of tango
and Argentinean folklore. In collaboration with musicians such as Diego
Trosman, Gerardo Agnese, Simon Thierree and Manuel Cedron, he attempts
to evoke a personal identity that feeds equally from its roots and the
Rodrigo Pardo is currently based in Marseille
©Photo: Rocío Fernández
©Photo: Rocío Fernández
©Photo: Mariano Rubio