Cai Tomos

Introductory notes

The final countdown for the opening of the Some Things from Somewhere exhibition has started. Over the next working sessions Cai and the artists will be putting the final touches to the project developed over the last months.

In his last visit Cai has shared with us his views on how Itziar is experimenting with some new movements and with her body to express herself through this language. 

Reflections on the session (by Cai Tomos)


First thing

The presence of doing nothing in particular

First nothing, then something

Space precedes substance

The Living of each second

As the dance appears 

Falling through her in gestures 

Known and unknown

Meaning is made by the very fact that her feet

Little as they are

Land on the world 

That revolves under them 

It keeps turning

And in return 

She turns 

And turns.

Dance and movement can reveal an essence of a person that words can never reach. Dancing can bring forth what’s invisible. Like a skin that somehow falls away and reveals what is hidden. Perhaps an essence of a person appears, even briefly for a moment the body’s story finds its way through. 

Itziar and I huddle over my phone watching Beyoncé, looking at her movements and the spirit of her dancing. We are about to enter the theatre again to explore her solo, which has developed in dialogues over the last months. Something has begun to form, we call it 'The Story of Hair'.

At the beginning of the process Itziar danced an imaginary dance of having imaginably long hair that trailed through the space. In the months that followed we collaborated with Lili Hartman who was able to realize the narrative by making a hairpiece that now is part of the work.

Slowly we enter the theatre space at Matadero, it is a vast structure. I always wonder at empty theatrical spaces, powerful spaces of potentialities and transformations. When empty they somehow reveal more. This emptiness of space when encountered fully through the body begins to awaken an inner desire to offer something in return, not to fill it, but to meet it, to dialogue with that potential energy.

Itziar chooses images from a large selection that I always travel with. We always begin with this ritual, like a tarot of images. The images we use, I have collected over the years, they support a wordless dialogue, and we speak through images rather than words.

Each month I’m curious what she chooses, and the patterns that emerge. 

Today, as with every other time, she chooses multiple images of female bodies

Slowly in her own time she enters the space and begins moving. Each gesture and movement finds its way through her with no hesitation or re-consideration. Her improvisations fluidly include gestures that make visible her joy of her body and being seen. Dancing makes her more visible. She performs performing; she performs an aspect of the feminine, the dance is a mix of her own idiosyncratic movement remixed with fragments of popular culture, but it holds within it all, a deep mystery and originality.

It took me a long time to realize that my work here was not to direct anything, not to advise, not impose any aesthetic choices, but to try and offer a space of support where freedom might be possible, a space where her own expression of her joy for moving was given total priority. The pure enjoyment of her own body, her own dance.

As I traveled alongside Itziar, something about the power of the feminine has been growing its way through her work consistently, slowly blossoming with a deep force under the surface of everything. There is a reclaiming of visibility; perhaps one that society might have been taken away?

In witnessing the dance, there’s a celebratory feel that holds within it the power of Eros, her power, her womanhood. It’s both undeniably complex and a rigorously honest search for herself through the dance.