La Ribot: Llámame Mariachi

for 500 Words, 2011

La Ribot: Llámame Mariachi, 2009

Since the mid-1980s, the Spanish, Geneva-based dancer, choreographer, and artist Maria Ribot has been creating works that humorously merge video and performance art. Below, she discusses her 2009 piece Llámame Mariachi (Call Me Mariachi) with Rachel Withers


“IT’S VERY DIFFICULT to summarize the two parts of Llámame Mariachi. But let’s try: The first part is a twenty-five-minute video titled mariachi n°17 that consists of a single take. It’s shot by the dancers––Marie-Caroline Hominal, Delphine Rosay, and myself––with a handheld camera; the camera is passed from one performer to another, and so the piece becomes a physical and sensorial exploration of the point of view of the body dancing…

This piece was a huge challenge because of the constant, fast changes of focus, the close-ups and wide shots, and the coordination with the choreography. In all, this demanded more than eighty lighting changes. In the video, the camera explores the perspectives in the photographs, generating a confusion between the real set and the space in the pictures. The “17” in the piece’s title refers to the shooting process: The single take that I’ve used was the last, seventeenth take, which we shot just hours before we had to vacate the set….”


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