Photo Courtesy: @Almudena Romero
London-based Madrid-born actor and performance artist Luis Amália undertook his acting training at several institutions such as Drama Centre London – MA Screen Acting, HB Studio NY (Sita Mani’s ‘The Actor’s Body’), Osqui Guzmán & Leti González de Lellis in Buenos Aires and Ignacio de Antonio Antón in Madrid amongst others.
Amália’s interest in developing a dialogue between body and space, identity and architecture stemmed from setting up performing art collectives such as ‘El Hijo Tonto’ ( no longer existent as a collective) and ‘Tostada Es Pan’.
A Esther Moya le robaron una medalla /Esther Moya’s medal was stolen from her/ Las Rutinas Pervertidas: hasta la cocina in collaboration with Luis Kevin Paraíso.
Credits: @Luis Amália and @luiskevinparaiso
Amália uses his background in architecture to reflect on notions such as the ordinary and the routine by questioning norms and gender conventions within a queer perspective both in outdoor and indoor spaces (concept visible above in Las Rutinas Pervertidas). The space then becomes key to the performance, especially in creating new meanings and spatial relationships.
A Esther Moya le robaron una medalla /Esther Moya’s medal was stolen from her/ 2 For a Fiver Credits: Luis Amália & Alice Esmé.
During Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, Esther Moya led the Spanish women’s national gymnastics team to 4th position* during the team finals.The best position of Spanish Gymnatics ever in history /women or men/. Once again achieved by women.
Classified for both Floor and Vault final /with the best score on VT of all the gymnasts/, she unfortunately got two fourth places on both events. On Vault, due to a personal error but that wasn’t the case on the Floor. A low score from the judges and a deduction not made** to Simona Amanar (another gymnast) moved her off the podium. The ‘boos’ from the pavilion towards her score were considerable.
The 25th of September 2000, Esther Moya’s medal was stolen from her.
*during the Games the Spanish team was 5th but it was later discovered that the Chinese team had lied about the age of one of their gymnasts and was disqualified
**she got a deduction for stepping out from the floor but not for the extra step out of balance she made on the tumbling pass.
This work, featuring both Luis Amália and Alice Esme, merges architecture, gymnastics, and swimming routines to produce situations, playing with feelings of bizarre and unexpected and combining classical music with trashy Spanish pop music.
The weird and unsettling situations start to become ordinary and mundane through the repetition of gymnastics’ routines: in this view, architecture, according to Amália, is ‘the sum of spaces and spatial relationships that take place within them’.
This piece is a therefore a beautiful celebration of queer souls, who experience on a daily basis episodes of hate-crime and discrimination in both private and public spaces: embracing its own true self, no matter what, is a liberating statement that I think is extremely vital to point out in the current state of things.
To conclude, Queer artists deserve to be cherished and to have more visibility, as we are still living (unfortunately!) in a very heteronormative society.
To experience Amalia’s take on architecture and queer identities, you might either join his next performance The Luncheon in collaboration with @officialkace at @arcolatheatre on 18th November- 7.30 pm and at the @cockpittheatre on 19th November- 7.00 pm (Link: https://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/metamorphs-picked-mixed-plays/).