Alberto was born the same year as my brother. And a year ago, early last spring, he passed away - on my brother's birthday. They never met and do not know each other. These curiosities just mirror a special connection I felt with Alberto. The way we humans can be connected with each other with invisible threads that we might partly understand and yet, remain mysterious.
I first met Alberto only six months before his passing. It was my first trip to Madrid and the first time to create art with a person who has down syndrome. Someone with such creative power, charisma and uncompromising artistry is very rare to meet. We had no common spoken language as my Spanish is very poor and he didn't speak English. Through his highly developed sensitivity for pure presence, intuitive movement and sense of drama we communicated and co-created an improvised performance.
Our connection was made possible by another friend and an artist, Raquel Sakristán. A soulful woman with a special gift for finding a deep co-creative understanding with people with intellectual diversity. It was our shared vision, to have a collective performance with us three as equal creators. She was the one making the container for us to meet and work together. The one communicating through words as well as her intuitive sense.
Alberto had actually never performed live before. His art has been about creating characters and being photographed. For our shared experiment he chose his own costumes, made his own make-up and improvised all the performative moments.
There were lots of 'first times' as we met. Beautiful, inspiring meetings, ideas for future and how to develop what we had discovered together. However, there were as many 'last times' as well. He was the first person I know who died because of the current pandemic virus. Only months after our encounter, he was suddenly no longer with us.
This news touched me surprisingly deep. Something new had been birthing, so it felt, and now, this process was cut short, all of a sudden. This surprising genius, a unique creative soul, was no longer here with us.
In these confusing times, the sense of having to seize the moment has grown more and more urgent. We have been pushed and pulled, cornered and restricted. Some of us have left the planet for good. These trying times have exhausted many of us to the bone.
Some moments I am truly longing for those days of freedom, as they now seem to me, with inspiring travel, new encounters and unlimited creativity. However, the legacy of Alberto does live on within me. The curiosity to explore beyond what I have imagined before. However that will look or sound like now, or in the future.
Collaboration with Alberto de Torres (performer), Raquel Sakristán (performer) and Meri Nikula (vocal artist).
Vídeo by Alex Lobo.
Place: Matadero Madrid. http://www.mataderomadrid.org/
The white dresses of Meri Nikula and Raquel Sakristán's are designed by Israel Rodriguez.
My heart is warm with gratitude for having met Alberto de Torres
and having had the privilege to co-create with him.
May his creative spirit move with us from beyond the veils.
Until we meet again!
Thank you for finding your way to my website! Please contact me for any questions about my work and availability for performing and teaching.