Crossing Mexico City at 9am is easier said than done. The traffic is crazy and I begin get a feel of how big and populated this city is. Drivers weave around each other with precision and purpose almost as if in slow motion. The British Council is located in one of the nicest areas of Mexico City, according to our driver, one with a high Spanish and Jewish population. We have come here to meet Edgardo Bermejo, Director of Arts at British Council’s Mexico office. Unfortunately, Edgardo had been admitted to hospital the day before so was unable to meet us but after some discussion amongst the remaining staff we are introduced to Itzel who has been asked to meet with us in Edgardo’s absence.
Itzel is a young, enthusiastic Mexican woman who has been working with British Council for 3 months. I give her an overview of ‘Falling in Love with Frida’. What I’m thinking, what’s my enquiry, where it’s going to be performed next year. She listens with interest, occasionally asking questions. She tell me about a big Mexico/UK project and cultural exchange that is planned for 2015 and suggests that my piece may be perfect to be included. And then she says ‘Maybe it could be performed at Caza Azul (Museo Frida Kahlo)’ This statement sends shivers through my body and every hair stands on end. I start to realise how important this trip is.
We then meet Mari Carmen who is a local dance artist who trained at Laban and lived in London for 6 years and is a trained dance therapist. She’s been back in Mexico for several years and has established several dance groups for disabled people. We discuss the possibility of going to meet her groups, see them perform and do a workshop with them. She then suggests that maybe we could also do a workshop including students at the Contemporary Dance School and members of her group. This has never been done before, despite the fact that her husband is the Director of the school. Why now? Why us? Of course we’re up for it but we were interested in the fact that it’s never happened before despite the strong connection and everyday possibility. We talk briefly about the possibilities could be if we were to return in 2015 but recognise the importance of initially meeting the groups in this trip and then seeing what happens.
There is a definite laid back attitude here in Mexico, which feels familiar and Australian, but there is also a VERY definite sense of this WILL happen which is so exciting!