To celebrate Kaeja d’Dance’s 30th season, we are announcing three Featured Artists — long-time collaborators who are stepping into new roles this year that are vital to our company and our programming. We will be highlighting each of these artists with content about their work, inspiration, and creative aspirations
Mateo first met the Kaeja family in 2011 as a student at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, where Allen was teaching contact improvisation and Kaeja Elevations. Upon graduation, Allen invited Mateo to be a part of his work .0, which was his first performance with Kaeja d'Dance. Mateo got to know Karen, who was also dancing in the work, and Karen later invited him to be a part of some rehearsals and performances of excerpts of her work Taxi. Since then, Mateo has organically taken on other roles with the company as an educator, choreographer, translator, and camera operator.
As a FEATURED ARTIST with Kaeja:
Mateo is Artistic Producer for an upcoming Kaeja project called ART-ery Dances, a digital installation that will be part of ArtworxTO: Year of Public Art. ART-ery Dances can be experienced in different alleys of Toronto — and the world! More details about this project will be released soon, and in a few months you’ll be able to experience it for yourself in an alleyway near you!
this place - creation residency. In Photo: Katherine Semchuk and Mateo Galindo Torres. Photography: Karen Kaeja
In 2019, Mateo created GUETCHA GUARITCHA, a home for his choreography and artistic projects. Through GUETCHA GUARITCHA, he is currently producing two exciting new works. this place, a duet for Mateo and Katherine Semchuk that Karen Kaeja has been commissioned to choreograph, and I:POLITICAL, a multidisciplinary show created and choreographed by Mateo. Both works will be released as hybrid theatrical films (stand alone films of the full works shot in the theatre in a cinematographic style), and as soon as it is allowed, they will be brought to the live stage!
I:POLITICAL - behind the scenes. In Photo: Robyn Macdonald and Mateo Galindo Torres. Photography and Lx design: Emilie Trimbee
Also through GUETCHA GUARITCHA, Mateo is currently joining forces with Robyn Noftall in the development of an online studio that offers movement practices to promote holistic living. Besides being a moving performer, Robyn is a wonderful yoga instructor truly committed to the practice as a holistic experience. With their combined dance and fitness backgrounds, Robyn’s Yoga knowledge, and Mateo’s Pilates training, the duo is creating a practice that promotes physical and emotional health.
Mateo Galindo Torres. Photography: Robyn Noftall
Mateo will also be appearing in the Stratford Festival's iteration of Wendy and Peter Pan, which will feature Kaeja Elevations as an approach to flight. Originally scheduled to open in 2020, the show had to be postponed due to the pandemic, and will be returning in the future.
“Dance is my spiritual practice” says Mateo “Through it I connect with the world, welcome new information, challenge what I know, and come to terms with the unknown, what goes beyond my understanding. I invite movement to be a means to notice, welcome, organize, and express my experiences of the events and circumstances that surround me. I am interested in the experience of the dance and the transformation that occurs when someone dances — what transcends the physical movement”
As a performer and interpreter, the works that move Mateo are collaborative by nature, where his perceptions, thoughts, and experiences are considered and welcomed. As a choreographer, he is highly inspired by his experiences and understandings of the socio-political environment, as well by the way that people relate to one another. When asked about his goals and aspirations, he says “Before I talk about my long term dreams and goals, I want to say that for better or for worse this Pandemic has forced me to focus on the present. To notice where I am right now and welcome it: I have food, shelter, and two kinds of water coming from the tap, hot and cold; I have a practice that keeps me grounded (for the most part); I have a network and support system, both professional and personal, that has hold me through many the difficulties. I am very blessed and privileged in many ways and I am actively finding gratitude. And from this place I want to grow, as there is no other place to grow from”. Although the future remains uncertain, Mateo aspires to keep developing his artistic voice as a creator, interpreter and choreographer, and to keep developing and sharing his practice. He also wants to keep producing works and creating spaces for art creation. He envisions someday building a residency space in Colombia; a gathering place for art creation that lives in harmony with nature.
To stay in tune with Mateo’s work through GUETCHA GUARITCHA, follow them on IG:@guetchaguaritcha and @GG_studiocommunity, go to their website www.guetchaguaritcha.ca, or get in touch via email firstname.lastname@example.org