Improvised steps in an idyllic setting at Can Masdeu
2017-12-01 16:15:00 -

Deirdre Molloy’s Dance Odyssey

Dance Odyssey is a blog by Deirdre Molloy about a unique opportunity – a sabbatical to travel the world and dance for a year. 

Previously she stepped on the streets of San Sebastián and moved to the blues in Barcelona; this time she recounts a very different kind of dance venue…


On Sunday, I met Neil in the old town to attend a cultural event on the outskirts of Barcelona at Can Masdeu. We took the train almost to the end of the line and Mauve joined us to walk to last few hundred metres up the hill. 


Can Masdeu is a huge institutional building, surrounded by trees and a veggie garden. It has a crossover its highest arch and has a view across the city to the sea. The site has an interesting history that goes back to Roman times, and the building has been used as a convent and later a lepers’ hospital. Today it is a squatted social and cultural centre.


We arrive just in time for a simple meal in the garden, and the start of a range of workshops. Our attempt to participate in the outdoor art workshop is aborted after I’m attacked by mosquitoes. 


Neil, Mauve and I return to the building to try a movement and intimacy workshop. The dance studio is a beautiful room with windows looking out onto the green hills, and an amazing black rubber floor. 


We are guided through breathing and relaxation meditations in corpse pose. We visualise colour and landscapes inside our bodies and then we are encouraged to move our landscapes around … as we gradually rise from the floor and naturally make contact with the other bodies in the room, a very unstructured contact jam forms. 


I’m in my element, playing happily. After this contact jam we are guided back to the floor and then there is a series of boring exercises involving walking and running.


Neil and I ducked out of the room and found Mauve. We joined a singsong at a table outside; it was funny because they were singing “we are hippies, we are true hippies”, then there was a very funny and innocent song about fruit. 


On the stage, the band started a sound check. While we waited for the music, Neil started to get cold and we decided to go back in and make the most of that rubber dance floor. A few folks were sitting in a circle talking, but most of the floor was free. So just the two of us danced, surfing across bellies and rolling over backs, ending in a soft, tired heap on the floor.


Although we are all scattered again, the sunshine of my these new friendships is still keeping me warm.





Other Travel News
Most Read
Most Commented