Mercedes Balarezo is an Ecuadorian dance artist and pedagogue based in Helsinki. For her, dance and education are tools that can bring us closer to a fair and equalitarian society. A broad background in teaching dance to children and young people has taught Mercedes that art pedagogy can aim towards a world where all bodies and voices are seen and heard and where creative expression is democratized.
During her professional career, she has been balancing her demanding work as dance teacher in her studio in Quito, the life as a dancer, and the direction of choreographic projects. The topics she has explored in her creative work are eclectic. A common thread is her interest in bringing people together, the exploration the Ecuadorian identity and the zones where pedagogy meets the art.
Currently, Mercedes is interested in exploring the relationship between voice and movement. In her work “The Voice as a Limb: Sounding Dance Laboratory” she is dealing with the questions: what does it mean to put the voice at the centre of the dance improvisation? How can a sounding limb be perceived as another part of the body to move and compose in the same space? What are the affordances of a language of sonomovements? This inquiry emerged in her MA studies in Dance Pedagogy at The University of the Arts Helsinki.
Mercedes strongly believes in the power of togetherness and justice and that is the direction where she aims her artistic practice to.