The Reversed Alchemist

In this work in progress Ixchel Mendoza Hernández wants to explore the capacity of transformation in a individual/body and performative situation. The goal is to reach a transmutation, a total change of the performance situation, as a possible Alchemist process. In “The Reversed Alchemist” the changes occur not in a material level, but in a perceptional one, dealing with the psychological aspect of the spectator.

picture credit: Jo Swarzynska

-Introduction and background.
Throughout the last years of my artistic research I had being engaging with a phenomena I personally call “Visual Ghost”. Within the last two years of my Master Degree at the SODA, I had the opportunity to get deeper in to this concept, making investigations of how this phenomena can be created not only through the body, but as well with the use of sound, text and their combination. The aim was to find ways to provoke the audience to experience certain kind of ‘images’ not present in vision, nevertheless still present. The “Visual Ghost” is corresponding to ideas that suddenly become apparent through our senses, by experiencing them, a kind of awareness or consciousness that materializes making them graspable.

One way this phenomena operates through the body is by using contradictory body signals, gestures and facial expressions in a successive way; the ones in combination create a certain ambiguity. The layering of the contradicting signals is what, in this case, evokes the “Visual Ghost”, appearing and taking the space fro an instance between the performance and the mind of the spectator.


For this new research process, I would like to get in a deep movement research drawn from the phenomena of “Visual Ghost”, but taking it further. Later on I would like to experiment in combining the movement research with the use of text, sound and light for a new choreographic piece:”The Reversed Alchemist ”

“The Reversed Alchemist” is a Solo that investigates the potentiality and processes of transformation. These transformations are happening in the performativity, and in the form and the structure of the performance itself. Throughout these processes, produced by fast changes of the body, light, sound, and text information we intend to provoke a “transmutation”, a transmutation of the perception of the performance itself. I personally would see this change as a possible “Alchemist” process.

Alchemy is defined as the process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, sometimes in a way that cannot be explained. In this concept Im using this word as a metaphor for transformation and change. Im proposing a different kind of alchemy the one that doesn’t operate with matter but with perception, creating an enigmatic atmosphere of distorted impressions. The fact that in this piece we refer to a ” Reversed Alchemist” (As in Tarots meaning) is questioning the nature of this change, either as something not necessarily positive or favorable.

Ixchel Mendoza Hernandez

is a mexican freelance choreographer, dancer based in Berlin. She completed her Choreography and dance studies at Artez Arnheim in 2007. In summer 2007, she received a scholarship of DanceWebEurope, joining ImPulsTanz Festival, Vienna. In 2009 she was awarded with the Artistic Residencies Program exchange for Artist of Iberoamerica and Haiti in Mexico city. In 2011 she extended her practice in to video making, as result creating a shot movie in collaboration with Anna Weißenfells “when i will come twice and go once” that has being internationally presented. Her piece “Visual Ghost” was co-produced by the Tanztage Berlin 2012 and premiered at Sophiensaele. From 2013 till 2015 she had being engaged at the MA SoDA, HZT in Berlin investigating a phenomena she personally call “Visual Ghost”, the one had become the motor for her choregraphic investigations. In 2016 she got granted the Einstiegsförderung from Berliner Senat.