Nahelli Chavoya

May 8, 2024.

Posted by Kris Madejski.


Nahelli  Chavoya is a dynamic artist whose work seamlessly bridges the disciplines of dance and poetry. Hailing from Guadalajara, Mexico, and now based in Ireland, Nahelli has spent the last two decades honing her skills in various dance forms, with a particular emphasis on ballet, competitive Irish step dancing, and Irish dance festival style.

Her creative process is a unique intertwining of her dance and writing practices; she utilizes poetry to delve into the nuances of movement and employs dance to explore poetic concepts and experiences. The poems Nahelli presents are the culmination of intricate dance and movement explorations, including somatic attuning, improvisations, action painting, and meditations in motion. Each piece serves as a reflection of her deep engagement with both physical expression and literary creativity.

I had two things constantly on my desk at the Fish Factory: my computer with my PhD thesis opened, and beside it, a piece of paper where I could ramble freely. One was written in straight lines: rows of words, symmetrical, linear. The other consisted of spiralling words, chaotic, knotty. One was about poetry; the other was poetry. One was about a search; the other was about lostness. I thought I was at the Fish Factory to make sense — in a straight academic line, a chapter — of my Arts Practice research, but in reality, I was there to acknowledge and embrace a sense of loss, to rediscover my artistic practice as a wanderer. Poetry and dance for me are ways to wander. Months later, I got rid of the chapter I had on my computer, and I created a new one about those days at the Fish Factory when I started writing in spiralling words: “[…]in the veering steep path I realize that the thing I was looking for is not at the end of a straight line but is found in the moving trees that pass by as I walk.”

I would add now: it is also found in heartfelt friendships I found on my journey, in the small hidden worlds that we find when we are curious about the unknown, in the unexpected when we let it speak, in breakfast with friends, under the moonlight when ghosts are not home and the surreal makes everything more real.

Thank you Nahelli.