The School of the Jaguar

Endangered Human Movements Vol. 3

Endangered Human Movements

With the performance “The Jaguar and the Snake”, the workshop on Wirrarika Dances and the lecture series “The Jaguar Talks” , “The School of the Jaguar“ offers different ways of experiencing Amerindian cosmologies and the relationship between humans and non-humans.

500 years after the Conquest it is time to take the worldviews of indigenous people in the Americas more seriously, engaging with it beyond New-Age, Exotism and Primitivism.

“The School of the Jaguar“ is an attempt at decolonizing contemporary arts and culture, by introducing critical perspectives from the fields of anthropology, dance history, philosophy, and contempo-traditional indigenous knowledge.

The latter encompassing not only contemporary shamanism but also oral transmitted knowledge, social knowledge, knowledge about the body, about healing, about plants, about perception, and also diplomatic knowledge applied to the relationships with beings other-than-human.

In a space where different forms of knowledge can enter in dialogue without the habitual hierarchies between them, “The School of the Jaguar“ is brought about by the convergence of a group of people coming from anthropology, visual arts, choreography, philosophy, dance science, dance and somatic practices and contemporary indigenous shamanism.

The Jaguar and the Snake


“The Jaguar and the Snake
a performance piece inspired by hybrid beings who populate the Amerindian oral and visual imagery. Based on these issues Amanda Piña, Linda Samaraweerová and Yoan Sorin work on embodying Amerindian iconography, especially focusing on where animal, human and vegetal meet fuse and transform.

What other forms of relationships are possible between animals, humans and plants?

The performance explores how these concepts are understood in Amerindian terms creating a visionary world between ancestral indigenous knowledge and contemporary performance art.

“The ethnologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, who has worked on the indigenous people of the Amazonas, can help us enter these reflections. For the latter, the original condition common to humans and animals is not animality, but humanity. The animals are ex-humans, the humans aren’t ex-animals. Where the West imagines itself a multiculturalism, a diversity of representations that has an influence on an external nature, one and total, Amerindians conceive the opposite: a representative unity, a purely pronominal phenomenology, apply indifferently on a real diversity. One single „culture“, multiple „natures“; constant epistemology, a changeable ontology. The point of view is found in the body. “

Delphine Albrecht

„(…) In sum, animals are people, or see themselves as persons. Such a notion is virtually always associated with the idea that the manifest form of each species is a mere envelope (a ‘clothing’) which conceals an internal human form, usually only visible to the eyes of the particular species or to certain trans-specific beings such as shamans.”

Cosmological Deixis and Amerindian Perspectivism, Eduardo Viveiros De Castro

Dancing like Wixarrika


A three-day workshop at the intersection between Amerindian ritual dances and contemporary performance.

The workshop delivers movement structures coming from Wixarrika traditional dance and the choreographic materials that constitute the performance “The Jaguar and the Snake”.

The workshop participants are driven through different dances, exercises and practices which relate to trance like states and the disruption of the perception of lineal time. Central to the practices shared in the workshop is the generation and circulation of energy through movement, the exploration of changes in perception, and the embodiment of animal like states. The workshop also focus of sharing concepts related to Wixarrika dance and the and main principles which organize it, thus enlarges the scope of contemporary performance into the one of Amerindian ritual celebration.

With: Amanda Piña, Linda Samaraweerová and mara’ akáme
Juan Jose Katira Ramirez

The Jaguar Talks

Lectures Series
In this series of lectures we learn about the understanding of the body and the subject present in many native cultures across the Americas and its implications for the concept of identity, with a particular focus on the relationship between humans, animals and beings other-than-human. A Wixarika shaman, a dancer, an anthropologist, a dance theorist, a decolonial scholar and a philosopher, share ideas about the notion of “sacred land”, the decolonization of the senses, about indigenous contemporaneity and ritual art, about animals and humans and what lies behind or above those categories and about spaces of resistance.

With: Fahim Amir, Nicole Haitzinger, Johannes Neurath, Juan José Katira Ramirez, Amanda Piña, Rolando Vazquez.


08.12.2017 – 09.12.2017 // deSingel, Antwerpen, Belgium
20.03.2019 – 22.03.2019 // STUK, Leuven, Belgium


Artistic Direction/Choreography:  Amanda Piña

Stage/Audio/Visual Director: Daniel Zimmermann

Choreography/Performance:  Amanda Piña, Linda Samaraweerova

Performance/Painting/Sculpture: Yoan Sorín

Music: Christian Müller

Costume/Stage: Lise Lendais

Light Design: Victor Duran

Choreographic Contribution: Ewa Bankowska, Paula Chaves

Stage Modelling: Ines Kirchengast

Production Internship: Sophie Eidenberger

Production Management: Angela Vadori

Lectures: Nicole Haitzinger, Fahim Amir, Johannes Neurath, Juan José Katira Ramirez, Amanda Piña, Rolando Vazquez

Workshop: Amanda Piña, Linda Samaraweerova, Juan José Katira Ramirez


The School of the Jaguar is produced by nadaproductions, co-produced by deSingel Antwerpen and STUK Leuven and is funded by the City of Vienna (Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien).

Endangered Human Movements Vol. 3 is co-produced by Tanzquartier Wien, EN KNAP Productions-Ljubljana and supported by Hellerau – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste-Dresden and Bundeskanzleramt – Kunst und Kultur (Austrian Federal Chancellery – Art and Culture).


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