Enrique Pardo


Enrique Pardo, theatre director, performer, writer, founded PANTHEATRE in 1981 with a now legendary solo performance on the god Pan: "Calling for Pan" (hence Pantheatre). This dance-theatre piece was a physical and vocal tour de force, a ritualistic and wild invocation of the singing-dancing God who embodies the borderline between animal and human - Pan, "with the goat feet and the two horns". The performance brought together the three main sources of Pantheatre:


1 - The Voice: Enrique worked for some years with Roy Hart and his theatre, joining the group in 1969 in London, training vocally with Hart and Liza Mayer, performing with the Roy Hart Theatre (before Roy Hart's death in 1975, and then till 1980), and pursuing a career as a vocalist-performer in contemporary opera and in several of his own theatre productions.

2 - Choreographic Theatre. Enrique trained in and incorporated different (and in many ways opposing) approaches to movement and dance. Firstly, corporal mime - the analytical exercices of Etienne Decroux - through numerous collaborations with Le Theatre du Mouvement (Claire Heggen and Yves Marc). Secondly: dance, with Dominique Dupuy, whom Enrique considers one of his masters, for his insight into such important areas as lyricism, narcissism, beauty, pleasure... And thirdly, the research on gesture and imagination elaborated by Eugenio Barba and his Odin Teatret - especially what could be described as the actor's "autogenic training": confronting and giving corporal form to (per-forming) one's fantasies.

3 - Myth. "Calling for Pan" was based on meetings with Rafael Lopez-Pedraza, Charles Boer and James Hillman, authors of books on Pan and mythology, all three leading figures of archetypal psychology. James Hillman accepted to be the honorary president of PANTHEATRE and of its Myth and Theatre Festival. The new PANTHEATRE LIBRARY is to a great extent dedicated to his work.

Beginning in 1981, these meetings led to a long and fascinating series of exchanges, joint seminars, tours (amongst these, the early Men's Movement conferences with James Hillman and Robert Bly), and to the creation in 1989 of the Myth and Theatre Festival. The relevance of mythology goes well beyond the theatrical and literal use of mythical figures or stories: myth refers here to a cultural dimension of image, implying the kind of image-based theatre that Enrique came to call choreographic theatre.

Enrique has performed and taught in Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand, where he directed Xenophoria, in 1993, a performance by Bert van Dijk, now director of Pantheatre Poneke (New Zealand).

During the last few years, Enrique has directed mainly performances by artists linked to PANTHEATRE ACTS. See PERFORMANCES

Some of the performances directed in the last ten years :

La Planque aux Anges (The Angels' Hideout) - adapted from Bernard-Marie Koltès' only novel "La fuite à cheval très loin dans la ville" - for 5 dancers from the Pantheatre/Borderline Company, Paris.

The Angel's Hideout - an article referring to this performance.

Rosenhell und Bildersturm - (Hell of Roses and Storm of Images). After attending the 1995 Myth and Theatre Festival, Marie Elliot Gartner wrote to Enrique Pardo asking him to direct a performance based on James Hillman's book "The Dream and the Underworld", with a theatre group she directs in Rosenheim, Bavaria. Enrique replied that the only way he could envisage such a project would be as a  baroque "cabaret macabre". It was created in September 1997, with 14 actors, with original and adapted texts by Marie Elliot Gartner, who performed an indomitable Demeter who has trouble facing up to the fact that she now lives in her son in law's (Hades) night-club complex. She compensates with too many free martinis and wild theatrics. Influenced by Bavarian macabre folk stories - plus lots of exquisitely sweet Bavarian singing (one realizes, of course, that Mozart was suckled on Tyrolean and Bavarian harmonies), the performance is a long and exuberant funeral, with practically all the characters, at some point in the performance, being locked and forgotten in a coffin.

Shadow Boxing - a theatre cabaret, with 15 actors, the result of a workshop project produced by the Cambridge Drama Centre in April 1998. This was the result of a year-long project, "...designed to give participants both a workshop and a performing experience directed by Enrique Pardo. The 'cabaret' approach allows for radical artistic freedom, and plenty of humour; it encourages subversion and 'contra-diction'... The notion of "Shadow Boxing" gives the project an imaginal bent, calling up the hidden and darker side of things, where quality and temperament are revealed. "Without shadows, images remain flat and naive" (from the programme notes).

La Maison dans les Airs after "Love and Other Demons" by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, adapted by story-teller Guylaine Kasza-Peyronnet, with accordionist Robert Santiago and three Colombian musicians. Created on December 13th 1998, at the Dinan Festival (Britanny).

Jason and Medea / POSTMORTEM - by MIMANDIROSE ENSEMBLE, produced by Giovanna Lue, Milan, for six actresses. Created at the CRT Theatre in Milano. Medea / Milano presentation + A video is now available

GREED : The Bacchae Project - New York, May 20th 1999 - by Local 116 Ensemble, from Columbia University. With Texts by Aida Croal. Check GREED.

The Shakespeare Betrayal : written and performed by Kristin Linklater, with 5 actor. Work in progress presentations, New York, June 16 - 18. Check The Shakespeare Betrayal

Pandora's Box : by Pantheatre UK Company. A performance project with 6 actors-directors, produced in collaboration with Angela Bullock (Twisted Stocking Company), and Dan Skinner (Rose Theatre Company), including Nick Hobbs, Faroque Kahn, Kirstin McIver and Zoé Crowder. Check Pandora's Box.

Enrique Pardo / Background years

Enrique was born in Lima, Peru, in 1946. His family, a well established Spanish-creole family (he is a rare Peruvian blond) with strong francophile connections, was involved in 19th century South American politics - his great-grand father was Peru's first civilian president, c. 1880, following some 15 self-styled local Napoleons who rotated in Garcia-Marquez-like palace revolutions (Manuel Pardo was assassinated in 1904). In the early 20s the Pardo's were all sent into luxurious exile to Paris (after one more folkloric coup d'état). Enrique spent his childhood in Peru before moving to Europe, passing his French baccalauréat in Paris, studying some law and economics in Madrid, graduating in painting from Chelsea School of Arts, London, and teaching Fine Arts at Goldsmith College (University of London). His best students at the time (the late 60s) were involved in performance art, and doing work that he considered much more interesting and fun than his own. This led him to theatre (he was 24 by then) and to working with the Roy Hart Theatre - a move with many personal and cultural implications. As well as performing and directing, he started teaching voice within the "Roy Hart" model. The one-to-one "singing lesson" model, especially as practiced by Roy Hart and his followers, can be very close to the psychoanalytic 'transference' model. Ill at ease with some of the implications of this model, especially the potentially ambivalent use of therapy, Enrique stopped teaching for some years, and started the long dialogue with psychotherapists that led to his meeting James Hillman, Rafael Lopez-Pedraza, Charles Boer, Ginette Paris, Nor Hall, Jay Livernois and the archetypal psychology circle that was to inspire Pantheatre. This was in the late seventies, early eighties. Today, along with many of his collaborators, he would insist that it is our esthetics, our modes of perception and appreciation, our political and cultural ideas that need therapy. Hence the accent on mytho-poetical and intellectual challenges, in an otherwise very corporal and imagistic work.


"Enrique Pardo is the teacher you've always dreamed about. Steeped in the psyche's language of image-making, master of surprise and subversion, he puts his finger on the heart of what matters. In workshops he's a gleeful alchemist who heats your material until it, and you, come out transmuted. Ultimately demanding and utterly delightful…" Nor Hall, author and psychologist

"He plunders Greek mythology and alchemy for inspiration and his followers travel over new territory, breaking boundaries, crossing new frontiers and reaping iconoclastic rewards. Performers from all disciplines will break old habits and dissolve inhibitions, discover physical and vocal courage and stretch their imaginative muscles; directors will see the stage with new eyes and hear the text with new ears." Kristin Linklater, Chair of Theatre, Columbia University.