Improvisations / Draft Dance

Debod Temple in Madrid is an Egyptian temple donated to Spain in 1968 by the Egyptian government as a sign of gratitude for the help provided in saving it from floods following the construction of the great Aswan Dam.

The shrine was originally erected 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of Aswan in Upper Egypt, very close to the first cataract of the Nile and to the great religious centre in Philae dedicated to the goddess Isis. In the early 2nd century BC, Adikhalamani (Tabriqo), the Kushite king of Meroë, started its construction by building a small single-room chapel dedicated to the god Amun. Later, during the reigns of Ptolemy VI, Ptolemy VIII, and Ptolemy XII of the Ptolemaic dynasty, it was extended on all four sides to form a small temple, 12 by 15 metres (39 ft × 49 ft), which was dedicated to Isis of Philae. The Roman emperors Augustus and Tiberius completed its decorations.

In 1960, due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam and the consequent threat posed by its reservoir to numerous monuments and archaeological sites, UNESCO made an international call to save this rich historical legacy.

The temple was rebuilt in one of Madrid’s parks and opened to the public in 1972.

It constitutes one of the few works of ancient Egyptian architecture that can be seen outside Egypt and the only one of its kind in Spain.

As a tribute to this architectural legacy, Pau Aran responded through an improvisation: Water, its beauty, its movement and its dangerous capacity for potential destruction.

While exploring this element, he remembers an Egyptian woman, killed with a knife. A knife that pierced her liver as she was about to say goodbye to her people and leave them.

He looked at her feet. That woman could have been a transvestite ephebe. That woman could have been a kind of Sophocles’s Antigone who, with her dance, her ‘waters’ and her nakedness, said one night for the last time: ‘I was born to share love, not hate.’

That woman was him in another life.

Improvisations / Draft Dance



10 – 15 minutes


Pau Aran


Pau Aran


Pau Aran


The Last Hour of Loneliness Written and Performed by Elba, ©Q&L Publishing 2016 © ELBA Rec 2016


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Pau Aran