“Pass your leg over your shoulder, open your hips, now look towards me with your neck upright, turned slightly to the left.” The instructions are received by Cayetana Guillén Cuervo during the assembly of Pandataria. The performer puts herself on the same level as top-level dancers who, in turn, join the ranks of an actress who is helped by her good physical fitness – she practices vinyasa yoga every day and has classical ballet training – but who is not trained in mastering every muscle in your body.

Magazine speaks with her on a rainy Friday afternoon. She has just left the rehearsal that started in the morning. “It’s hard, the choreography is very precise, that’s why I come to rehearse in sports clothes,” she warns.

Cayetana knew nothing about the island of Pandataria. “We found it when we were looking for a place to talk about the exiled, the wounds, and the dignity of difference,” says the actress who doesn’t quite like the word tolerance.

He tells it in the documentary Mapa a Pandataria, produced by Caixaforum, which has just premiered on its platform. The word hides – it seems to her – some arrogance and superiority: “Who am I to tolerate you?” the actress asks herself in the documentary. “I think that respect should be shown as equals, you have to feel love for others, not tolerate them,” she argues in conversation with this supplement.

The cast that makes up Pandataria – in addition to the actress, the choreographer and dancer Chevi Muraday who produces the show, the rapper Elio Toffana, and the dancers Chus Western, Basem Nahnouh and La Merce are, in the words of Cayetana, “a kaleidoscope that shows reality”, to add: “We didn’t want to show diversity, we wanted to be diversity on stage.”

And, finally, what is Pandataria? Well, it is a real place, an island in the Pontine archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea, with an area of ​​1.54 square meters. During the Julio-Claudian dynasty, adulterous, independent, intelligent, intellectual and political women were banished there. That prison island became a paradise for those forgotten and humiliated by power. In a repetitive twist of history, Mussolini ordered Altiero Spinelli and Ernesto Rossi to be imprisoned on the same island, which was already called as it is today, Ventotene. As a result of that confinement, the Ventotene Manifesto was born in 1941, the text that advocated federalism on our continent and that imagined the Europe we know today. From that minimal island, some men surrounded by water on all sides dreamed of a continent without borders.

The show is a shout out to the diversity and love that brings together dance, rap and acting. It premiered last July at the Mérida Classical Theater Festival, a pending account that Muraday had. What will be seen at the Teatros del Canal is exactly the same show adapted to a closed theater. “Chevi and I have known each other our whole lives and we always wanted to work together, but until three years ago we didn’t have time to sit down and put something together. The concept and the show are Chevi’s, but it is true that everything arose from a question he asked me: Cayetana, what do you want to talk about? “

She wanted to talk about important things. “It had to be something that transcended because otherwise it wouldn’t be worth the time and effort, much less the many days away from home,” she reflects. “As we wanted to premiere in Mérida, we looked for a history of the Greco-Roman world and found the patrician women exiled in Pandataria, from there we traveled to a contemporary event with those deported by Mussolini and we discovered Ursula Hirschmann, a stateless Jew condemned by Italian fascism, a “one of the first defenders of European federalism,” says the actress.

In the documentary produced by CaixaForum you can see an emotional Cayetana reviewing the text of the show with her mother, the actress Gemma Cuervo: “I put my feet on the footprints that my mother left on this island while the sea hits, the earth roars, The ash boils and the wind drives the senses crazy. (…) I put my feet on the footprints, the best women who were everything, who had everything, except the ownership of our body,” Gemma Cuervo reads, crying. “That text touches her a lot,” Cayetana reveals. “He told me from the beginning: He has height, you can do it well now.” The actress says that “for all her life” in her house they have reviewed texts as a family. “I have read texts with my mother, with my father, now my son also passes them on to me.”

In the catharsis that, according to the documentary, was the staging of the show, everyone ended up telling their own stories, the moments in which they were humiliated, the places where they were hurt. Cayetana revealed a rape that she suffered when she was six years old. “I told it in the context of the show and the documentary, out of creative honesty and respect for my colleagues, but I don’t want it to come out of that,” she says. She acknowledges that there has been a “temporary coincidence” with the El País newspaper report that denounces abuses in the world of cinema, but says that her story does not want to “claim anything.”

“I don’t know anything and in the exercise of my profession I have never suffered abuse of power,” he says. Cayetana is president of the Academy of Performing Arts and clarifies that as an institution “it censors any type of negative behavior,” but she also makes it clear that she is not a “flag of anything.”

For the Pandataria show you have to prepare your spirit and generosity. “You have to go to the theater with an open heart and let the show shake you. I hope that those who go will be infected with something good and that the question we posed will take to the streets: What would you do to make the world a little better every day, to understand each other better, to listen to them, to embrace the difference? “It would be great if everyone left the theater holding hands.”