Gustavo Llano was born in Medellín, Colombia. He studied theatre at the EPA (Escuela Popular de Arte de Medellín, now ITM) and visual arts at the University of Antioquia before finally turning to dance. His dance teachers included Jorge Holguín, Álvaro Restrepo, Beatriz Gutiérrez, Peter Palacio, Silvia Rolz.
Since 1998 Gustavo Llano has been living in Berlin in self-exile, as he calls it. Like many other dancers of his generation, he left the country because of the violence. The final straw was the murder of his friend and teacher José Manuel Freidel, a visionary of socially critical Colombian theatre.
In Germany, Gustavo Llano first danced in Ismael Ivo’s company. Through him he met Johann Kresnik, with whom he worked for several years, first as a dancer and later as artistic assistant. With Kresnik he staged, among others, Plan Vía in Bogotá, a choreographic reflection on Colombia’s present, and Die Fledermaus for the Wuppertal Opera. His own choreographic works include Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades for the Los Angeles Opera as well as the pieces Agua, Zeitlos, Cinco Danzas Cotidianas , Nadie en el Mundo es Eterno, La Fiesta and many others, which he has staged in Europe, the USA and Latin America.
Gustavo Llano’s work is oriented towards the idea of choreographic theatre, which differs from dance theatre in its political motifs as well as its socially critical content and seeks the greatest possible expression with the simplest, most everyday means.
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