The body is the instrument through which we make sense of life. Expanding our senses can help shape new realities and transform how we view the world.
Medellin’s La Rueda Flotante provides a space where people can tap into their senses and have experiences that aren’t solely related to seeing and hearing.
This is the only performing arts space of its kind in Medellin, and is fully accessible to those who want to attend a theatre show, participate in a course, or attend visit the sensory festival!
A Quick Overview of the Organisation
La Rueda Flotante is a performing arts theatre and educational research center. The creative company was founded in 2012 by a group of artists with and without disabilities.
Since then they have put on over 120 theatre performances to 4000 spectators in 22 municipalities nationwide!
Focused on creating accessible and inclusive experiences of art and language, they curate scenic, literary, communicative, and audiovisual productions with deaf and blind artists.
Combining deaf art, and the art of the blind, they were able to merge the two processes into what they call sensory diversity.
Here, with the possibility of not seeing or not hearing, new forms of body art can develop. It is this type of performance that La Rueda Flotante theatre shows explore.
The Darkness Theatre
The Darkness theatre is one of the most exciting elements of La Rueda Flotante. Shows take you on a sensory journey of smells, sounds, and touch with blind artists.
The performances are fully interactive and encourage participants to connect with their bodies and really tap into senses that they may not rely so heavily on in everyday life.
The theatre lives up to its name as the shows take place in complete darkness! That means phones and any equipment that emits light are strictly forbidden.
Although the show is made by blind people everyone is welcome!
The object of these performances is to create experiences that visually impaired people can enjoy whilst also encouraging everyone else to pay more attention to their senses.
The Tale of the Prince is the main show running at the moment. Its eerie, dark theatre depiction will make the hairs on your arm stand up. It’s truly spellbinding and sure to be a sound adventure like you’ve never experienced before!
You can see catch these performances on Sundays throughout November and December. The doors open at 11 am and the show starts at 11:30 sharp. Children under the age of 6 can attend for free.
Dates: November 20th and 27th, December 4th, 11th and 18th.
Prices:General Admission – $45,000 pesos, children – $25,000 pesos, families of four – $100,000 pesos.
Tickets can be bought in person at their Candelaria theatre, or online through the ticketing site eTicketaBlanca.
You can find most La Rueda Flotante shows on this site, however special events and one-off performances may have alternative payment methods.
All the latest shows are advertised on their Instagram along with purchase information.
La Rueda Flotante hosts a few festivals throughout the year. The popular sensory festival usually takes place around October every year, and lasts for a whole week!
With theatre shows, workshops, children’s centers, local food, and wine, the festival is not to be missed.
La Rueda Flotante’s events are always fully inclusive and curated by diverse groups for everyone to enjoy. Their most recent festival had a trans-indigenous artist residency, Argentinian women’s theatre, and poetry for nudest.
Other notable events include the International Deaf Arts Festival and Puppet show. Keep up to date with specific dates and locations by following their Instagram page.
Sensory Courses and Workshops
La Rueda Flotante holds courses for those interested in communication, language, and the arts. However, these are not your average language lessons.
There is a focus on alternative methods of communication. Sign language, braille, and indigenous Chamí language classes are just some of the educational activities you can participate in.
The experimental art workshop is for both teenagers and adults and takes place on Saturdays at 10 am.
The communication course is split into three levels and is accessible to blind people and those without the disability. These personalized sessions start at $150,000 pesos.
Guitar or Piano
If you’re interested in picking up new some skills, like mastering the guitar or piano, you can book a private session at La Rueda Flotante.
Theater and Arts School
These workshops are focused on performance and are specifically for people with intellectual disabilities. Sessions take place every Tuesday and Thursday.
Ever thought of learning an indigenous language? Embera is the language of the Andean native people, The Chami. You can learn some basics in La Rueda Flotante’s four-part course.
Prices start at $120,000 pesos and classes take place every Saturday.
For more information about any of the courses or workshops, you can reach out through their social media or WhatsApp.
Whatsapp: +57 3133268376
Visit the Cafe
Want to enjoy a quality coffee or colombian beer before a theatre show? You’re in luck! La Rueda Flotante has a newly opened cafe that serves alcoholic drinks, snacks, and hot beverages.
I enjoyed the casual and relaxing setting. As soon as I entered the building I was met by Antonio, a visually impaired man, and very knowledgeable and attentive waiter, he guided me through the cafe to the seated area.
Here sign language is the universal language. In fact, it is the first sensory cafe in the whole of Colombia!
So, you can communicate with staff in sign if you know it, but they are happy to interact and teach you a few things if you don’t.
Sometimes the cafe hosts a sign language exchange evening, which is the perfect place to learn the basics or practice.
Getting to the La Rueda Flotante
The cafe, theatre and workshops are all located at the Sensory House in El Centro. The area is one of the best places in Medellin for public transport!
To reach the building you take metro line B to San Antonio station, walk 10 minutes along calle 47, and then turn left onto carrera 41.
Or you can hop on the tram and ride the green ‘T-A’ line to the Bicentenario stop. Once you exit the tram it’s a short 4-minute walk to Sensory House.
The building itself is hard to miss; it’s painted black and purple with a circular ‘La Rueda Flotante’ sign above the door.