Born in El Salvador. Rodrigo Calderón Tobar graduated with a Bachelor degree of Dramatic Arts from Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina (2007 - 2010); and have since immersed himself into directing, teaching, performing and experimenting diverse movement-based forms that potentialize the possibilities of the body as a communicative and political tool.
In Argentina, he collaborated as an actor with Edgardo Dib in Me amás... ¿Me amás? ¡¿Me amás?! (2010) and Bacanal (2010). Rodrigo returned to El Salvador in 2011 and worked extensively with Es-Artes / Suchitoto Stratford, an artistic NGO who seeks bringing social and economic change through the power of theatre, an initiative that offers opportunities to young people through performance and theatre education. He co-directed with Edward Daranyi (Director and Theatre Maker from Stratford Shakespeare Festival) Fuenteovejuna by Lope de Vega.
The next three years of his Salvadoran stay (2012 - 2015), he was a board member at ESCÉNICA, a not-for-profit Salvadoran artistic organisation that promotes social strategies aimed at children, youth, and women, in socially vulnerable conditions. Rodrigo was the leading coordinator of projects using Theatre of the Oppressed, Social-Circus and theatre techniques. Simultaneously was working as a Theatre Instructor for the Diploma in Theatre at CENAR, the only funded art-institution by the Salvadoran government that promotes the professionalization of the arts.
During this time, Rodrigo worked as an actor in Los Melindres de Belisa by Lope de Vega, directed by Santiago Nogales (2011 - 2012); México - El Salvador, short-film by Julio Lopéz (2012);
photo by Oscar Socias
Ladrón de Sueños by Truman Capote, directed by Fernando Umaña (2012); Malacrianza, feature-film by Artuto Menéndez (2012); Incendies by Wajdi Mouwad, directed by Roberto Salomón (2012 - 2013); Huis Clos by Jean-Paul Sartre, directed by César Pineda (2012 - 2013); and Anafilaxis by Jorgelina Cerritos, directed by Eunice Payés (2013 - 2014). As a director, he devised La Peste, based in Antonin Artaud's essays with students of the National Centre of Arts (2013); and co-directed with with César Pineda Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss, performed by students of the National University of El Salvador.
In this time (2011-2015) he collaborated intensely with César Pineda, exploring their shared interest in the ritualistic nature of theatre. This experience deeply inspired him to continue the ongoing investigation the expressive possibilities of the actor's body, to create a ceremonial gathering. Rodrigo's theatrical practice focuses in the building of a community. Since then, he has been fascinated in devising work that utilises the body as a primal catalyser of creation. This philosophy led him to explore a diverse range of movement-based forms: Asian Shamanic Trance Dance, Butoh, Baris dance, Chekhov's Technique, Gaga-Dance, Javanese traditional dance, Meyerhold's Biomechanics, Neutral Mask, Panic Theatre, Raung Jagat, Suzuki Method for Actor's training, among others.
After four years extensively working in El Salvador he emigrated to Melbourne, Australia where he currently resides. In 2016, he directed his first show in Australia, Night Sings its Songs by Jon Fosse, with two consecutive sold out seasons at LaMama Theatre; he has performed with the Tony Yap Company in Light in Winter (2015), Traces of Transformation (2016), In honour of Earle Brown and Morton Feldman (2018), Shadow's Light (2018), as part of the Mapping Melbourne Festival, Bantengan Carnival (2019) and Quiver (2021) as part of the MPavillion-Meets festival; he has conceived and performed And Dreams, Dreams Are (2015), SPHINX (2017), and Erotismo Kafkiano (2021) at the Melaka International Performance Art Festival, Malaysia; The Inner Between (2016) at the International Pelem Festival, Indonesia; and Mother (2017), at Mapping Delhi Festival, India. With The Thursday Group he performed in The Intriguing Case of The Silent Forest (2019), with a sell-out season and a Green Room Award nomination. He is part of the 5AngryMen - Theatre ensemble, and has toured their enigmatic show THE BELLS, in major festivals around Australia: Acland st - Festival (2017), White Night Melbourne (2018) -12 hour show-, White Night Ballarat (2018) -12 hour show-, WOMADelaide (2019), Splendour in the Grass (2019), Inland Sea of Sound Festival (2020), Wagga Fest (2020), Upstream Festival (2020), and International Melbourne Comedy Festival (2021).
He is a collaborator of The Thursday Group ensemble, an ongoing theatre laboratory of Tadashi Suzuki’s theatre technique; Tony Yap Company, an experimental dance theatre company transforming ancient Asian Shamanic Trance Dance practice into a post-modern medium; and part of the 5AngryMen, an extremely physical plein-air theatre company committed to commentary on contemporary culture, human nature and relationships by manipulating universally clear symbols.
Most recently, Rodrigo is working in his first written solo-work HE, a reckoning with the waters of troubled masculinity in a sleepy coastal town; and co-creating with The Thursday Group, Orpheo Machine, a re-imagination of the Orphean fable, in which Ovid's muse and poet find an equal voice.