Barcelona native, Sonia Lahoz Xaus is a dancer, performer, yoga instructor, and a self-taught face and body-paint artist. Finding her inspiration in fantasy, in the ephemeral, and powerful feminine energy, Sonia brings a unique vision into the world of art and movement. She combines her creative inclinations with her feelings, emotions and intuition to share her unique perspective and her art with the world.
We sat down with Sonia to learn more about her life and the experiences that led her to pursue an artistic lifestyle.
Hi Sonia, can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where are you from and how has your upbringing influenced your work?
I was born, raised, and have always lived in Barcelona. During my youth, I educated myself in an environment favorable to creativity and art. I studied music (voice training and piano), Classical Ballet, Jazz, Flamenco, Belly Dance, Classical Hindu Dance, Tango and at the same time I studied Interior Design and Graphic Design at university. Years later, I trained in Dynamic Yoga Methods and I’m a self-taught makeup, face and body painting artist.
All of these experiences and knowledge have—and still continue to forge my personality. I rely on my creativity to develop my current projects and activities. I consider myself a multidisciplinary person. I’m curious and I like to play several keys at the same time; one complements and reinforces the other.
How did you start expressing yourself creatively? How has that experience impacted your perspective?
I grew up in a world of adults. I didn't have siblings or cousins until I was 11 years old, so for fun I learned to play alone (outside of school hours). I recorded cassette tapes, telling myself stories and jokes. I loved dressing up and inventing characters and other realities. I loved to dance, sing and draw ... any creative tool as a form of expression.
How have dance & yoga inspired you to explore your creative expression? Have they led to other creative pursuits?
Oriental and Tribal Fusion dance have profoundly influenced my creativity and my personality. I discovered this dance more than twenty years ago—in a moment of revelation—of breaking away from ideas that had been instilled in me (prejudices, etc.) For the first time I began to reconcile with my feminine self, also with my self-imposed demands.
At that time, oriental dance in the West was still very young, there was a whole world to discover. Teachers and students were discovering it together, and for the first time I felt that I was part of something very special and I wanted to share it with others.
The era of social networks was still far away and it was a magical experience to find information, videos, etc. We met often to share small treasures and teachings. We created a strong tribe of women who shared doubts, laughter and tears, apart from dancing and having fun together. That was really the food of inspiration, good vibes and magic between teachers and classmates. Many of those relationships continue today and will continue to be an important part of my life.
Much later, I fell in love with yoga. I felt that it complemented perfectly with my love of dance. Yoga is a homecoming. To the home you always inhabit: yourself. So a good mission is to make your home paradise.
Yoga has helped me to correct more deeply physical aspects of my body and mind, to be more careful and loving with them. Above all, it has brought me depth, presence and awareness.
Our belly is the spiritual as well as physical centre of our body, from where we receive our life force. How has belly-dancing—a unique expression of feminine energy—impacted you?
Our belly is the center of feminine creation. Moving everything around the belly and hips is deeply therapeutic and healing, as well as being a creativity enhancer. In my case, I feel that it has given me empowerment, security and more confidence. It also helps me identify limitations and blockages, to embrace them, and thus be able to work on- or accept them.
Women and femininity are slowly becoming more appreciated in the arts. How do you see this transition from muses to makers?
Yuhuuu finally!!!! We were always makers but we were hidden. Now we are given more visibility and we have learned to allow ourselves to be in the place we deserve to be. Being a muse is great, if one chooses it freely.
Although we have gained a certain amount of freedom with respect to our mothers and grandmothers, I believe that 2 or 3 generations are still needed to be able to talk about gender equality, in legal terms as well as with prejudices and doubts about female power.
Who inspires you the most in life?
I am inspired by good, honest, fair, sensitive, creative, persevering, brave and curious people, without regard for their gender. I always say that there are 2 types of people in this life: those who complain and those who seek solutions. It is obvious who inspires me.
Tell us about a project or experience that was especially inspiring for you.
In moments of personal crisis I used the tools I have learned to find peace again. I was inspired by the idea of "the bird woman" at a time when I needed to free myself from fear and empower myself. Thanks to that creation, I started researching makeup and body-painting to learn on my own, learned from experiences with other successful makeup artists, and practiced with my friends and acquaintances until I was offered positions working in several festivals with my Fantasy Makeup Stand, Magic Bindi.
Do you have any upcoming projects that we should know about?
Yes!!!! There is something in the oven. It will be a beautiful collaboration with my friend Ignacio Dattilo, Sound Healer. I don't want to reveal the entire secret, but we're creating a project to offer 'Welcome to Life' Ceremonies: They will be dedicated to pregnant women and their future babies, as an accompaniment ceremony to the magical time a few weeks before delivery.
It will be a shared experience with people, friends and family who are part of the most intimate circle of the pregnant woman. It will be a beautiful and very special project.
Thanks so much for chatting with us today Sonia! Can you please tell us where people can find you and your work?
UPDATE! Sonia is now offering macrame creations; beautiful wall hangings, plant hangers, eyeglasses cords and more.... Visit her Instagram account in the link above to see her work and contact her for custom-made orders.
Sonia is also listed on our growing directory of working artists in Barcelona!