Gulbenkian is hosting an ambitious program dedicated to the history of dance performance in Portugal and encompassing some of the biggest and most beloved names in the genre (we’re looking at you, Olga Roriz!). It’s a bit of everything, not just actual performances, and the performances themselves aren’t always as straightforward as regular consumers of culture may be used to, so we would only recommend this to the devotees of the art form and the implacably curious. But this should be good. Really good.
From the organizers, per the English version of the event:
“The programme dança não dança – arqueologias da Nova Dança em Portugal [dance not dance – archaeologies of the New Dance in Portugal] will show different dance manifestations that reflect and marked the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, seeking to situate what, in the 1990s, was called the New Portuguese Dance. Curated by João dos Santos Martins, Ana Bigotte Vieira, Carlos Manuel Oliveira and Ana Dinger, the cycle is organized into ten sessions, which will be presented at the Gulbenkian Foundation between October 30 and February 4.
Each of these sessions – for the most part free entry – will show a work or a set of works from different times, including premieres and revisits of pieces that are no longer in circulation. Grouped into thematic sections, the meetings propose relationships of proximity and distance between choreographic pieces by dozens of contemporary artists, including Vera Mantero, Luís Guerra, Sofia Neuparth, Olga Roriz, João Fiadeiro, Marlene Monteiro Freitas and Diana Niepce.”
Note from Atlas: here’s a brief outline of the peformances only (more details, in Portuguese, here, or on this PDF, also in Portuguese — an English version may come out eventually but we’re not betting on it):
Oct. 30: The Portuguese have no body
In Os Portugueses não tem corpo we interrogate the place of the body in Portuguese society, tracing an arc between the modernism of the beginning of the 20th century and the 1990s, the initial moment of New Portuguese Dance.
19h, Main Staircase: Almada Negreiros, the Dancer by Luís Guerra, 60 min, free entry
20h, Main Staircase: Maybe she could dance first and think later by Vera Maintaino by the National Ballet Company, 20 min, free entry
Nov 5: Free dances
What can a free dance be today? How do today’s nudes echo those of the beginning of the century? In Danças Livres we revisit the eurythmy practices of the 1920s and 1930s and the dissemination of artistic nudes on stages then and today.
15h, 16h30, Congress Zone: Coração-mão(Heart-hand) by Sofia Neuparth with the National Conservatory Dance School, 30 mins, free entry
17h, Auditorium 1: No body never mind, 002 by Ana Borralho & João Galante, (*Show with full nudity), 60 min, free entry by collecting tickets two hours before the start of the event
18h30, Main Staircase, The Mouth of the Atlas bly Gaya de Medeiros and Ary Zara Event Slider, (*Show with full nudity, with an open live drawing session – CORPAÇAS – hosted by Queer Art Lab and Lisbon Drawing Club,) 45 mins, free entry
Nov. 12: School-Revolution
School-Revolution is an excuse to reflect on what school is for and the place of art in tomorrow’s education.
Nov. 15: Unequal Subjects
19h00, Main Staircase: Lágrima (Teardrop), by Olga Roriz by the National Ballet Company, 4 mins, free entry
19h30, Main Staircase: Guided Tour by Claudia Dias, 60 min, free entry
Nov. 19: Transmission, Choreography and History
In Transmission, Choreography and History, we reflect on today by seeing how yesterday’s bodies built us like this. And the making of history is problematized by discussing its places – books, films, museums, exhibitions, shows – as agents of transmission of a present past.
Film and conferences, plus
15h, Auditorium 3: Envelopment, history and syncope by Isabel de Naverán (n Spanish without simultaneous translation), 90 min, free entry
Dec. 3: Il Faut Danser Portugal
In Il Faut Danser Portugal the terms “portugalidade” and “dance” are questioned as dreamed up by power and sketched out by artists.
17h, Congress Zone: Il Faut Danser Portugal by António Olaio by Vânia Rovisco (Reacting to Time) with the Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema, 30 mins, free
17h30, 19h, Main Staircase, Nazaré (1948) by Portuguese ballet group Verde Gaio by Cristina Graça with the Escola Superior de Dança, 20 min, free entry
Dec 10: Ballet Gulbenkian: Variações
Ballet Gulbenkian: Variações revisits a completely unknown show discovered in the archive, from a company that was well known until recently: Ballet Gulbenkian.
18h, 19h30, Main Staircase: Ritmo/Violento by André Cabral with Escola Superior de Dança followed by a conversation moderated by Daniel Tércio, 20 min, free entry
Dec 17: Expanded Choreography
A gesture of openness and experimentation drawn collectively in the 1980s based on a desire by Paula Massano is honored in Expanded Choreography.
16h30, Auditorium 1: ZOO&logic by Margarida Bettencourt, Ana Rita Palmeirim, Carlos Zíngaro, Paulo Graça and Nuno Carinhas with Escola Superior de Dança, 60 min, free entry, collection required two hours before the start of the event
Jan. 9, 10, Feb 4: Unearth Dance Memories
Jan. 9, 20h, Jan. 10, 20h, Main Staircase: Idiot by Marlene Monteiro Freitas, 80 mins, 10€
Feb. 6, 18h, Auditorium 3, Miquelina and Miguel by Miguel Pereira, followed by a conversation with the artist, Luís Trindade and moderation by Ana Bigotte Vieira, 80 min, free entry
Jan. 17: These Bodies That Occupy Us
In These Bodies that Occupy Us, ideas about the body, spectacle, living being, organism and dance are discussed.
18h, Main Staircase: This Body that Occupies Me by João Fiadeiro, 50 min (interpreted in Portuguese Sign Language), free entry
19h30, Main Staircase: Enfreakmentby Diana Niepce, 50 min (interpreted in Portuguese Sign Language), free entry
The organizers continue:
“Each performance is followed by a conversation about the work and the problems that its remake or transmission raise. The screening of three films made entirely from archive footage and an international conference will add to the possibilities of reading these performances and the century in which they are set.
The cycle also includes the collaboration of the Companhia Nacional de Bailado, the Escola de Dança do Conservatório Nacional, the Escola Superior de Dança and the Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema. In the words of the curators, “involving the main institutions responsible for the transmission of dance in the country, the programme operates by displacement. Transmitting what, how and to whom? How is dance and movement transmitted? How does what is perceived or even catalogued as intangible and immaterial remain? How is a repertoire or knowledge of the past maintained (or not) in the performing arts in general, and in dance in particular?”
Dance not dance is the result of research begun in 2016 as part of the project Para Uma Timeline a Haver – genealogias da dança como prática artística em Portugal[For a Timeline to Be – genealogies of dance as an artistic practice in Portugal]. In addition to this cycle of (re)performances, films, talks and conferences, the project also includes a book and an exhibition, which will be announced throughout 2024.”
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