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LETTER TO THE BODY THAT FIGHTS

NEW CREATION PREMIERE 2024

"Letter to the Body that Fights" is a choreographic piece, a solo, that presents itself as a letter written by a woman to the body that fights... hers, everyone's, as an intimate dialogue between corporealities, promoting a reflection on the struggles inscribed in bodies, echoing a revolution where the private becomes public. The idea of constructing a body that reflects its stories, resistances, and identities, without the same restrictions or censorship, but carrying them in memory, reveals the diversity and the ability of each individual to contribute with their voice, challenging hierarchies and fostering inclusion. Thus, the dance space becomes a space for dialogue, where the body fights for its expression, reflecting on the democratic values of freedom and equality, in a relationship between the past and the present.

 

This project aims to establish a connection between some of the letters and texts that compose the literary work "New Portuguese Letters" and the work of the body and artistic expression of pioneering choreographers of modern dance in the 60s and 70s, like Martha Graham, Yvonne Rainer, Lucinda Childs, inspiring the revolutions made by Marie Chouinard and Pina Bausch in the 80s and 90s. Although they may seem distant, these two artistic matters share a focus on the female body as a central theme, as well as on the expression of new ideas, breaking conventions, and exploring individual and collective freedom, particularly regarding the role and representation of women in society and art.

 

The work "New Portuguese Letters", published in 1972 by Maria Isabel Barreno, Maria Teresa Horta, and Maria Velho da Costa, and which was seized by the censorship of the New State regime in Portugal due to its content considered subversive and challenging to the prevailing social and moral norms, reflects a deep critique of the social, political, and cultural conditions of women in Portuguese society. Challenging gender norms and social inequalities, expressing a search for freedom and equality, it directly confronted the conservative values promoted by the regime at the time, exploring themes such as love, sexuality, oppression, and resistance, inserting itself in the feminist movement of that period, which was significantly based on themes related to the female body and writing promoted by women. This confrontation culminated in a legal trial against the three authors, known as the trial of the "Three Marias".

 

At the beginning of the second wave of feminism, the writing and the female body were deeply explored themes, emphasizing the interconnection between literary expression and corporeality. This period of intense reflection on the identity and autonomy of women found resonance in the world of dance, where choreographers began to imprint new narratives on the bodies that danced, especially female ones. Women like Martha Graham, Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown, and Lucinda Childs, in the 60s and 70s, through their innovative choreographies, challenged established norms and redefined women's space in the art of dance, promoting a vision of the female body that emphasized autonomy, expressiveness, and strength, questioning and expanding the limits of what was considered the "traditional" role of women in society and art. Using movement as a form of expression and resistance, their choreographies challenged established norms, and their bodies reflected social and political issues, including the fight for women's freedom and equality.

 

The letters and texts of "New Portuguese Letters" continue to challenge and destabilize power relations in the social, political, and even intimate spheres, promoting contemporary debates on themes that, although they may be or seem overcome, manifest distinctly from the time of their publication. The body continues and will continue to be one of the fundamental instruments for transformation and revolution. Maria de Lourdes Pintassilgo, in the preface of the book, highlights the body as the "first battlefield" and "preferred place of denunciation". This conception of the body underscores its constant manifestation and struggle in favor of fundamental values, such as democracy.

FICHA ARTÍSTICA e TÉCNICA

// 50 min. || m/ 6 anos 

// CONCEPT :: São Castro

// CHOREOGRAPHY:: São Castro e António M Cabrita

// PERFORMANCE :: Beatriz Mira

// LIGHT DESIGN :: Cárin Geada

// COSTUME DESIGN  :: Nuno Nogueira

// ADMINISTRATION  :: José Teixeira

// COMUNICATION :: Liliana Rodrigues

// PRODUCTION ASSITANT :: Tomás Pereira

 

// PRODUCTION :: PLAY FALSE, Associação Cultural (PT)

// COPRODUCTION :: CENDREV (ÉVORA)

// SUPPORT FOR ARTISTIC  RESIDENCIES :: Estúdios Victor Córdon / OPART, Teatro Viriato, AMAC - Auditório Municipal Augusto Cabrita / Barreiro

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