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A talk with Lia Rodrigues

A talk with Lia Rodrigues

‘How can we give back visibility and voice to what was made invisible and silent?’ Read in a brief description of Fúria, the question encompasses the angered rage present in the world the show manifests, and also the role of those magic, sacred forces that act as mediators between heaven and earth, and burst through in Encantado. It is also a question that might lead us to a plural, diverse world of people and all the artistic and teaching projects found at the Maré Arts Center and the Free Dance School of Maré, located at the favelas of Maré in Rio. Furthermore, it might be a key to think through the current circulation and gathering opportunities for artists from the Global South, and consider the various imbalances of the North-South divide when it comes to artistic production. Finally, it is an invitation to embrace non-Eurocentric aesthetics and perceptions of history and the future of our world. In a discussion with Lia Rodrigues, we’ll start from – though we won’t limit ourselves to – the constellation of themes, artistic and political, that inhabit the work of the Brazilian choreographer.

© Sammi Landweer.

14 APR 2023
FRI 18:30

Small Auditorium
Free admission*
Duration 2h

*with ticket pickup 30 min. before the session starts (subject to room capacity).

Lia Rodrigues Biography

Lia Rodrigues was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1956. She studied Classical Ballet and History at USP – University of São Paulo. In 1977, she co- founded the independent contemporary dance group Andança; the group wan the APCA award in 1978. She worked at Compagnie Maguy Marin, in France, between 1980 and 1982. During that time she participated in the creation of May B, one of the most renowned contemporary dance performances.


1) Lia Rodrigues Companhia de Danças

Back in Brazil, she moved to Rio de Janeiro and founded her own company, Lia Rodrigues Companhia de Danças, in 1990. The company is active throughout the year, busy with classes, revisiting its repertoire, and researching and creating new works. She performed in many cities in Brazil, also conducting workshops. She perfomed in over 25 countries. More details on the company's history.


2) Curatorship, Production and Juror

Lia Rodrigues was also involved in production activities and curated exhibitions and dance meetings.

* 1992 – Created and directed Panorama da Dança, the most important dance festival in Rio de Janeiro, for 14 years.

* 1998 – Coordinated the project Dança na Quarta – works by contemporary dance artists from Rio de Janeiro – at the Universidade Gama Filho in Rio de Janeiro.

* 1998 –  Presented Memória em Movimento in collaboration with researcher and dance critic Roberto Pereira. The show honoured three great names in national dance: Klaus, Angel and Rainer Vianna.

* 1998 – Was one of the curators of the exhibition Caixa de Folia presented at the Museu da República, Rio de Janeiro. The exhibition celebrated the 60th anniversary of writer Mário de Andrade’s mission for folklore research.

* 1999 – Was one of the curators of the exhibition Coração dos outros – Mário de Andrade. The show was visited by over 40,000 people.

* 2000 – Created ‘Condomínio Cultural’ with theatre director Ligia Veiga after restoring a historic building downtown Rio de Janeiro.

* 2000 to 2002 – Artistic coordinator of the exhibition BNDES – Art as Social Action.

* 2002 to 2006 – Created the project ‘Cahier de Dance’ – an interchange and meeting place for French and Brazilian dancers – together with playwright Silvia Soter and in partnership with the Rio de Janeiro French Consulate.

* 2003 – Organized the Rio de Janeiro dance programme for 12 of the largest French theatres and cultural centres in preparation for the Year of Brazil in France in 2005.

* 2003 – Juror of the ‘Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative’, a programme by the Rolex Foundation.


3) Visual Arts Colaborations

* 1998 – Performance for for the Lygia Clark retrospective exhibition at the Paço Imperial museum.

* 2001 – Performance for ‘Teresa’ a work by the visual artist Tunga at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil.

* 2003 – Performance for 'TRou Rouge' a work by the visual artist Tunga at the Inhotim museum.

* 2005 – Performance for 'Laminadas Almas' na installation by Tunga, at Espaço Tom Jobim, Botanical Garden,  Rio de Janeiro.


4) The Favela da Maré projects

Lia Rodrigues has been involved in artistic and educational activities in Favela da Maré, Rio de Janeiro, in partnership with the NGO Redes da Maré, since 2004.  The ‘Centro de Artes da Maré’, 2009, and the Escola Livre de Danças da Maré, 2011, were a result of this collaboration.

The Centro de Artes da Maré is a place of creation, training and propagation of the arts; it is also the headquarters of Lia Rodrigues’ Companhia de Danças. Here the Company created and premiered works like Pororoca, Piracema and Pindorama and carried out “Nova Holanda – Novos Horizontes: Dança para Todos”, in partnership with the Prince Claus Foundation, in 2009. The project includes free dance classes for residents.


 5) Education

During a professional activity that spans 40 years, the choreographer combines training with artistic creation by teaching, conducting workshops and giving lectures.

*1999 – As part of ‘Escola que Vale’, a project by the Vale do Rio Doce Foundation, she prepared classes for CIEPS teachers in several Brazilian cities (São Luiz do Maranhão, Marabá, Catas Altas-MG, Paraoapebas).

*2005 – She offered dance classes in schools in popular Rio de Janeiro neighbourhoods for the TIM project.

*2005 – She was guest teacher at Fórum Dança and head of the ‘Gulbenkian Creativity and Artistic Creation Programme’ choreography course, Lisbon.

*2006 – Took part in the 'Education Acts!' project of the Tanzquartier in Vienna, Austria.

*2007 – She was one of the artists mentors in the Gulbenkian Foundation residences project, Lisbon.

*2009 – She was a visiting professor at the ESSAIS graduate programme at the École Supérieure du Centre National de Danse Contemporaine, Angers, France.

*2011 – She was guest teacher at Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s PARTS school, Belgium.

*2012 – She was guest teacher of regular course students at the École Supérieure du Centre National de Danse Contemporaine, Angers, France.

*2014 – She was guest teacher and director of the advanced training course of PEPCC students at Forum Dança in Lisbon.

*2017 – Guest teacher at Fórum Dança Portugal, teaching PEPCC students and the Dance and Community course.

*2017 – Accompanied students in the Master's programme (Master /Exerce) at ICI — CCN in Montpellier, France.

*2018 – Visiting professor at Freie Universität Berlin/Valeska Gert as well as at the Akademie der Künste Berlin.


6) Awards and Exchange

Lia Rodrigues has been an associate artist at Théâtre National de Chaillot and at Le 104, Paris, since 2018. In 2005, he was awarded the ‘Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres’ medal by the French government. She received an award from the Prince Claus Foundation, the Netherlands, in 2014, for her artistic and social work. That same year, she was awarded the AFIELD Fellowship for her work at Centro de Artes da Maré. In 2016, the Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques [SACD] presented her the choreography award. In 2017, she received the Itaú Cultural 30 years’ award in the Create category.


Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, following ACT - Art, Climate, Transition project

ACT Art Climate Transition


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