Vera Mantero closes the cycle P.E.D.R.A. in a live online gathering. To watch on Culturgest, Teatro Municipal do Porto and Teatro Viriato online social networks.
P.E.D.R.A is a project devised and created to encourage young people to learn and to partake in contemporary dance, organized by Culturgest, Teatro Municipal do Porto and Teatro Viriato.
Three renown national choreographers were invited to share their repertoire with about 40 youths, aged between 15 and 18, with and without dance experience, in three cities, during the course of three years, between 2018 and 2020. The first edition’s guest choreographer was Clara Andermatt and the host city was Porto. The second edition featured choreographer Francisco Camacho and was hosted by the city of Viseu. The third and last edition welcomes choreographer Vera Mantero to Lisbon.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event, which signals the end of the project, will be shown online and nationwide, followed by a talk with Vera Mantero and the other two cities’ choreographers, as well as the participants, mediated by Pedro Santos Guerreiro.
Between December and April, groups from the three cities gathered weekly to explore the language of these choreographers in work sessions designed to encourage co-creation and reinterpretation of the given repertoire. Expanding the social impacts of the project and benefiting from the mediating potential of shared artistic creation, the three groups met in residency as fellows, motivated by the prospect of a public show of the three dance performances that closed a cycle, each year.
Henrique Furtado Vieira (Culturgest), Vera Santos (Teatro Municipal do Porto) e Leonor Barata (Teatro Viriato)
Beatriz Cabral, Carlos Lebre, Celeste Vasques, Cláudia Inácio, Fatou Fall, Madalena Caldeira de Sousa, Margarida Sequeira, Mariana Vasconcelos e Viviana Gonçalves (Culturgest)
Beatriz Rios, Carlos Pereira, Catarina Borzyak, Elizabeth Dumbill, Gabriela Rodrigues, Jéssica Ferreira, João Figueiredo, Marco Martins, Maria Loureiro e Miguel Marinho (Teatro Municipal do Porto)
Beatriz Ferreira Costa, Carlota Melo Duarte, Inês Eugénia Afonso Cruz, Mafalda Venturini Ramos, Maria Inês Gomes da Silva Marques, Martim Cunha Rodrigues, Sofia Costa Fong Vieira Gomes e Tiago Peres (Teatro Viriato)
Pedro Santos Guerreiro
Carlota Lagido (Culturgest), Joana Providência (Teatro Municipal do Porto) e Leonor Barata (Teatro Viriato)
Celeste Espiridião, Beatriz Pereira, Inês Caeiro e Vicente Correia (Culturgest)
Alice Veloso, Antonia Herbert, Bernardo Alves, Dany Duarte, Eduarda Pastor, Francisca Melo, Ivana Duarte, Joao Vieira, Luana Oliveira, Mafalda Garcia, Matilde Cancelliere, Miguel Mota, Rita Pereira (Teatro Municipal do Porto)
Ana Carolina Almeida, Ana Carolina Lopes Barreiros, Ana Carolina Vaz, Ana Maria Rodrigues Figueiredo, Beatriz Marques Neves, Catarina de Almeida Oliveira, Liliana Correia Santos, Mariana Tiago, Raquel Almeida Figueiredo e Rodrigo Loureiro (Teatro Viriato)
Culturgest: 12, 13 ABR
Teatro Municipal do Porto: 12, 13 ABR
Teatro Viriato: 16 ABR (3 grupos)
Amélia Bentes (Culturgest), Cristina Planas Leitão (Teatro Municipal do Porto) e Romulus Neagu (Teatro Viriato)
Anastásia Russkikh, António Liberato, Carolina Inácio, Catarina Keil, Hugo Mendes, Jonathan Taylor, Leonor Mendes, Margarida Souza e Mariana Vasconcelos (Culturgest)
Ana Beatriz Sequeira, Alice Ferreira, Dalila Pereira, Flávia Freitas, Maria Beatriz Costa, Maria Catarina Diogo e Vanessa Ferreira (Teatro Municipal do Porto)
Beatriz Costa Teixeira, Beatriz Matos Almeida, Cecília Correia Nogueira Almeida Borges, Daniela Filipa Soares Dias, Inês Cardoso Fernandes, Isabel de Ornelas, Diogo Obrist, Mariana Rodrigues Silva, Rita Obrist e Sara Margarida Nogueira Lopes (Teatro Viriato)
Culturgest: 20, 21 ABR
Teatro Municipal do Porto: 4, 5 MAI (3 grupos)
Teatro Viriato: 20 ABR
Vera Mantero about P.E.D.R.A.
I would like to begin by making a declaration of interest: I am a huge fan of P.E.D.R.A – Educational Dance Project for Teenagers. No matter how many times it is said, it is never enough to point out how important it is for young teenagers to join the contemporary dance scene, which is an experimental dance (a dance to experiment with), a dance that looks like a performance and is, simultaneously, a performance that looks like a dance. A dance entirely made of crossings; a dance which is, in itself, the universe of the Great [disciplinary] Crossroads and of the Great [body... and spirit] Ranges. In short, it is the home of great interrogations and great liberties. Nothing could be more adequate young people at an age when this is lived with heightened intensity.
But revisiting our work through the eyes (and bodies, and thoughts, and voices) of these youngsters is also a priceless opportunity and an invaluable experience for those of us who did that work. Going back is also reactivating, it is understanding again, it is understanding inside out: “Then we will teach him again to dance inside out (…) and that inside out will be his true side out” (Antonin Artaud, To Have Done with the Judgment of God, 1947).
How lovely it was to get to each one of these cities and see these young persons using creation processes, which have long been my favourites, to generate their movements, their texts, their sounds, their interactions and trajectories, in a way that is so inspiring and creative. To see them revealing themselves (and me). To see them becoming surprised and excited with the “odd things” about which they were questioning me moments earlier. To see them thinking together so fast, debating issues which are at the centre of the work, issues that no one had raised before. To observe how quickly they grasp the fundamentals, not letting go…
And then I stopped being able to reach those cities because we were no longer able to reach any city... And the young persons began to reach me, they began to reach us, by phone, via the everyday apps of life, and we were overwhelmed with this youth’s experiments with contemporary dance in their bedroom, their sitting room, their kitchen, or their balcony... Although the interruption of what was taking place inside dance studios full of teens experimenting with their bodies, with space, and with time, was devastating, it was, nonetheless, genuinely fascinating to see them pursue these exercises in a more introspective, intimate, almost diary-like, inside their homes, as they continued to discover, to experiment, to take risks.
People like Henrique Furtado, Leonor Barata and Vera Santos, and local choreographers, my unconditional accomplices, were key to the joy I felt in this journey called P.E.D.R.A.
They were the ones who figured out which pieces and projects were best suited to present to the group they were working with, they were the ones who set out paths and shortcuts between the artistic objects and these young persons, they were the ones who, in a period of lockdown, endeavoured to find ways to reach them and to go on working with them in conditions so suddenly adverse and unknown. They were enthusiastic and passed that enthusiasm on to me, and for that I wish to convey to them my most sincere gratitude. As to the participants, I say this with no uncertainties: I know that this project held an important place in your lives in recent months and I hope that it will always prove useful, be it as future performers and artists, be it as current and future art lovers, which we all are, in widening your mind set towards these objects so full of ‘not-knowing’, which, for that very reason, enable us to gain a better understanding of the many different traits we are all made of.
A nova dança do existir, Vera Santos
I met Vera Mantero in 2012 when I interviewed her about “Como rebolar alegremente sobre um vazio interior”, a piece she created in 2001 for the Gulbenkian Ballet, for my Masters in Artistic Studies – Art Critique thesis. I then had the opportunity to deepen my knowledge on her work, about which I have always been fascinated.
I believe that a choreographer’s repertoire is an expression of their thought process towards dance, the body and how it communicates with the time it inhabits; and that was the trail I followed going through the pieces she created with these youngsters, while working alongside them. Her presence was the cornerstone underlying this creative process.
How to be in the here and now is what she wanted to work with these youngsters – Such a difficult thing amongst teenagers! (Barata said in the first team meeting).
We tried not to think, we looked for a body with self-determination and odd sounds, we strived to warm up our impulses, we glanced at the glancing, and we tried to tell, to imagine, to go on imagining without knowing. Vera set all this in motion, just like that!
I took an excerpt from a book* to the rehearsal room that read: "The ways by which we ignore something are just as important, if not more important, than the ways by which we recognize it" and ended with "(...) the relation with the zone of non-knowledge is a dance.”
We read texts about Vera Mantero and “The New Portuguese Dance” by António Pinto Ribeiro at the Campo Alegre Sala Estúdio; and, overwhelmed, we saw Uma rosa de músculos (1989), Sob (1993), A dança do existir (1995), uma misteriosa Coisa, disse o e.e. cummings * (1996).
Carlos thought that what we saw was not a dance, it was a play. Liz said: I guess I just really admire her belief and trust in herself and how confident she is in her own body.
Referring to Comer o coração (2004) Jessica uttered: - She is a goddess!
If you think that you’re clever, that’s because you haven’t tried dancing yet – Marco wrote in one of the notes he always seemed to leave behind in the studio. Joel picked the words: affable, melodic, powerful, interpretation, outsized, parable, metaphorical, artistic, performance, surreal, reaction, uncertainty, doubt, question... According to A Rios, dance brings a million thoughts to each person, and it brings about a demonstration of what it is to be a person, what it is to exist.
“The very art of living is the capacity to remain in a relation of harmony with what escapes us.”* – This saying must be part of the show! Vera said.
*Nudités, Giorgio Agamben (2012)
A NOVA DANÇA DO EXISTIR
Choreographer at Porto
Beatriz Rios, Carlos Alexandre Pereira, Catarina Borzyak, Gabriela Rodrigues, Jessica Ferreira, João Figueiredo, Marco Martins and Maria Luís Loureiro.
Elizabeth Veitch Dumbill
Vera Mantero, Leonor Barata, Henrique Furtado Vieira, Manuel Poças, Pedro Galante, Zito Marques and Marcela Pedersen