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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Sezione Danza EN (new)


Lia Rodrigues Companhia de Danças (Brazil)

May 12th, 8:00 p.m.
Teatro Piccolo Arsenale
choreography Lia Rodrigues
in collaboration with the dancers Amália Lima, Ana Paula Kamozaki, Lidia Larangeira, Calixto Neto, Leonardo Nunes, Thais Galliac, Jamil Cardoso, Gabriele Nascimento, Paula de Paula, Bruna Thimotheo, Francisco Cavalcanti
and with the collaboration of Allyson Amaral, Clarissa Rego, Carolina Campos, Volmir Cordeiro, Priscilla Maia
assistant choreographer Jamil Cardoso
assistant choreographer for the repertory Amalia Lima
dramaturgy Silvia Soter
costumes João Saldanha and Marcelo Braga
lighting design Nicolas Boudier
production Centre national de danse contemporaine d’Angers, Théâtre Le Quai - Théâtre Jean Vilar de Vitry-sur-Seine, Théâtre de la Ville, Festival d’Automne – Paris, Kunstenfestivaldesarts - Brussels
with the support of REDES de Desenvolvimento da Maré, Espaço SESC – Rio de Janeiro, Prince Claus Fund
international booking Thérèse Barbanel – Les Artscéniques
production Colette de Turville
Invited to major festivals throughout the world where she has often won awards – from Avignon to Edinburgh to Montreal, from the Biennale de Lyon to the Suzanne Dellal International Dance Competition in Tel Aviv – Lia Rodrigues, with her company, has spread the language of Brazilian dance. But her choreographic works are something more than simple dance performances because they are created in the particular context of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro, where Rodrigues has established her base.
Director and choreographer of the homonymous company, which she founded in Rio de Janeiro in 1990, after being a member of the Maguy Marin company in France in the early Eighties, Rodrigues also created a contemporary dance festival, the Panorama RioArte de Dança, which she directed through 2005. And it was in this role as a tireless promoter of culture that Lia Rodrigues ran up against the world of the favelas. The turning point came in 2003, when Rodrigues, who firmly believes in the union of art and social progress, initiated the new experience that brought her company of professionals in contact with institutions active in social work, first the Centro de Estudos e Ações Solidárias da Maré (CEASM) and later the REDES Association. It was with the community in this immense area, a district North of Rio composed of 16 favelas with 132,000 inhabitants, that Rodrigues began her social and pedagogical work in which dance became a tool to emerge from a situation of social disadvantage. In 2007 Lia Rodrigues and her company became definitively established in one of the favelas in Maré, Nova Holanda, which gets its name from its position below sea level. Here they founded a new space dedicated to dance and the arts, open to the entire community, and made it a centre for the diffusion of contemporary dance through the presentation of its own repertory and that of other companies, the creation of new works, courses and workshops for the young inhabitants of the favela led by guest artists and members of the company. The activity is totally free of charge, and attracts an ample and diversified public. The Centro de Artes da Maré is a space where artistic creation, production, training and educational activity blend into a single project. This is where Rodrigues creates her productions, including her latest work, Pororoca.
Presented at the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine d’Angers in November 2009, Pororoca has toured France and Europe: Festival d’Automne in Paris, Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, Théâtre Jean Vilar in Vitry, la Ferme du Buisson in Marne-la-Vallée, Tanzfabrik in Potsdam, the Festival of Salamanca, Culturgest in Lisbon, Museo Serralves in Porto, Hellerau in Dresden, Tanzquartier in Vienna.
The title Pororoca refers to the term “poroc-poroc” which in the language of the Tupi, one of the main aboriginal groups in Brazil, means “roar, explosion”. This is a natural phenomenon produced when the river water meets the ocean, when the tumultuous collision of opposing currents creates a violent impact. In English it’s called a tidal bore. In Brazil this phenomenon takes place at the mouth of the Amazon River where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. The violence of this roaring collision can uproot trees and modify the river bed, yet it is a fragile process, the result of a delicate balance. In the very same way, Pororoca provokes a meeting between opposite currents, which generate waves that break over one another and mix together. “It is a metaphor, suggests Rodrigues, of our work in the Maré”. She explains: “At this point in time, when walls are being built all over the world, when territories are being resolutely defended, borders enforced and rigidly controlled, we propose to move in the opposite direction. We propose to discover new possibilities for sharing, interaction and creation. What we set in motion with the encounter between my company, the REDES Association and the people of the Maré will always be alive and changing, to offer a host of new possibilities”.
Several castaways disembark. Some find shelter under a table, others cling to an armchair, some merely hold tight to their own shirts to save themselves. Pororoca, created in 2009 for eleven dancers by Lia Rodrigues, takes its cue from the title, which refers to the crashing wave that grows out of the meeting between an ocean and a river (…) Danced in silence for the most part, Pororoca makes the bones and the muscles crack, the breathing resound. In 2005, Incarnat, the first work inspired by the favela, spit out blood in the form of ketchup to express the hardship of the situation and the choreographer’s disbelief. Four years later, out of apparent chaos, Pororoca extracts a tumultuous and ferociously beautiful choreographic score.
R.Boisseau, Le Monde, 11 April 2010