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Interview with Marlene Monteiro Freitas


Choreographer of Of ivory and flesh – statues also suffer

Can you introduce yourself?

MMF – dancer, choreographer. Co-founder of P.OR.K
Interested in Hybridism.

Do you notice a difference in audience between different countries and/or cities?

Yes. It is very important, for us, while performing, to understand how different people may react to our work. Sometimes, it is in the most disparate way.

What is your opinion on the social relevance of theatre?

Theatre raises the possibility of a shared fiction.
Fiction, for me, is freedom, a space of invention, therefore a space for possible social re-inventions.

What feeling is important to be creative?

Curiosity. Obsession. Work. Intuition….

What role did theatre/dance have when you grew up?

Dance/Music has been always present in a quotidian base.
Expressions of the most inner emotions were shared through music and dance.

If you didn’t become an artist, what would have been your profession?

Eventually, I would become a psychiatrist.

The company exists of many different nationalities. Why did you make this choice?

I work with people whom, artistic skills and sensibility may encounter and enrich the project. Normally, artists whose work I admire.

What do statues mean to you?

A lifeless thing that defies death, absence, visibility…

How have you tried to insert this meaning in this performance?

I work on metamorphoses in order to encounter hybrids.
As to statues, a possible metaphor for stillness, we worked/used Petrification, a possible metamorphose of humans into stone, therefore, into statues.
On stage petrified figures attend a ball, this last a possible metaphor for movement. The performance is a ball of petrified figures.

What do you want say to the audience?

I normally do not work on a specific message. The piece is an ensemble of images, figures, and situations, sometimes heterogeneous and contradictory, which hopefully allows the public to project their own images, according to their own sensibility, fears, desire, etc…and eventually rouse emotions.

The dansers are prominently dressed  and they wear heavy make-up. What was your reason for this visibility?

Movement, Music, Light, Sound, Costume, make-up, are different elements of the show, which are worked in the same line with equal importance and attention. Along the process we get images, ideas, etc, that are directly or indirectly related to the work, we built a kind of Atlas…from the relation between the different elements, we encounter some of our last choices on the elements of the piece.
I searched in the domain of sports, accessories used in different practices to protect the body, therefore reducing its exposure and eventually its mobility. I found in the domain of sword-play/ fencing… we changed the colour and didn’t use the whole costume, instead of socks we used ink… There are as well Boxing caps, etc, etc,….


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