Performing Arts

Peça do Coração: EXCALIBUR

— Mariana Tengner Barros

Teatro São Luiz ⟡ Venue Mário Viegas

The Teatro São Luiz adopted the Portuguese Health Authority’s guidelines for cultural facilities to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Find out more.

Peça do Coração: EXCALIBUR, directed by the choreographer and dancer Mariana Tengner Barros, projects a crossing disciplinarity in collaboration with the graphic artist Mark Angelo and the team of A Bela Associação. This project arises from the desire to value Nature, with particular focus on trees and their importance in the balance of ecosystems.
The creation process has its origins in the mapping of the oldest trees in the Lisbon area, where four areas were chosen around the identified trees: Alcântara, Lumiar, Loures, and Benfica. Much of the research was performed by symbolic actions, resulting from dialogue with the local community, free workshops, small performances, and video recordings. This phase of the project was called Foresta Invisível, an autonomous, temporary, and mobile performance space.

The material collected and developed in this phase make up the dramaturgy of Peça do Coração: EXCALIBUR. In its creation are also included strategies that allow producing content accessible to blind and deaf people. It is crucial for the team of this project that it can contribute to the eradication of prejudice and exclusion towards people with disabilities. In this context, Peça do Coração: EXCALIBUR intends to be a hybrid object, composed by several fragments of this experimentation, inviting the public to open their senses, in an attempt to give visibility to the invisible, sound to silence, and form to the unknown, in an immersive and interactive journey.
The project also includes the creation of a website to document, share, and make available streaming videos to map connections between trees, communities, and territories. This website will also make accessible the testimonials, photographs, and video records of the work established with the various communities. This set of collected data will be presented in the context of national deforestation.

Mariana Tengner Barros

Choreographer, dancer, and performer. Her work has been presented in several countries in Europe and South America. “The Trap” (2011, Winner of the Jardin D’Europe – Austria Audience Award), “A Power Ballad” (2013), “Resurrection” (2017), a co-creation with choreographer Mark Tompkins, and “Instructions for the gods: i4gods” (2017), a 5 hours continuous performance for museums in collaboration with musician Pan.demi.CK, are some of her creations. With a dance degree from Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, England (2003), she did an internship at the Ballet Theatre Munich under the artistic direction of Philip Taylor (2004). Founding member of the collective The Resistance Movement in Leeds (2005). She was an associate artist at EIRA between 2013 and 2016. Mariana is the artistic director of the BELA Association, a member of the Kundalini XS band, and a member of the Colectivo/Editora Gruta.

The Peça do Coração: EXCALIBUR is a project that she intends to develop forever. The goal is to revisit the initial concept that triggered her desire to work, cyclically, on the formal notion of solo and chorus. The relation between the singular and its plurality, along with the controversial term “heart” here viewed as an iconography of passion and love, simultaneously considered in its vital function as a body engine. So far, three versions were performed in 2008 (Heart Play: Attempts 1, 2, 3) and one in 2012 (Heart Play: for him). In 2020 Mariana claims the idea of a magical look at the world, which focuses on deconstructing the alienation of human beings from Nature. Excalibur, the famous sword associated with the Arthurian legend, a symbol of courage, of the impossible and the improbable, comes to a surface delivered by a mystical figure as a spiritual place and center of the soul. A commotion that reminds us of the human duty to fight for justice and in defense of LIFE!

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