How to Kill Naked Women. Xana Novais
© José Caldeira
How to Kill Naked Women. Xana Novais
© José Caldeira
How to Kill Naked Women. Xana Novais
© José Caldeira

Xana Novais is a young, intense and controversial performance artist who uses her own body to explore and to question the limits of the artwork and the boundaries between fiction and reality. In this piece, Xana also questions the notions of efficacy and expectation, together with a virtuous group of performers, a tattoo artist, and an eloquent video work.


HOW TO KILL NAKED WOMEN questions the work of Sade from the most uncommon perspective regarding the stage, reality and immortality. We thus open a space to give voice to the women who narrate the most absurd pleasures of debauchery and are almost never highlighted when discussing this work (The 120 Days of Sodom). What is vital here are the actions suggested by these women, the libertine and feminist beauty, the risk of understanding that the fate of disgust is countered with beauty, charm and pleasure. In HOW TO KILL NAKED WOMEN, we put the pain and the limits to the test. The pain was also the object of study in the work of Sade as being apathetic in his characters: “pain is itself the greater purpose for a libertine, elevation itself, the very apex that we must apathetically try to reach”. — Xana Novais

Xana Novais has been developing her works through a series of mental and physical tests she sets out for herself in a constant limbo between fiction and reality with extremely autobiographical details. In this research, she seeks to understand how she can manage to prevent her work from dying, creating a peculiar safe space for herself, a performance that leads one to reflect upon the possibility of truly marking oneself with an artistic practice, this time around not only in her body, but also in the body of her performers.


XANA NOVAIS was born in Porto in 1995 and is an actress, dancer and performer. She graduated in 2013 in Theater at Balleteatro and later took the FAICC – Formação Avançada em Interpretação e Criação Coreográfica, at Instável – Centro Coreográfico. As a creator, she created #NAZIPARTY, (VS) POPCORN, Un Teknè, (G) Dysphoria APP and co-created with photographer Diogo Bessa One Way To Pandora and created How to kill naked women, which premiered in Teatro Municipal do Porto, Campo Alegre in March 2022. In her creative, research and performance work she uses her own body to explore and question the limits of the artwork, and the boundaries between fiction and reality.

Concept and artistic direction: Xana Novais
Performers: Amanda Bailey, Aura da Fonseca, Fedra Ferreira, Lua Carreira, Patrícia Borges, Tita Maravilha, Xana Novais
Dramaturgical Assistance: Tatiana Rocha
Sound design: Carincur
Sound operation: Lua Carreira
Light design: Rui Barbosa
Light operation: Lui L’Abbate
Scenography, costumes and original script: Xana Novais
Video operation: Rita Soeiro
Suspension technician: Binho Barduzzi
Scene Machinery Technician: António Pedro Silva
Tattoo artist: Patrícia Borges
Artistic and executive production: Valter Gomes
Perfomance support:analu, Elizabete Francisca, Piny, Oscar Cutello, Rafael Ayres, Vanda Vila Nova
Photography: Diogo Bessa and José Caldeira – TMP
Production intern: Francisca Cardoso
Executive production: Diogo Bessa, Xana Lagusi (2018-2021)
Residency support: STUDIO THOR Belgium, CRL – Central Elétrica, OPART | Estúdios Victor Córdon, A Bela Associação, Armazém 22, Teatro Municipal do Porto, Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, Polo Cultural Gaivotas
Technical Residency support: Centro de Experimentação Artística | Município da Moita e Casino Solverde | Espinho
Financial support for residency: STUDIO THOR Belgium
Sponsorships: Hello Sailor, Empresa de Carpintaria Pau Maciço, Jaos
Creation support: Self-Mistake
Circulation Support: Fundação GDA
Institutional Partner: República Portuguesa – Ministério da Cultura | Garantir Cultura
Support: Fundação GDA (2020)
Co-production: Teatro Municipal do Porto, Theatro Circo

Thanks: Ângela Cardoso, Renée Copraij, Rui Silveira, Diogo Melo, Luísa Gouveia, Empresa de Carpintaria Pau Maciço, Francisco Ferreira (Arameiro), Nuno Lacerda, Diogo Neves, Casa Sobral (Espinho), Vilarinho e Máquinas LDA, Márcio Silva, Joana Castro, Junta de Freguesia de Espinho e Casino Solverde | Espinhotica: Xana Novais