My victory as a high competition gymnast. Lígia Soares. © José Caldeira / TMP
© José Caldeira / TMP
My victory as a high competition gymnast. Lígia Soares. © José Caldeira / TMP
© José Caldeira / TMP
My victory as a high competition gymnast. Lígia Soares. © José Caldeira / TMP
© José Caldeira / TMP

Lígia Soares is an outstanding dramaturg, choreographer and performer, known for her inventive writing and aesthetic sophistication in composing for stage. As a performer, Lígia has a strong and magnetic presence, as well as a unique poetic personality.


On stage there are two gymnasts who move between apparatus, rehearsing schemes and keeping in mind the values of the scoring code issued by the International Gymnastics Federation, until they get distracted. It is these thoughts diverging from their competitive regime that we will see spun in this play, unbalancing them from the beam but taking them out into the world. This play arises from a childhood episode of Lígia Soares that exempted her from being a gymnast. With this creation she intends to show the need for distraction, dispersion, decentring, and also the impossibility for those girls to be insensitive to others and to what happens around them, even when they are pressured for high performance.

Doing incredible things, exceeding ourselves, being the best at something, “champs” as grandfathers call their grandsons, is still seen as a noble feature of humankind. It is that determination that we find in the people destined to win that serves as an example to us, driving us to also win so many contests, long for challenges and exceed ourselves. What we never understood is what good that did to the world. This piece is meant to be said by two gymnasts as they prepare for high-level competition, collapsing with the impossibility of keeping focus in the face of present-day dilemmas. — Lígia Soares


LÍGIA SOARES is a Portuguese choreographer and playwright. Her work has been presented at home and abroad, appearing in several theatre and contemporary dance programs. Together with Andresa Soares, she was the artistic director of Máquina Agradável between 2001 and 2014. She also developed several programming contexts with other artists such as Demimonde or Face-a-Face. Since 2015, she has focused her research on finding scenic devices that include the presence of the spectator as part of the performance’s dramaturgy. Her plays Romance, Cinderela [Cinderella], Civilização [Civilisation], Memorial and A Minha Vitória Como Ginasta de Alta Competição [My Victory as a High Competition Gymnast] have been published by Douda Correria. She won an artistic and literary creation grant from the Directorate-General for Books, Archives and Libraries (DGLAB) in 2020.

Created, written and directed by: Lígia Soares
Co-creation: Lígia Soares, Maria Jorge, Beatriz Lapa, Rita Cerqueira
Performed by: Lígia Soares, Maria Jorge, Beatriz Lapa and Sara Aguilar
Music: João Lucas
Set design: Henrique Ralheta
Lighting: Pedro Guimarães
Sound: Diogo Martinho
Production director: Mariana Dixe
Direction and creation assistance: Beatriz Gaspar
Co-production residency: O Espaço do Tempo
Residency: Festival Materiais Diversos
Co-production: Teatro Municipal do Porto, Centro Cultural de Belém, Teatro Académico Gil Vicente, Festival Materiais Diversos e Theatro Circo de Braga Suppport Ginásio Clube Português, Federação de Ginástica de Portugal, Vidalgym

My Victory as a High Competition Gymnast was written with the support of DGLAB – General Directorate of Books, Archives and Libraries.