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There are seven of them, like the days of the Creation. Seven dancers or physical incarnations of controlled oneirism. They rise up, moving between a sour limbo of waking and sleep, trance-like and conditioned. That of their demiurge is also on stage, Tania Carvalho, at the piano.
Light is ‘day’ and shadow is ‘night’.
This piece is called ‘Oneironaut’, the name used by travellers able to control their dreams and change the outcomes, devising a world of images that makes sense to them alone.
Tânia Carvalho is one of them. A creator who invites us to witness her lucid journey. A clairvoyant. Spectators of dream fragments at times dark as those of a choreographer who has long sought to evict the outcomes of her nightmares. Strangling them out of the darkness. Letting loose the tricks that play on her mind.
Tania Carvalho creates moving, chilling paintings, which jolt you like disturbing dreams, from which you wake up groggy and trembling. But always inspired. Awakened.
(translated by Rebecca Vicenzi)
Tânia Carvalho was born in Viana do Castelo and lives in Lisbon. Best known as a choreographer, with a career spanning over 20 years, she also works in other artistic fields such as music, drawing and film.
Her choreography work includes pieces for the Lyon Opera Ballet (Xylographie), the Company of Elders in London (I Walk, You Sing), the National Ballet of Portugal (S), the Paulo Ribeiro Company (How will I do this?) and Dançando com a Diferença (Doesdicon), among many others.
She has been developing several musical projects, of which stand out Madmud, Idiolecto and dubloc barulin. In 2018, she directed A Bag and a Stone – dance piece for screen, her first film.
Winner of the Young Creators Award 2000, with Inicialmente Previsto, she also received the 2012 Prémio Autores from the Portuguese Society of Authors, for Icosahedron.
Choreography and Direction Tânia Carvalho
Rehearsal Assistant Luís Guerra
Musicians André Santos, Tânia Carvalho
Dancers Bruno Senune, Catarina Carvalho, Cláudio Vieira, Filipe Baracho, Luís Guerra, Marta Cerqueira, Vânia Doutel Vaz / Patricia Keleher
Music Frédéric Chopin, Tânia Carvalho
Light Design Anatol Waschke, Tânia Carvalho
Costumes Cláudio Vieira, Tânia Carvalho (mostly Só Dança items)
Shoes Só Dança Vegan Line
Technical Direction Anatol Waschke
Sound Technician Juan Mesquita
Production Tânia Carvalho (until 2020), Agência 25 (since 2021)
Executive Production João Guimarães (until 2020), Cláudia Teixeira (since 2021)
Financial management and administration Vítor Alves Brotas
Booking Colette de Turville
Press office Sara Ramos
Artistic Residencies Centro Criação de Candoso – Centro Cultural Vila Flor, CSC Garage Nardini – Bassano del Grappa, KLAP Maison Pour la Danse, O Espaço do Tempo
Coproduction Centro Cultural Vila Flor, Culturgest, KLAP Maison Pour la Danse, Teatro Municipal do Porto Rivoli – Campo Alegre, Théâtre de la Ville – Paris
Finantial Support Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Support Com Calma – Espaço Cultural
Sponsorship Só Dança
Thanks to Academia de Bailado de Guimarães
In April 2020, the democratic doubt that the pandemic came to install, motivated the creation of the BoCA Online cycle, with a program over ten weeks. We produced ignorance, doubts and questions about the future of performance. Tânia Carvalho was one of the artists who conceived a performance that thought of the body-chamber-home relational device, from her own home (“Like a layer of scales well closed”). However, it is mainly from reduced and closed spaces – the house or the dressing room – that Tânia usually engraves herself and where she experiences movements and forms with her body. In “Onironauta” we understand how these forms concentrated in the body expand on stage – sometimes they remind us of expressionism or surrealism (Cocteau). A body that twirls on itself and that, suddenly, opens and touches the ends of space. This Vitruvian gesture of fitting a body into the figure of a square or circle, alludes to the concentration of the body within a closed house / architecture. In the performance, a dancer reproduces this extremist gesture, which seems to indicate a desire to cut through repetition and difference, a vocabulary that enchants throughout the show. The extreme (of the sentences and their choreographic language) and the extremities (of the body and the rhythm of the performers) stand out in “Onironauta”. The architecture of the dream is an architecture of hypotheses, combining composition and destruction, which proposes a vicious ambiguity of genders and styles (male and female; modern and classic) and which characterize the fascinating and timeless choreographic language of Tânia Carvalho. In this performance, it is the choreographer herself who seems to lead the dream, rhythmizing it and filtering it through the music she plays on the piano. Like the language of the fascinating drawings she conceives (“Toledo” exhibition), “Onironauta” is a relic of movements in chain and in flight, in unfolding and repetition, that cradles us. “I’m going down, deep inside” sings Tânia at the piano. And we trust it, we go as far as she allows us to be taken.