/ Vera Mantero & Jonathan Uliel Saldanha



© Pedro Figueiredo


Hybrid recital for two landscape-bodies animated by breathing. An agglomerate which destroys and amplifies itself, disaster and anti-disaster in which acceleration, fungus and voice survive. Invisible splendours. Hyper-future and hyper-past. Between dysmorphia, the sun and the flesh.

© Pedro Figueiredo


Vera Mantero studied classical dance until 18 years old and danced in the Gulbenkian Ballet (Lisbon) between 1984 and 1989. She started choreographing in 1987, and since 1991 has been presenting her work all over Europe, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, South Korea and the USA.  She teaches regularly composition and improvisation in Portugal and abroad.

Since 2000 she has also been exploring vocal work and co-creating experimental music projects.

She represented Portugal at the 26th Bienal of São Paulo 2004 together with the sculptor Rui Chafes with the co-creation “Eating your heart out”.

Her artistic work has been recognized with institutional awards such as the Prémio Almada (Ministry of Culture – 2002) or the Prémio Gulbenkian Arte for her career as creator and performer (2009).

Jonathan Uliel Saldanha
Sonic and scenic constructor, working within the interception of sound, gesture, voice, stage and film. Operating elements of pre-language, crystallization, percussion, allopoiesis, echo and intra-cranial-dub. Between 2016/18 presented the installation/performance VOCODER & CAMOUFLAGE; the pieces O POÇO, PLETHORA and SØMA; the installation OXIDATION MACHINE; and the exhibition AFASIA TÁTICA and ANÓXIA. Founder of the SOOPA art platform. Co-founder of the SILORUMOR label. He directed the play JUNGLE MACHINE, SANCTA VISCERA TUA and the voice work KHŌROS ANIMA, DEL, SILVO UMBRA and co-created the pieces NYARLATHOTEP and REI TRILOGY. He co-organized the SONORES program for CEC Guimarães 2012. He directs the ensemble HHY & The Macumbas and is the co-founder of the band Fujako. His music is released in the labels Ångström, Tzadik, Rotorelief, SiloRumor, iDEAL and Wordsound. The film/essay MUNDO DE CRISTAL was published by the Serralves Museum.

Creation and Performance Vera Mantero and Jonathan Uliel Saldanha

Set, Costumes and Props Vera Mantero and Jonathan Uliel Saldanha

Ribbon Mask Construction Aldina Jesus

Light Design Leticia Skrycky

Soundtrack Jonathan Uliel Saldanha

Voice Vera Mantero

Texts Paysage avec Argonautes by Heiner Müller, excerpts of Le monstre dans l’art occidental by Gilbert Lascault. © edited by Klincksieck, Paris

Pictures Joos van Craesbeeck and Erbe, Pooley: USDA, ARS, EMU 

Production O Rumo do Fumo

Coproduction SACD – Festival d’Avignon and Centro Cultural Vila Flor

Acknowledgement André Guedes, Catarina Miranda, Miguel Pereira and Tiago Barbosa

A first version of Splendour and Dysmorphia was created during the 73rd edition of the Festival d’Avignon, programme Vive le Sujet!,  a coproduction SACD-Festival d’Avignon.

O Rumo do Fumo is financed by República Portuguesa – Cultura | Direcção-Geral das Artes and Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

Performance available with soundtrack in English and French.

© Pedro Figueiredo


There are multiple qualities and awe-inspiring doors in this larger piece co-created by two exceptional authors and performers. One of them is the power of the visual landscape that they build, simultaneously deeply human – spongy, with a mutant physiognomy – and the practically empty, apparently cold space, outside the familiar, where there are little more than two benches and the presence of those two beings who have already (or yet?) they don’t look like us, but they are the image of the deformation of the human. This visual and performative quality of the artistic object is already splendid. The disturbance that this object creates in the interpellation of the human’s relationship with the world (natural and constructed) in which he lives, adds another layer. The demolition of the classic myths about how we agreed on the imagination of the future, proposing a break with these sci-fi texts and the like is another layer. This is intensified by, in echo, also interrogating the narratives of the past. It is important to note that the vision that the two had anticipated, as a mediumistic act, the Covid-19 virus. Even before the pandemic, as creators, performers and thinkers, Jonathan and Vera sensed and gave shape to a sick society, walking into the abyss and producing monsters. This is yet another layer. In addition to all this, we can simply contemplate, visually and sonorously, the masterpiece they have built.

Cláudia Galhós


O Rumo do Fumo / Catia Mateus
Tlm. 91 427 25 93