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German State Theatre Timișoara

"The Caldeirão Highlanders, exercises in fictional anthropology" at the German State Theater Timișoara

30 August 2021

The event is organized by the Institute of the Present (IP) and was developed around the process of desertification/ dehumanisation of the Caldeirão Mountain, in the interior of Algarve (south of Portugal).

The whole piece is peopled by voices that come from afar. Vera Mantero reinterprets some of the songs brought to us by Giacometti and sings them to the workers she found on the mountain, reclaiming lost traditions, trying to re-enact them.

But it is not just the music that is here at stake, it is also the spoken Word and the Earth; the words of an Antonin Artaud in combustion, of a Jacques Prévert hammered in the way of sound poetry (his words on ruins combining perfectly with the images of ruins I found on the mountain). The piece sheds a look on Giacometti’s precious musical (re)collection, on traditional rural practices and livelihoods, on oral cultures from the north to the south of Portugal and also from other continents, such as the references to South American native tribes brought to the piece through the research of anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro.

VERA MANTERO (b. 1966, Lisbon) studied classical dance until she was eighteen and danced in the Gulbenkian Ballet in Lisbon for five years. She started choreographing in 1987 and her first works, as noted by theoretician André Lepecki, captured the attention of Portuguese critique in a time when the movement of Nova Dança Portuguesa [New Portuguese Dance] started, growing from the post-fascist, post-colonial history of Portugal, being composed of a heterogeneous group of choreographers from Mantero’s generation. From 1991, with the famous “Perhaps she could dance first and think afterwards”, her pieces were presented internationally.

IP—The Institute of the Present
is a research and an artist resource platform in the field of visual and performing culture conceived by Ștefania Ferchedău and Alina Șerban, established in Bucharest. Centred on artists and their personal accounts, on time-specific encounters and forms of (self) archiving, the Institute looks at various practices and situations from the recent past until today from a transnational and transcultural perspective.

Event held in English
Performance followed by a discussion with the audience


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