PORTO — MATOSINHOS — GAIA
It was in the context of Frente Atlântica (Atlantic Front), an association that brings together the municipal councils of Porto, Matosinhos and Gaia, that the idea for a festival of contemporary dance to be held in a variety of venues was first conceived.
In our cities, dance is taught in dozens of schools; hundreds of students decide to go into professional arts education; and over the past two years many Portuguese and international choreographers have presented their work in Porto, thanks to the dynamic policies of the city’s municipal theatre. That intense rate of programming has nurtured a highly eclectic audience and revealed a clear appetite for shows in which exploration of the body and a variety of approaches to it are taken to the limit.
Thus an ideal context was identified for creating a festival of dance, something that did not previously exist in any of the cities, simultaneously filling a gap and complementing the range of festivals already established in the region in the areas of theatre, cinema, puppetry and thought.
Festival DDD - Dias da Dança starts from the idea of the connection that can be built between the three cities by proposing a programme that encourages wandering between performance venues and public spaces, along a route without interruptions or overlaps. That circuit will be assured by the partnerships established between Teatro Municipal do Porto - Rivoli and Campo Alegre, Fundação de Serralves, Teatro Nacional São João, Coliseu Porto, Teatro do Bolhão, Mala Voadora (Porto), Teatro Municipal de Matosinhos Constantino Nery (Matosinhos), Armazém 22 (Gaia) and Balleteatro, which is responsible for the public spaces programme.
Running from April 27 to May 7 – and celebrating World Dance Day on April 29, during the first weekend of the festival - Festival DDD will present 36 shows and a host of other activities across three specific areas:
DDD IN — Performances
One of the particular features of Festival DDD is the way that this first edition showcases artists spanning a number of different generations.
New creations from artists like Raimund Hoghe (Germany), Ambra Senatore (Italy/France), João Fiadeiro and Vera Mantero (both leading lights of contemporary dance in Portugal) will be performed alongside works by a new generation of artists living and working in our region who are just waiting to be discovered.
Seven new creations will be premièred over 11 consecutive days of performance, in a programme organised around two weekends that strikes a balance between international and Portuguese events.
This programme design will draw cultural programmers from different parts of the world, enabling them to come to the festival and discover the eclectic panorama characteristic of Portuguese dance.
DDD OUT — Public Spaces / Corpo + Cidade
In close partnership with Balleteatro, Festival DDD will offer a packed programme for public spaces. In the Corpo + Cidade (Body + City) programme we will rediscover numerous gardens, squares, streets and metro stations through unusual works of choreography, each conceived to suit the scale of the space in question. Artists like Charlotte Spencer (UK), Gilles Verriepe (France), Ana Rita Teodoro and Né Barros will capture the attention of passers-by as they inject moments of pure surprise into the daily routine of the three cities.
DDD EXTRA — Masterclasses / Workshops / Meetings / Cinema / Meeting Point
A series of activities to complement the shows will offer different audiences, and the student community in particular, the opportunity to interact more directly with the choreographers. Various workshops and masterclasses will take place in arts schools in the three cities, stimulating a close relationship between the artists presented in the festival and promoting dance education. A varied programme of meetings on artistic themes arising from the shows, books or the archive will ensure that reflection, questioning, knowledge production and information sharing are a constant throughout the festival.
In partnership with Mala Voadora we are creating Meeting Point DDD, a place on which artists and audience can converge after the curtain comes down. Until late into the night, and to the sounds of good music, Mala Voadora (Rua do Almada) will be the nocturnal nerve centre for chatting, comparing notes, engaging in informal debate and (of course) lots of late-night dancing.
We believe that a festival has to be envisaged from two perspectives: on the one hand, that of the audience, which will have access to a huge programme, densely packed in space and time; and on the other, that of the artists, who will enjoy the visibility and added attraction that only a festival can provide.
Such was the rationale behind this first edition of Festival DDD - Dias da Dança, a project that artistically involves the three host cities and the plurality of invited partners, artists and audiences.
So let’s get the dance started!