Né Barros

Interview

Wed 25 October 2018

about "Revoluções"
Né Barros • 53 years old • Coreographer


Your performance, which you titled “Revoluções” [Revolutions], premieres in November at Rivoli. What kind of performance is this that seeks to bring to the stage the different revolutions the human being has to face daily?

The title points to something in which I have been working for the past 12 years: the issue of territory, human landscape and the movement cycles of the bodies. I have come across a few strands of thought in which I’ve taken an interest. The fact that I employ the plural—Revolutions—ends up unveiling the purpose of this work: I do not wish to address a specific revolution, but rather to look at revolutions from a more comprehensive point of view, multiplying their possibilities. Besides, this year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of May 1968, and it is somewhat a symbolic moment to reflect upon what is a revolution and its importance. It is transformation that may occur on different levels: a change in the course of something, the suspension of something that was going on, a material change or even something more intimate. [Herbert] Marcuse, for instance, looks at art as an object of revolution; he sees revolution as experience. In his view, art does not comply with a programme or with propaganda; instead of standardising things, it creates a new relation with experience, which ends up being a revolutionary act. We find ourselves before a new possibility of understanding things. I’m interested in this way of thinking, because I’ll be working with very specific materials from potential revolutions and explore more intimate situations. A revolution is first and foremost opening a window on something.

These revolutions come to you in layers and appear to be a new revolution on stage. Moreover, that is something that cuts across all your work, which is never limited to one texture and one unique discipline.

I find it interesting to work in several layers, no doubt. I find it interesting to employ several languages, even when it comes to art. In this case, music and dance. To tackle a new relation within art itself between these two disciplines.

What is the role of music in these choreographies? We’ve seen different development stages of the role music has in your work…

At first, I worked a lot with recorded music, and I tended to turn to great authors of minimalist, contemporary and even ancient music. I then went through a phase when I almost denied music, working in silence. And then a new phase when it seemed very strange to have music and not really knowing where it was coming from. I felt that latent strangeness, which led me to choose to have all performance matters live. Music is a living element that is always present. In this case I worked with Digitópia, a group associated with Casa da Música, and with the Häarvol artistic collective, apart from the dancers, who will also create music for this performance.

That is another kind of revolution, as if the roles were reversed, confounding what we expect to see on stage: musicians playing and dancers dancing…

It’s like assigning the performers new tasks. It makes sense to me. I give them new challenges; I hand them new goals.

And those goals you hand the others also apply to you, given that you challenge yourself with each new piece. Do you already know what you want to do in the future? What are your plans for 2019 and the following years?


I have two major projects for 2019 and 2020, but they’re still in the making, I can’t say much about them yet. As in recent years, I will also continue to work on small-scale solo pieces relating dance and digital art with João Martinho Moura, an author with whom I have been establishing a relation in this field. I want to keep on working on the intersection of these disciplines and to figure out the output potential of crossing them.



Interviewed on 16th May 2018, at Teatro Rivoli by José Reis, communication coordinator at TMP
Photography © José Caldeira / TMP
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