Alkantara Festival 2023
- 10.11 — 26.11 2023
Alkantara Festival 2023 is approaching. From 10 to 26 November, we present an international programme of dance, theatre, performance and other gatherings in the city of Lisbon. Here are some of the early highlights of this upcoming edition.
Marco Mendonça premieres Blackface, an Alkantara production, at Teatro do Bairro Alto (17-19 Nov), on the same days that Gaya de Medeiros brings a new version of Pai para Jantar to the CCB. Towards the end of the 2023 programme, the international productions Prophétique (on est déjà né.es) by Nadia Beugré (24-25 Nov) and Uirapuru by Marcelo Evelin / Demolition Incorporada (25-26 Nov) will occupy the stages of the Culturgest and São Luiz Teatro Municipal.
Drawing on the history of racist practices, the relation between desire and gender identity, the family relationships we establish and the way that dance can be a space for exploring our place in nature, culture and society, these four works invite us to rethink our relation with our bodies.
Blackface is a solo performance written and staged by Marco Mendonça. It is a musical conference somewhere between stand-up and fantasy, satire and physical theatre, burlesque and documentary. Drawing on personal experience and the history of blackface as a racist theatre practice, from its roots in the USA to examples in Portugal, the piece questions the limits of what can, or cannot, be represented on the stage.
In Pai para Jantar, Gaya de Medeiros asks us to consider the ways that words, emotions and archetypes are deployed around the idea of “being a man”. The performance offers a subjective path towards what lies at the root of the father figure. A meeting between a woman-butcher and a minotaur lost in his own labyrinth.
At Culturgest, on the third weekend of the festival, the Emílio Rui Vilar auditorium will welcome a cast made up of people from the transgender community of Abidjan, the economic capital of Côte d'Ivoire and one of the largest cities in Africa, and also the birthplace of Nadia Beugré. Prophétique (on est déjà né.es) is the result of her ongoing relationship with the community: people who, assigned male at birth, now float between genders in a fierce gesture demanding freedom from a highly patriarchal society that, at best, pretends not to see them.
In the dance piece Uirapuru, the Brazilian choreographer Marcelo Evelin and his company Demolition Incorporada take inspiration from the entities that inhabit Brazil’s forests and the imaginary of Brazilian matas (woodlands). The forest is presented as a cosmology, wild and enchanted, and a return to a deep and unknown hinterland. Uirapuru is the name of a bird, the singer of the forest. In Tupi-Guarani, it means “man in the form of a bird” or “embellished bird”.
In October we will announce the full programme for Alkantara Festival 2023, which will take place at Centro Cultural de Belém, Culturgest, São Luiz Teatro Municipal, Teatro do Bairro Alto, Espaço Alkantara and in a public space, in partnership with the Centro de Arte Moderna at Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
Until then, we’ll see you at Espaço Alkantara.