IN A MANNER OF SPEAKING
A Choreography by Dinis Machado (SE/PT)
for Ballet Contemporâneo do Norte (PT)
Danced by Mariana Tengner Barros (PT), Filipe Pereira (PT), Jorge Gonçalves (PT) and Susana Otero (PT).
Set, light and costume design: Dinis Machado (SE/PT)
Photography: Miguel Refresco (PT)
Video: Diogo Mendes (PT)
Graphic Design: Eduardo Ferreira (PT)
Executive Producer: Inês Nogueira (PT)
Co production: Temps d'Images Lisboa
Thanks to: A22, CMSMF
I melted my gender into the skin of stone
A physical rime
A tender mime of a desire of mine
In a Manner of Speaking is a poem. Not as lyrical reverie, but as a place where choreographic writing unfolds from its own playfulness. It began with an invitation from the Portuguese company Ballet Contemporâneo do Norte to revisit my first group piece Parole, Parole, Parole... (2010).
After this process of reconsideration, and without any formal nostalgia, the only things left were a micro-universe in continuous reformulation and the investment in the phatic function of a choreographic language that abandons its dependence on any idea of content, developing instead itself as a proto-political exercise of (collective) presence, not minimal neither essentialist, but hyperfictional.
In a Manner of Speaking is therefore a structural self-fiction about a dance company. A hyperformal exercise of a made-up virtuosity put together from fragments and techniques of a deliberately laconic, appropriated and made-up dance history. A subjective speculation, a deformed gaze calcified by a confident practice. An anti-essentialist manifesto where fictions and facts intermingle without any hierarchy, aiming the creation of a proto-futuristic habitat. An emancipation from truth and a celebration of fiction. An exercise to claim the right to reinvent one's own body history and citizenship. A multifarious choreography where the performers' bodies are put inside out, not through any illustration of a libertarian exercise, but through a hyperformal acceleration.
The accent on questioning and rewriting gender becomes perhaps evident in this fictional exercise:
Bodies reassembled by the paradox between the evidence and the impossibility of a definition of feminine.
Proto-futuristic bodies that experiment themselves in the playful game of proposing an idea of dance that restructures their own bodies.
Bodies that propose themselves to a post-binary and post-demagogic gender.
An intimate metamorphosis of a silent queerness that materializes in the near invisibility of the bones, the flesh and the skin.