Cyborg Sunday, the strange surprise that is the new creation by Dinis Machado.

[Tiago Bartolomeu Costa/Publico]

Cyborg Sunday, by Dinis Machado, is a surprising revelation in between theater and dance where the idea of community appears as a possibility of reconstruction of the intimate gesture.

(. . .) [Cyborg Sunday,] was developed through more than six months with performers from several countries that answered to the proposal of thinking about the emphatic limits of their own bodies.

It's that intentional strangeness effect that allows Cyborg Sunday to emerge as a possible place for the existence of a community that learns to leave intimacy from the sharing of contradictions and setbacks (. . .) in an object as delicate as fragile by performers who are asked to be brave and affirmative, and to answer to stimulus through a narrative structured by the relation created in between words and movement. This is a movement - and a structure - full of details about what the body can do in space in a lonely dialogue with other bodies in the same space sharing a common vision.

This is a choreography of space and time, what they say gains an importance that needs reactive bodies. The five bodies build a future memory that imposes a mode of acting over this utopic space departing from a present where they live with closed eyes. They search and need bodies that can be, in the end, able to think and exist besides the physical memory. Bodies that can be, finally, vehicles of transmission and sharing of a memory in process of construction. Effectively, what is more relevant in Cyborg Sunday is this deep desire of questioning form, recognizing that in the tension between movement and discourse, which means, between body and message, the potential for dialogue, is unreconcilable but utopic.

(. . .) Time and action, exist from the differences they provoke in the body, understanding, though, that these differences can't justify collective alienation. The strength and elegance of Cyborg Sunday comes from the intelligence of knowing how to manipulate the tension created between body and text at the point of transferring it to the physical memory of the own spectator.

The text exists from the mnemonic effort that transforms what is narrative into evocation, and what is intuition into emphatic condition. What is suggested is a mode of making reality exist through a choreographic process of evoking which anticipates the own action. And it's because the action is evoked, that the movement loses its condition of support of the discourse, to be seen - and felt - as a rescue mechanism of the present. Cyborg Sunday, in its hybrid condition in between a present body and an absent discourse, is a work about a deterritorialization of the image and it's meaning, from an emphatization of another reality, constructed from a very well crafted net between utopia and quotidian.

The tasks of remembering that are given to the performers, that travel from the non personal - in a certain way, from the other - to their own discourse - which is like being inhabited by the other - reveals that, in the end, the modes of self fictional narrative construction, that are the core discourse of Dinis Machado, knows how to exist besides an inconsequent rhetoric, in a movement that knows how to be more than a point in space.

Black Cats Can See in The Dark But Are Not Seen

[Iva Nerina Sibila/TANZ] 

Originally from Portugal, Dinis Machado is currently based in Stockholm. Educated in dance, acting and visual art, he creates on the intersection of these fields. His poetics might be named dramaturgy of labour, since strategies of body-based visual art (installation, performance, happening) are put together with a combination of utilitarian gestures (like fixing the bike or painting the wall) and dance gestures. In Black Cats Can See in The Dark But Are Not Seen those actions are placed in a carefully built structure that is continually re-negotiated throughout the 75 min duration of the work, following Machado,s fascination to provisory structures and nomad ways of life. (...) Three performers are operating this space, as one. The performing mode is introverted; no visible contact with the audience or one another. The dynamic comes from the progress of the performance material itself. (...) The text is present during the entire performance; a stream of elegantly written letters and diary entries, covering a variety of ideas and concerns. Read by Cabechinha, it is occasionally transferred into dialogue with Machado who keeps his physical actions going while developing the text. Signed Yours, Dinis, the text gives a level of intimacy and includes the audience directly in Machado,s somewhat introspective world. (. . .) He enters into reduced choreography, modulation of one phrase only. His skills and movement expertise, however, are captivating.
Black Cats. . . asks for patient attention, but is enormously rewarding. Using the epistolary format, Machado takes the audience on a voyage that is intimate and personal, yet possible to connect to. It is a multilayered articulation of acute questions in choreography and performance such as conceptualization, fiction, nomadism, art-product, interdisciplinarity. Let,s start in the middle. . . says Machado closing Black Cats. . . And we will stay there. . . to finish is a simulacrum. and the audience follows this idea by keeping the discussion on offered themes long after the performers are gone.

Black Cats Can See in The Dark But Are Not Seen
[Sweden Abroad / Swedish Embassy]

Dinis Machado at ImPulsTanz festival in Vienna Black Cats Can See In The Dark But Are Not Seen is the piece from the choreographer Dinis Machado. He studied and works in Sweden and the piece that will be presented at Schauspielhaus is co-produced by the famous Swedish Cullberg Ballet. A bike is being repaired. The audience listens to fictional diary entries, letters and notes. Photos and live video images are projected onto a screen. In this setting three men work in a poetic architecture of boxes, a small table with plants, color, performance and a solo dance.

Black Cats Can See in The Dark But Are Not Seen

[Plesna Scena]

From the international selection of this year's, the fifteenth Platforma HR in a row, I would single out two young artists, both of them with ties to Jardin d'Europe/the LLB network - the annual meeting of which, Prix JDE Labo, was held during the festival. Florentina Holzinger and Dinis Machado bring intriguing and fresh ideas about choreography and performance, and given that they are being closely followed on the international scene, his performances fall under the most interesting guest performances in this recently finished season of performance and dance.

Dinis Machado was educated in classical ballet, contemporary dance, acting and the visual arts (...). As he creates at the intersection of these fields, Black Cats Can See in The Dark But Are Not Seen is a combination of installation, performance, poetic reading and dance. A full 75 minutes long, that follows Machado,s fascination with the provisional structures and the nomadic way of life.

Black Cats Can See in The Dark But Are Not Seen
[Sabina Zeithammer in Der Standard]

The choreographer Dinis Machado, born in Porto and based in Stockholm presents [at ImPulsTanz] Black Cats Can See In The Dark But Are Not Seen. The high rates of unemployment in the south of Europe is one of the themes of this performance where work is staged: three performers build a cardboard wall, paint it, fix a bike. Performative elements get crossed with a dance solo, video projections, reading of fictional letters and diary notes. Literature, dance and structures made out of provisory materials are built and destroid again. In the endsays Machado they have nothing (to lose)

Out in Space and Tenderness

[Thomas Olsson in]

Dinis Machado is interested in the ability of the body to experience a sense of space even without visual input. In his solo piece Out in Space (experience on autonomy) Machado is wearing a blindfold when he meets each spectator (only one at a time) to lead them into the room. As in his longer work Tenderness it is as if he, with his whole body, is trying to create another room, independently of the actual room we find ourselves in here and now. A room just as imaginary as it is tangible for him behind the blindfold, or when he takes it off keeping his eyes closed.

[João Carneiro in EXPRESSO]

"The purpose of the show is to let us see a mainly conceptual question - How to distinguish what is real from what is fictional. Wisely, Dinis Machado, author and performer, remember us that it is a difficult distinction that oblige us to admit, for example, that the processes of fiction production are not able to be distinguished from the ones that permit us to describe the real; and that "real" and "fictional" are not a method of dividing the world as clear as it may seem, even if in the end we may need to do this distinction somehow, in order to avoid living in a kind of involuntary hallucination. To be in a room where public comes in, to hang himself, to drug himself, to kill himself with a gunshot, to put himself inside a bathtub and to film all this scenes tells us about the construction of fictions, that we recognize as such because we relate them with the real, and tells us also about the reality of the theatrical construction we are witnessing. Dramaturgy is a pertinent description of what happens every-time someone does a show or tells a story, for example."

Dinis Machado imagined a Sunday in a desert island - 
a future that becomes the present today in Porto. 
[Ines Nadais/Publico]

Dinis Machado (Porto, 1987) was already not here, in Portugal, when with a systemic crisis and a austerity plan, it became definitely not a good place to be. At distance he thought it could be a good idea to invent another. Cyborg Sunday, is this place: Some kind of desert island in which a community (For example: an artistic community) can create a world from the beginning - and rest on the seventh day.

Dinis Machado didn't arrive to this desert island by chance: working around the questions of utopia he found himself questioning this kind of market system in which artistic practices happen and circulate. This, while at thousands of kilometers of distance, a generation of Portuguese artists continued to see itself forced to leave the country and, in their isolation, unable to reconstruct this community, and reconstruct themselves in relation with this community. Dinis Machado imagined then a summer Sunday, and placed there the persons with whom he crossed professionally. Doing what they did or what he imagined they could do together - from this process resulted a story where it is described, in the maximum detail, this day coming from an exceptionally bright future.

This was the first step to consubstantiate a space that doesn't exist. The second was to give it a shape on stage - a shape that is elastic enough to be able to adapt to different groups of performers and construct an utopia as personal as collective. I found a strategy: tell the performers this story but never give it to them as a text. The work on this story with the performers was exactly to reconstitute it out of this first listening, as if it would be some kind of fictional memory. Day after day, they try to recuperate this story that I have told them, save it from oblivion. It is not about memorizing it as a text but to make it happen.

(. . .) The team of performers had to embody this text from a series of physical parameters defined by Dinis Machado: I have built practices that administrate the relations in between this five bodies present on stage, producing movement as some kind of secondary effect. It was about making them feel and manipulate their bodies. Making them conscious of the fact that they are present with each other. And like that a story that is ungraspable and invisible becomes tangible almost touchable, explains the author of Cyborg Sunday.

Far away from this world dominated by the financial laws of capitalism and from the narrative protocol that this laws organize the desert island of Dinis Machado is a place where in a Sunday, as any other, it can be a party day and a day for getting lost, for loneliness and gathering, for personal pursuit or communion, for sex without next morning dilemmas, and for forever happy canonic endings. Resuming, the utopia here in construction, answers to the request on the only slogan of Cyborg Sunday: When here is not the place to be, one can always invent another.