When we began to think about this creation, and before rehearsals started, we exchanged some impressions 1 trying to find out in which direction our desire to work together again could take us. Ten years ago we met and created a piece, 'Antonio Miguel', a solo done by two, a striking encounter for us personally and professionally. 2
At that time, in 2000, we had the energy of the ones who start something for the first time, we believed that we could change something, dance, spectacle, its limits, its conventions and rules, maybe the world. In the meantime much has happened on the micro and the macro level, we crossed similar paths and different paths, and finally the world did not stop surprising and disappointing us.
Now in 2010, we asked ourselves, if we still had this desire to change something, if we had something really important to say through dance and show in addition to our desire to meet again. Then we started to look around us and we became interested in understanding how we were and how we and the world have been. According to the official calendar a decade had passed, we had entered a new century and a new millennium. What had happened? What impressions had stayed from this period?
During the process, already in the studio, as we were talking and trying out things, we focused on the time issue. Did we change in these ten years? Was there an evolution or are we always talking about the same thing but differently?
Time has really produced something in us, in our body, our energy, the way we are looking at life and work. Will the motivation and stimulus we have now be enough to produce anything new? After all, the question remains the same: who are we?
Antonio and Miguel
1) Excerpts from e-mails exchanged between Antonio Tagliarini in Rome and Miguel Pereira in Lisbon:
A.T.- Regarding the concept on this latest work, the most interesting thing for me is to speak with you in confrontation…
M.P.- I totally agree. If there is something that I enjoy in working (and maybe also in life) is confrontation and I think that the two of us, besides the big empathy that we have towards one another, we like to confront ourselves. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr lol rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
A.T. - 10 years have passed… what has changed in our more deep artistic/creative demands and pulsation?
M.P.-A lot of things happened in the past 10 years. To the world and to us, and I think that the starting point could be that. How are we today and where are we going, Antonio and Miguel.
A.T. - How and where are we after 10 years? Which changes and thoughts?
What do we feel as the most fragile?
What do we feel as the strongest?
What do you think about creating?
M.P.- Yes, yes
A.T. - How and to whom create?
M.P.- Because we do something with all that we have burning inside us :-)
A.T. - How can we show the results of our research and why?
M.P.- Because we have a commitment with the market and therefore we need to have a product to be shown, isn’t it?
A.T. - I totally agree. These are general questions, but somehow if we go deeper inside ourselves, maybe it could be interesting to answer them.
M.P.- Sometimes the general questions are the greatest, when with no worries and intuitively we handle what is more important to us. So…
A.T. - I’ll try to answer, in a synthetic way. The creative act is definitively born in a personal obsession. Particularly artists like us that work from themselves, from they own personal agitation, their own personal biographies.
M.P.-That’s true, that’s a point we have in common.
A.T. - For you and for me the audience is always very important and always very nearby. How? How did it change our reflection on the audience in these 10 years?
M.P.- I believe this question continues primordial. To what and to whom are we working? Without an audience, someone “watching”, the show doesn’t make sense.
A.T. - My first 3 solos have been born from a very personal research, and the starting point was very personal, intimate. To me the challenge was obviously to start from myself and arriving to a broad and more universal communication that would reach the audiences and make them wonder, question, and think.
M.P.- As you know, since we have performed “Antonio Miguel” I’m going through identity questions, my identity and the identity of the other, and I think this has always been there in my work until today.
A.T. - The time goes by and sometimes that pure, intimate, artistic impulse … changes.
M.P.- The going back and forward that Barthes talked about, remember?
A.T. - Help me remember.
M.P. - We talked a lot about Barthes when we created “Antonio Miguel”, I was obsessed by him, and he said that we are, as persons, not linear, that we do not walk just one line, rising or progressive, we step forward and step back, we tumble, change the path, etc (this is my interpretation of what he said).
A.T. - We don’t want to talk about ourselves constantly, that’s ok. But at the same time we need to place ourselves in the game, set our personally in respect to the theme/subject we have in front of us.
M.P.- Yes, and also because our meeting in 1999 was an attempt to build a common identity from our individual identities, but now, do we want to talk about us our about the world?
A.T. - I would say to talk about the world through ourselves. What do you think?
M.P.- Yes, but...
A.T. - We come from the dance, from the body, from a research that questions the body, the presence on stage, the space, the audience. SHOULD WE TAKE THIS SENTENCE?
M.P.- LET IT BE, after all it’s true, we came from dance :-)
A.T. - There are a lot of issues related to the contemporary that worry us. 10 years ago, which were those issues? And today, after 10 years, what happened to those questions? And now what are the matters, the questions that we ask more?
M.P.- That’s right, we have to look to what were the needs 10 years ago and perceive which continue to make sense, those that no longer do, and obviously the recent needs.
A.T. - And the language, even the “how” is questioned, it’s an issue. “How” becomes content. Design and content is the same thing. Both must be continuously checked, played, questioned.
M.P.- The shape will always be changing but the essence is always the same, isn’t it?
A.T.- Yes!! In “Antonio e Miguel” I see two lines, two pulsations, two questions:
- Identity, who we are.
- The show.
A.T. - 2 parts in the origin of us, artists. Am I Antonio? I am a performer. Am I? I forgot to put the “?”. There is always a question mark. Who are we? I don’t know.
M.P.- And me Miguel who am I? I don’t know, I am nothing and it seems that I know and I am everything.
A.T. – Now after 10 years regarding these questions what happenss? Where do we stay? What interests us?
M.P.- I believe that only when we jump into work, begin the experience, when we get together in the studio, we will be able to achieve something, until there, all that is at hand is the dialogue and an intention project, isn’t it?
A.T.- Big hug.
M.P.- Many kisses and see you soon.
A.T.- A kiss to you!
M.P.- More Kisses.
2) Miguel Pereira answers to David Bernadas from the magazine “Mouvement”, by the occasion of the performances in Thêatre de la Bastille/Paris.
My pieces are always born from an impossibility of affirmation – affirmation in the sense of certainty.
Society always pushes us towards affirmative values: power, strength, achievements, harmony, etc. What is behind all this is what interests me - frailty, fear, absurd, the monster that might be inside each one of us.
How do we live with uncertainty, with our limitations, with the unknown, with mortality in confrontation with culture and with how we build our world?
Antonio Miguel was born from these premises, as well as from the necessity or importance of performances in our lives and in society. It’s also about artistic creation, original(ity) and identity, about the individual in relation with others and the necessity of a mirror so that we can be fulfilled.