© Rui Santos, UC

Em Circulação > Eating your heart out on stage / the trees by Rui Chafes and Vera Mantero, 2015/2019

Eating your heart out on stage / the trees

by Rui Chafes and Vera Mantero, 2015/2019

Eating your heart out is the title of the work which represented Portugal at the 26th São Paulo Biennial in 2004. This piece was co-devised and created by sculptor Rui Chafes and dancer/choreographer Vera Mantero. In 2015 both artists recreated the piece without its original sculpture. In resemblance to the previous collaboration, Vera Mantero performed in a tree of the canopy tour of Parque do Convento in Fundão, giving a new name and meaning to the piece: Eating your heart out on the trees. Its development led to the creation of a new sculpture by Rui Chafes for suspension in large sized trees and other locations, presented for the first time at Jardim da Sereia/Coimbra in 2016. When presented in theatrical spaces the performance takes on the name Eating your heart out on stage.

"A body that leaves the floor behind, a body that does not need the floor, is one of dance's greatest utopias. A sculpture that exists in the air, like a voice or a silence, is one of the utopias of sculpture. (...) The first investment of Eating your heart out is the abandonment of the floor, the vertigo of ascension, underlined by its placement within the Biennial's building, a space where a large ramp spirals, connecting the various floors, enabling the viewer to observe the piece from different heights. (...) This idea of ascension associates with dreams of flight and voyage. By embracing the idea of flight, images of nests and hot-air balloons can be conjured. (...) The event of Eating your heart out is the body of Vera Mantero, drawn, installed, choreographed, seen, alive, and hanging (...). This is the body that brings meaning to everything. The body is the happening by which all things happen. The miraculous body of Vera Mantero frees itself from the floor, animated by drawings that redesign it, and continues the search for its place, an extraordinary place, out of the reach of all convenient circumstances. Iron sculpture and living body. A choreography without ground, for a human being and iron and the world surrounding them. (...)"

Alexandre Melo, Commissioner of the Portuguese representation at the 26th São Paulo Biennial, 2004

Ficha Artística

Eating your heart out on stage (2019) and Eating your heart out on the trees (2015)
Original Concept
Rui Chafes and Vera Mantero
Vera Mantero
Sculpture and Design
Rui Chafes
Sound Design
Rui Dâmaso
Evil Angels
O Rumo do Fumo
Eating your heart out (2004)

Original Concept
Rui Chafes and Vera Mantero
Alexandre Melo
Helena Inverno
Organisation and Production
Direcção Geral das Artes / Ministério da Cultura in collaboration with CCB
Executive Production
O Rumo do Fumo


15 November 2019, Festival New Age, New Time, Teatro Viriato, Viseu/Portugal
9 April 2019, BoCA – Biennial of Contemporary Arts, Sala Garrett, Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, Lisbon/Portugal 
20 January 2019, Centro Internacional das Artes José de Guimarães, Guimarães/Portugal 
25 May 2016, Jardim da Sereia, TAGV, Coimbra/Portugal
Premiere - 21 June 2015, canopy tour of Parque do Convento, Luzlinar, Fundão/Portugal