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Em Circulação > Perhaps she could dance first and think afterwards by Vera Mantero, 1991

Perhaps she could dance first and think afterwards

by Vera Mantero, 1991

Perhaps she could dance first and think afterwards was created for the Europalia Festival in Belgium in 1991 (that year dedicated to Portugal and which included a wide Portuguese choreographic representation).

This solo has a prime place on Vera Mantero's choreographic course. It is a work that spans almost two decades and is, singularly, still alive and be presented. Why? It was with this solo that the author found part of her identity in terms of movement, in terms of how to be on stage, in terms of tools and elements that she uses to create and perform: a body that doesn't neglect gestures, the hands, the face, the expressions, that includes them because she knows that these elements are absolutely part of the body-person; which constantly tries to grasp what is going through her, trying to expose exactly this through the responses of a vibratil body; a body that dashes against time-cadence and plays with it/them like a child plays with marbles; a body which sometimes produces an almost-talking, in sounds that seem wanting to take the shape of words, on lips that articulate inaudible words. Why did this happen to this body?

Mantero wrote on the evening program by that time: "My relationship with dance revolves around the following questions: what does dance say? What can I say with dance? What am I saying when I'm dancing?". The ability and inability of dance to SAY, were in the center of the author's creative preoccupations at the time (... aren't they still?). The strategy of inclusion (in the actions, movements, impulses) of other materials, which are not the commonly used ones for dance, were the means and the research that the author undertook to force-push-pressure the dance to SAY. This piece also has another particularity: it has always been and is until today an improvised piece and it was precisely for being improvised that allowed it to be a piece. It is the result of creative impossibilities and difficulties: before being a solo it was an unsuccessful attempt of being a quartet and before being an improvisation, it was an unsuccessful attempt of a choreographed solo. Facing all these difficulties the author "... didn't want to do this piece. Fortunately there was someone (Bruno Verbergt from the Klapstuk festival) that gave me a stage at my disposal and told me to do on it exactly what I needed to do. That's what I did." Improvisation allowed her details, velocity and freedom that a choreographed dance would never allow. The meeting with "Ruby, My Dear" by Thelonious Monk, in the version used in this piece, was a very important support, which facilitated the movement to this body in difficulties. In such a way that it has been (and is) necessary to repeat three times the audition along the piece. And the phrase of Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot', which gives the title to this solo, explains even more a part of these difficulties by proposing that she dances first and thinks afterwards; in the original evening program can be read: "... to be methodical one must believe and I have a problem of lack of belief. Art, creation, are the things that interest me most in life, but it seems that every time I put myself doing anything in this field, I stop to believe in them immediately. And then I finish up to stop believing in life itself and in other things out there..."

As mentioned already above, a somewhat rare and curious phenomenon happened to this solo: its presentation has never been interrupted, it has been shown regularly over the last twenty-nine years. And if the actual lack of belief began to produce a solo somewhat distressed and suffered, this continuous and repeated presentation transformed the work and moved it from this area of pain and anguish to an area far more luminous, of humour and enjoy, whilst leaving intact its structures and foundations.

Ficha Artística

Concept and Performance
Vera Mantero
André Lepecki
Original Light Design
João Paulo Xavier
"Ruby, My Dear" by Thelonious Monk
Light Adaption
Hugo Coelho - Aldeia da Luz
Vera Mantero
Pós d’Arte, 1991
Tour Management
O Rumo do Fumo
Financial Support
Instituto da Juventude
Other Supports
Comp. de Dança de Lisboa.
Performance running time
20 minutes
"Perhaps she could dance first and think afterwards" was created by commission of the Klapstuk Festival 91 on the occasion of Europalia Portugal.


5 June 2022, Cycle "What my dance says" dedicated to Vera Mantero by Serralves, Auditorium, Museu de Serralves, Fundação de Serralves, Porto/Portugal
7 November 2020, Festival Encontros do DeVIR – Resgate, CAPa - Centro de Artes Performativas do Algarve, Faro/Portugal
7 February 2019, Festival Escenas do Cambio, Museo Centro Gaiás, Santiago de Compostela/Spain
19 - 20 October 2018, Festival Contemporâneo de Dança, Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil, São Paulo/Brazil
29 June 2018, Movimiento Sur International Plataform, NAVE, Santiago/Chile
23 November 2017, KINANI, Centro Cultural Franco-Moçambicano, Maputo/Mozambique
30 - 31 August 2017, Les Brigittines, Brussels/Belgium
22 July 2017, MUDAS.HOTsummer, MUDAS. Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Madeira, Funchal, Madeira Island/Portugal
6 May 2017, La Friche/Marseille Objectif Danse, Marseille/France
24 February 2017, Nova\Velha Dança cycle/Associação Parasita, Teatro Sá da Bandeira, Santarém/Portugal
4 - 7 October 2016, Le CND, Pantin, Île-de-France/France
21 June 2015, Parque do Convento, Fundão/Portugal
5 October 2014, Festival Krakow Theatrical Reminiscences, Krakow/Poland
6 April 2014, Festival Plastique Danse Flore, Versalles/France
29 June 2013, Festival Extension Sauvage, Bazouge-la-Pérouse/France
23 October 2010, Festival Internacional de Dança, Évora/Portugal
10 October 2010, Festival SIDance, Seoul/South Korea
7 May 2010,Teatro de la Laboral, Gijón/Spain
9 January 2010, Pequeno Auditório, TEMPO-Teatro Municipal de Portimão, Portimão/Portugal
24 October 2009,Bienal de Par em Par do Ceará, Fortaleza/Brazil
19 - 20 October 2009, Festival Piccola Europa, Rocca dei Bentivoglio, Bolonha/Itália
17 September 2009, Teatro da Cerca de São Bernardo - A Escola da Noite, Coimbra/Portugal
9 - 10 September 2009, Centro Cultural de la Cooperación. Sala Solidaridad, Buenos Aires/Argentina
12 July  2008, Centro Cultural Vila Flor, Guimarães, under the scope of  “Vera Mantero, 20 anos a pensar primeiro e a dançar depois”, Guimarães/Portugal
12 - 13 November 2007, National Theatre Festival, Bucharest/Romania
10 - 11 October 2007,  IDans Festival, Istanbul/Turkey
24 September 2006, Teatro Camões, Lisbon/Portugal
8 October 2005, Festival Tensdansa, Terrassa/Spain
20 - 22 May 2005, Dansens Hus, Oslo/Norway
14 - 15 January 2005, Casa de América, Madrid/Spain
16 - 17 October 2004, Teatro Sérgio Porto, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil
2 - 3 October 2004, Teatro Sesc Anchieta, S. Paulo/Brazil
4 September 2004, Teatro Apolo, Recife/Brazil
17 January 2004, Kunstencentrum Vooruit, Ghent/Belgium
19 - 21 November 2003, Théâtre de la Bastille, Paris/France
4 October 2003, Catania/Italy
1 December 2002, Festival Lignes de corps, Valenciennes/France
15 - 16 November 2002, Teatro Viriato, Viseu/Portugal
28 September 2002, Festival A Sul, Vila Real de Santo António/Portugal
5 - 6 August 2002, Viena/Impulstanz/Austria
11 January 2002, Jubilee Hall/Singapura
14 - 15 September 2001, Mousonturm, Frankfurt/Germany
5 May 2001, Auditório Municipal,  Vila do Conde/Portugal
23 March 2001, Cineteatro Avenida, Castelo Branco/Portugal
1 November 2000, Kiasma Theater, Helsinki/Finland
9 October 2000, Festival City of Women, Ljubljana/Slovenia
5 October 2000, Mês de Dança contemporânea, Évora/Portugal
22 September 2000 Festival Fringe, Tomar/Portugal
11 August 2000, Festival 3 semanas 3 nomes, Ericeira/Portugal
June 2000, Teatro Zagrebacko Kazaliste Mladih, 17th Dance Week Festival, Zagreb/Croatia
27 June 1999, Teatro della Cavallerizza, 'Dança- Sentieri Portoghesi', Reggio Emilia/Italy
April 1999, Wuk, Vienna/Austria
4 - 6 March 1999, Culturgest, Mês de Março, Mês de Vera, Lisbon/Portugal
1 - 3 September 1998, Centro Cultural de São Paulo, São Paulo/Brazil
10 July 1998, Festival Sguardi Insoliti, Agricantus, Palermo/Italy
22 - 25 April 1998, Centre Georges Pompidou (“Solitipi”), Paris/France
20 - 21 April 1998, Centre de Développement Chorégraphique, Toulouse/France
27 - February 1998, Festival Le Club des Cinq, Studio des Abbatoirs, Angers/France
21 - February 1998, Festival Le Club des Cinq, Onyx, Nantes/France
7 - 14 October 1997, Fest. Int. de Nouvelle Danse, Montréal/Canada
12 - 13 July 1997, Sommerszene Festival, Salzburgo/Austria
14  June 1997, Fest. Tanztendenz, Siemens Kultur, Greifswald/Germany
18 - 20 April 1997, Podewil, Berlin/Germany
10 April 1997, Tollhaus, Kalrsruhe/Germany
14 February 1997, Centre Culturel de Meylan, Grenoble/France
6 - 8 December 1996,Teatro La Imperdible, Seville/Spain
16 November 1996, Bienal du Val-de-Marne, Fontenay-sous-Bois/France
1 - 2 June 1996, Londrina/Brazil
28 May 1996, Pôle Sud, Strasbourg/France
11 - 14 April 1996, The Kitchen, New York/United States of America
6 April 1996, The Dance Place, Washington/United States of America
1995, Salle Patiño, Genève/Switzerland
1995, Teatro Carlos Manuel, Sintra/Portugal
1995, Nykytanssia Turussa, Turku/Finland
1995, Balleteatro Auditório, Balleteatro Auditório, Porto/Portugal
1995, Marseille Objectif Danse, Marseille/France
1994, Suzanne Dellal Center, Tel-Aviv/Israel
1994, 1ª Mostra de Dança Contemporânea de Loulé, Loulé/Portugal
1994, Festival Roma per la Danza, Rome/Italy
1994, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island/United States of America
1994, Festival New Moves, Glasgow/Scotland
1993, Homenagem a Carlos Trincheiras, Teatro São Luíz, Lisbon/Portugal
1993, TNDI-Chateauvallon, Toulon/France
1993,  Festival Danças na Cidade, Lisbon/Portugal
1993, Festival Internacional de Teatro, Teatro D. Maria II, Lisbon/Portugal
1993, Festival Springdance, Utrecht/Netherlands
1992,  Festival de Otoño, Teatro Pradillo, Madrid/Spain
1992, Tanzwerkstatt Europa, Munich/Germany
1992, Ménagerie de Verre, Paris/France
1992, Festival Danse à Lille, Lille/France
1992, Centre Culturel l'Aire Libre, St. Jacques de la Lande, Rennes/France
1992, Festival Danse à Épinal, Épinal/France
Premiere - 25 October 1991, Festival Klapstuk, Leuven/Belgium