As we commemorate the 500th anniversary of Ferdinand Magellan’s circumnavigation my goal is to create a performance that shows the legacy and consequences of such a feat in our History.
“This journey was the corollary of the discovery of new sea and trade routes, of the recognition of the scientific value of astronomers, cartographers and geographers. It allowed the encounter of new realities, cultures and customs, fauna and flora, new values and it contributed to further the knowledge in different areas such as culture, history, theology, linguistics, botany and zoology.”
Nowadays one can regard this event from different perspectives. The incredible feat that was acomplished and how it contributed for the enlargement of how we conceived the world, the development of our knowledge in several domains that until then were unnkown or limited and allowed a more distant and critical regard bearing in mind the ideological implications that can be associated to this part of our History. There are certainly several considerations and conclusions to be drawn in the political, cultural and historical sense concerning this process but, undoubtfully, from an artistic point of view it provides us a wide terrain in which we can question ourselves as a nation, a culture and a society. Where we come from, who we are, what makes us us and how we project the future.
“In 1519 when Ferdinand Magellan began his epic journey in search for the Moluccas, rich in spices, conceiving and accomplishing the first circumnavigation of the world he could never imagine that his achievement would forever change the geographical paradigm at that time: it is the confirmation that the Earth is not flat. With this journey a new era and view of the world start: globalization and universal knowledge.”
Magellan obviously aims at expanding his world by searching for spices but ends up enlarging and transforming the configuration of the world itself that existed until then. Coming from this point of view one can say that he unveils the concepts of “globalization” and “universality” which today are so widely spread in our cultures. And so he discovers new worlds, new realities, comes face to face with “the other one”, different from himself, ventures in the demand and ends up being a victim of his own curiosity (Magellan dies in an ambush before arriving at his final destination).
It’s this realm of “ventures” and curiosity that also defines the artistic creation and is its genesis and reason for being. We can even regard the process as a kind of journey towards the unknown, as an attempt to surpass the boundaries of our physical and intelectual understanding, an experiment of discovery, exploring new possibilities and “new worlds”. As an artist I enjoy placing myself in that realm, travelling improbable roads, encountering the other, the different, discovering myself and being discovered, extending myself in the unknown and in the surprising. Sailing, walking, following, tearing apart, trying, crossing over, passing by, moving forward and back. Assuming that the final destination can be altered and/or diverted.
Throughout my artistic career I also travelled and came across other cultures, languages and knowledge that made me face my own body and world limitations opening me up to new possibilities. Dancing has been that conduit, an universal language, a language of discoveries, bridges and extentions.
Taking a look at some of the places that Ferdinand Magellan and his crew went by in their attempt to reach the Moluccas I realise how they coincide with some of the countries that I have had the opportunity to visit, discover and share experiences either through my own work, collaboration or by the training I had several times (Brazil, Uruguay, Chile). In these journeys I met artists that inspired me and with whom I created bonds of common interest and empathy. This is perhaps the right moment and opportunity for developing work that within this scope allows the convergence and cooperation between Portuguese and South American authors and performers as well as between cultural organizations from some of these countries.
*Quotations from the statement by Secretary General of Lisbon City Hall Alberto LaPlaine Guimarães on the 6th Meeting of the Global Network of Magellan Cities that took place in Lisbon, January 2017.
Premiere 6 - 7 December 2019, Sala Hugo Balzo, Auditorio Nacional del Sodre Dra. Adela Reta, Montevideo/Uruguay
POSTPONED (to be announced)
Era um peito só cheio de promessas by Miguel Pereira
Sala Mário Viegas, São Luiz Teatro Municipal, Lisbon, Portugal
coproduction Teatro Municipal do Porto and São Luiz Teatro Municipal
in the framework of the programme O Rumo do Fumo - 20 Years
4 to 6 March at 7.30pm, 7 March at 4pm