about the production
In writing the line ‘The abyss is this bright line between night and dusk,’ Portuguese neorealist poet Al Berto likely drew inspiration from the Biblical narrative in Genesis about God’s dividing day from night: And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was upon the abyss. And God said ‘Let there be light!’, and there was light. So God called the light Day, and darkness He called Night. The Portuguese performers from Circolando company develop and further elaborate this theme in their piece Night, unique among their work. Just like for Al Berto, to them night is a symbol of magical forces, ghosts, miracles, unfettered passions and senses but also of demons, terrifying occurrences, darkness of spirit and hidden powers or crimes.
A group of three outsiders urges the audience to pause for a brief moment: ‘It is night, let us briefly forget time, we can dream, imagine.’ We join them in observing their nocturnal life, the outer and inner worlds that surround them and whose form is whipped up to the extreme by the magical power of night. At times a brutal and merciless struggle for a place in the world (not in society – the heroes in Night have given up on it and so has it on them,
simply put, it does not even offer them a literal shelter) is in turn replaced by amicable friendship, humour, relief and a sense for adventure. The ability to enjoy and celebrate what comes by dance transforms the dramatic and unpredictable night into a dance stage and into circus-like playfulness. The street and night is the home of these socially ‘unclassifiable’ heroes. They live here without certainties, from day to day, with a denuded and therefore more fragile existence. Night is their accomplice but also their opponent.
The physically intensive and demanding dance-theatre performance Night is ultimately a powerful poetic image of the human being and its hidden – conscious and unconscious – inner forces, of the human being who is unable and unwilling to join the world of consumerism, pretence and superficial opinions. On stage, the dialogue of and metaphysical reflection on light and darkness is articulated through wild, dynamic and vigorous movement, through chaotically alternating stories and images of the nocturnal street unfolding on raw car tires. Under the guidance of André Braga and Cláudia Figueiredo and after ten years of existence, in Night, Circolando move from their previous poetics of new circus to physical theatre. They are interested in the human being in its dual and complex nature nested in a reality filled with contradictions. Night brings the poetry of the nocturnal street on stage with wild energy and equally dynamic music by DJ André Pires. At its heart lies the concept of transdisciplinarity – an intense dialogue between dance and theatre, with distinctive contributions from other forms of art: poetry, visual art, music and video.
“In Noite, a powerful performance, significant and of great lucidity, a dialogue and a metaphysical reflection on light and darkness are developed. (...) We are facing an aesthetic and poetic turn of Circolando, however, both the use of scenic materials as the meticulous lighting, the extraordinary musical score and the scene plays show us an extraordinary job, supported by an intense physicality and body language.
Night is a mighty performance both in language as in speech. (...) The dramatic intensity is present all through the work, but there are moments that disturb us to the limit.”
(From chaos to redemption, Manuel Sesma Sanz, Artezblai, December 2015)
directed by André Braga
created by André Braga, Cláudia Figueiredo, Paulo Mota, Ricardo Machado
dramaturgy: Cláudia Figueiredo
interpretation: André Braga, Paulo Mota, Ricardo Machado
DJ and sound modelling: André Pires
plastic conception: André Braga, Nuno Brandão, Sandra Neves
light design: Francisco Tavares Teles
light: João Abreu
stage and set up: Nuno Brandão
production: Ana Carvalhosa (vedenie), Cláudia Santos
coproduction: Circolando, Teatro Municipal do Porto, São Luiz Teatro Municipal, Centro Cultural de Ílhavo
creation residence: Centro Cultural Gafanha da Nazaré, Teatro Municipal Campo Alegre
André Braga (1973) is a director, choreographer, scenographer and performer. Upon graduating from the Faculty of Sport at the University in Porto and the National Circus Academy Annie Fratellini Paris, he began studies and personal training in the fields of dance, theatre and visual art. He has collaborated with many prominent artists, who have left a pronounced mark on his creative process – Josef Nadj, Thierry Baë, Peter Gemza, Cécile Loyer and others. In 1999, he and Cláudia Figueiredo founded the company Circolando, which they lead to this day as artistic directors. Braga regularly leads workshops on physical and trans-disciplinary creation in Portugal and abroad.
Cláudia Figueiredo (1974) is responsible for the concept and dramaturgy of all of Circolando’s productions. She graduated in sociology from the Institute of Philosophy at the University in Porto and holds a master’s and doctor’s degree in sociology from the University in Coimbra. She tutored a course in street theatre and writing at the Academy of Contemporary Art. After a short period of working as a researcher and editorial coordinator, she now devotes her time exclusively to Circolando, where she is active alongside André Braga as a project manager, dramaturge and co-director of most productions.
Video of the production: yes
Scripts of the production: PT, SK, EN
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