24 — 27.05.2019

Lia Rodrigues Rio de Janeiro



Théâtre National

⧖ 1h10 | € 20 / € 16

Nine dancers start moving and alternately form a primitive mass and the sum of different individuals. This mutating collective works its way through worlds that are built up out of paradoxical images that feel both familiar and unfamiliar. Dizzying scenes of dominance and submission, exuberance and apathy, joy and pain merge to form an unsettling whole. Fúria depicts a transformative process that moves from celebration to uprising and war. The latest creation of Brazilian choreographer Lia Rodrigues is not only virtuoso and inventive, but also politically and socially committed. As the driving force behind Centro Arte da Maré, an arts centre in one of Rio’s biggest favelas, Rodrigues makes no distinction between her dance and the heterogeneous community in which she is firmly rooted. Neither does Fúria shy away from the complexity of alterity.

See also: 

Free School: Núcleo Dance Class

Free School:
Inventing Schools #2, a talk with Lia Rodrigues & Faustin Linyekula

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The strong Fúria of Lia Rodrigues

Brazilian artist Lia Rodrigues established her company and set up a dance school in the Maré favela in Rio de Janeiro. She presents her new creation, Fúria. “The imagination is a place of freedom.”


What was your inspiration for Fúria?

The dancers and I worked from images we’d collected. Images from all over the world, but particularly those illustrating the life of black people in Brazil. The writer Conceição Evaristo, who is Afro-Brazilian and comes from a favela, was like a beacon for us in our research. She helped us a great deal when we were thinking about this piece. We worked with anything we found in our space, old clothes, a small bit of wood, a little piece of plastic thrown in a corner. We tried to create poetry out of these broken and discarded bits and pieces.

How do you work with your dancers?

In this piece I’m working with nine dancers who are all very different. Four of them come from our school and that’s really emotional for me. I’ve known them since they were teenagers and now they’re artists talking with their own voices! The dancers improvise and I’m trying to organise what we want to say together. It’s like a big laboratory we’ve been bringing material into for nine months. The piece is written day to day with everyone’s involvement. I organise the ideas that emerge, the desires, the thoughts; we talk a lot.

Is there a great deal of visual work in Fúria, like there is in your earlier pieces?

Unlike other pieces where the audience shared the space with the dancers, this one is performed front on. We wanted to have this experience and it changes things a lot. Even if, as I said, we work with quite limited material, we’re trying to create a specific ambiance, a kind of Brazilian baroque with costumes and characters. At the moment more than half of the dancers are living in the Maré favela. They bring this singular imagi-nary world, different colours, a particular aesthetic. We have figures of kings, queens, made out of nothing. And I love this magic of nothing. We’re positioning ourselves in a kind of non-linear narrative, close to imagination and dreams. The piece is being created at this particular, terrible time of elections that will have a big impact on people, especially in the favela. Fúria surrounds us, we’re immersed in it. So what can we bring to it all? Perhaps a bit of calm and silence. But above all imagination, which is a place of freedom.

Interview by Delphine Baffour

Published in
La Terrasse, 21 October 2018 – nr. 270

Choreography: Lia Rodrigues

Dramaturgy: Silvia Soter

Light design: Nicolas Boudier

Artistic collaboration: Sammi Landweer

Assistant choreography: Amalia Lima

Dance & creation: Leonardo Nunes, Felipe Vian, Clara Cavalcanti, Carolina Repetto, Valentina Fittipaldi, Andrey Silva, Karoll Silva, Larissa Lima, Ricardo Xavier

Music: excerpts of traditional songs and dances of Kanack New Caledonia  

Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles

Production: Chaillot – Théâtre national de la Danse (Paris)

With support of: Fondation d’entreprise Hermès as part of its New Settings programme

Coproduction: Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), Chaillot – Théâtre national de la Danse (Paris), Centquatre Paris, Fondation d’entreprise Hermès in the frame of the programme New Settings, Festival d’Automne de Paris, MA scène-nationale, Pays de Montbéliard, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main, festival “Frankfurter Position 2019 –BHF-Bank-Stiftung”, Teatro Municipal do Porto, Festival DDD (Portugal), Theater Freiburg, Les Hivernales-CDNC (France), Muffatwerk (Munich)

In association with: Chaillot – Thé.tre national de la Danse (Paris); Festival d’Automne à Paris for performances at Chaillot – Théâtre national de la Danse (Paris)

With support of: Adami

Lia Rodrigues is associate artist at Chaillot – Théâtre national de la Danse (Paris) and at Centquatre-Paris

Thanks to: Zeca Assumpção, Inês Assumpção, Alexandre Seabra, Mendel Landweer, Jacques Segueilla, the team of Centro de Artes da Maré and of Redes da Maré

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