25 — 28.05.2022
Alice Ripoll / Cia REC Rio de Janeiro
Using buckets, water, soap and lather, the dancers of Lavagem by the Brazilian choreographer Alice Ripoll explore the action of cleaning as a performative and political gesture. The dancers produce images with bubbles, suggesting a dreamlike world, yet by its very nature soap is also a source of frustration as it stops them from staying upright, forcing them apart or having to help one other keep on their feet. Following aCORdo and CRIA, Alice Ripoll is back for a third time at Kunstenfestivaldesarts to present Lavagem. For Ripoll, the study of the notion of “cleanliness” now also becomes an investigation of the identities who are cornered to perform certain tasks in our societies, something that became even more evident with the pandemic, in Brazil and beyond. It is also this open question that the dancers are raising, while attempting to establish a closer and more direct relationship with the audience in order to overturn social hierarchies and the established relationship between what is happening on stage and the audience.
In Alice Ripoll and Cia REC’s latest work, Lavagem, reality and fantasy mix together in a delirium, reminding us of an apocalyptic dream. With the help of buckets, water and soap, this performance investigates ambivalent images taking into account, and critically observing, the act of cleaning and its scenic and historical unfolding. The elements used here create multiple poetic images of exodus, crossings, rituals, rebirth, and resistance.
In Brazilian Portuguese, the word “lavagem” means cleanliness, the act of cleaning, sanitation, but it also means pigs will. “Lavagem de dinheiro”, or money laundering, is an expression used to disguise the illicit origin of revenues. “Lavagem cerebral”, or brainwashing, is what you do to force someone to think a certain way. “Alma lavada”, or cleansed soul, means we have experienced great relief and now feel peaceful, with no pending matters to resolve.
What actually needs to be cleaned? The houses, the dirt inside the rooms? The trails left behind, the historical facts? The scents of body fluids, those we smell when we come close to each other? Soap foam colors the bodies and hints at invisibility; bubbles suggest a world of dreams, standing in stark contrast to the severe lack of social mobility in the real world.
The audience may look at this piece from a pictorial point of view, but they might also feel touched by issues relating to social status and hierarchy, destinies previously traced, and opportunities.
By building a close relationship with the audience, this piece fosters the possibility of finding new ways to establish contact between performers and spectators, proposing a new experience of a shared space. Physical closeness can evoke claustrophobia, and suggest concrete or symbolic tightness; but it can also present itself as a cozy womb, where smells, skin textures, and the warmth that emanates from the bodies are perceived.
Lavagem presents an ancestral past filled with struggles, but also with secrets about joy and cheerfulness.
Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Pilar
Director: Alice Ripoll | Original idea: Alan Ferreira | Performers: Alan Ferreira, Hiltinho Fantástico, Katiany Correia, Rômulo Galvão, Tony Hewerton, Tuany Nascimento | Production director: Natasha Corbelino, Corbelino Cultural | Production assistant, set assistant: Thais Peixoto | Artistic assistant: Laura Samy | Musical assistant: Rodrigo Maré, Helena Bittencourt | Photos: Renato Mangolin | Set designer: Raquel Theo | Visagism, props: Cleber de Oliveira | Costume designer: Paula Ströher | Light designer: Tomas Ribas | Light Technician: Nadja Naira | Tour planning: ART HAPPENS | Support: Rafael Machado Fisioterapia
Coproduction: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, PACT Zollverein, Kaserne Basel, Wiener Festwochen, Julidans, Festival de la Cité Lausanne, Passages Transfestival, Romaeuropa Festival and Teatro di Roma – Teatro Nazionale, Festival d’Automne à Paris
Special thanks: Alexandre Belfort, Sulamita Costa, Juliana França, André Oliveira, Walace Ferreira, Juliete Schultz, Mauricio Lima, Pedro Bento, Thamires Candida, Dilo Paulo, Diewry Patrick, Lenna Santos de Siqueira, Camila Rocha, Centro Coreográfico da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro, Arnoldo Pereira de Souza, Anita Tandeta, Camila Moura, Renato Linhares, Cecilia Ripoll, Andrea Capella, Casa de Mystérios e Novidades