Assentar sobre a subida das águas (2016)

Sónia Baptista

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“There is no solid ground in a floating world.” Sónia Baptista’s recent work explores the ineffable relationship between the script and its performance, in which words and syntax form a cadence that determines the way in which the body communicates. Assentar sobre a subida das águas is part of a series of autobiographic performance-monologues (of which In the fall the fox, e na queda raposar is also performed) that drift through the author’s identity, blurring the line between the personal and the political. This work focuses on a “poetic vision of the more than certain and imminent possibility of a catastrophe or a catastrophic event.” It relates the tragic sense of irreversibility to the acceptance of a liquid state of flotation that is a metaphor “for precariousness as a form of impermanence”.

The show is spoken in Portuguese (no subtitles).


Sónia Baptista Direction, Concept, Script and Performance
Héloise Marechal, Sónia Baptista Video
Maria do Mar Violin
Pedro Vaz Painting
Sónia Baptista, Lara Torres Costume
Sónia Baptista, Raquel Melgue Book
Raquel Melgue Coordination, technical execution and original photography
Alkantara, Transforma Coproduction
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Cão Solteiro Support
AADK Production

Ana, Teresa, Horácio, Brigitte, Eduarda, Ana Vidigal, Clarissa Sacchelli, Luís Firmo,Thomas Walgrave, Cláudia Galhós, Liliana Coutinho, Isaque Ferreira, Nuno Moura, João Concha, Paula Sá Nogueira, Sofia Campos, José Manuel Bernardo

Assentar sobre a subida das águas received the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation grant for artistic creation in 2016.
Premiere: 31 May 2016, Alkantara Festival, Sala Mário Viegas, Lisbon.

Sónia Baptista (Lisboa, 1973) completed the Course for Contemporary Dance Performers at Forum Dança and holds a Master’s degree in Choreography and Performance from the University of Roehampton, London. In her work, she explores and experiments with the languages of dance, music, literature, theatre and video. In 2001, she received the Revelação Ribeiro da Fonte Award for Haikus. She has published eight books and numerous essays, poems and written works for publications and online platforms. She collaborates on educational, creative, written and reflective projects. Associated Artist with the AADK Portugal.


Throughout two long weekends, dance returns to the auditoriums of the Foundation with the performance of two dozen works created over recent years with support from the Gulbenkian and with some making their very first appearance in Portugal. Program selection under the curatorship of João dos Santos Martins.


The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation reserves the right to collect and keep records of images, sounds and voice for the diffusion and collective preservation of the memory of its cultural and artistic activity. For further information, please contact us at [email protected].