Miquelina e Miguel

By Miguel Pereira, followed by a talk with the artist and Luís Trindade, moderated by Ana Bigotte Vieira

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“My mother is called Miquelina and was born in 1935. For most of her life, she has lived in Mozambique. Recently, she was diagnosed with dementia. I have contradictory feelings about this situation: on the one hand, dealing with the fear of her faculties decaying, on the other hand, allowing myself to and access a new level of understanding, somewhere between madness, tenderness and closeness. Today, I look at my mother and I recognise myself more than ever. The unimaginable, that madness which sometimes assails me, the experience of failure and ridicule, scars which, unknowingly, I have inherited from her, and which only now, with the gradual degeneration of her memory, I can see and understand. I discovered that my mother has a sense of humour and likes to dance. Together, we laugh and get silly, do crazy stuff. And, in a kind of parallel reality, for a few moments we are happy.”

— Miguel Pereira

The present moment, memory and its loss are the guiding threads of Miquelina e Miguel [Miquelina and Miguel], where choreographer Miguel Pereira seeks to redeem a new, tragicomic relationship with his mother. Meanwhile, in the interstices, in their words and gestures, the brutal complexity of 20th-century Portugal, which Luís Trindade will later address in conversation, delicately unfolds. A delirious and caring encounter in which dance, the absurd and fragility are celebrated in a limitlessly free space. An attempt to counteract the passage of time and escape the inevitable, while Estado Novo dictatorship’s light music mixes with Hollywood icons.

The performance is followed by a talk between Miguel Pereira and Luís Trindade, moderated by Ana Bigotte Vieira.

As part of a dance not dance programme, Miguelina e Miguel dialogues with Marlene Monteiro Freitas’ performance Idiota [Idiot], presented on 9 and 10 January. Even though diametrically opposed, coloniality is present in their works not as a theme but as lived experience, with all the challenges that it entails for modern societies. The contrast between the scarcity of references to the colonial past in Portuguese dance archives and its everyday presence will also be addressed in Unearthing memories of dance, a discussion between Piny, Angela Guerreiro and Désirée Desmarattes, moderated by Cristina Roldão.

Image © Joana Linda

Miguel Pereira (1963, Portugal) is a choreographer. His work includes Shirtologia (Miguel) (1997), in collaboration with Jérôme Bel, Antonio Miguel – José Ribeiro da Fonte Revelation Prize and honourable mention in the Acarte 2000 prize –, Notas Para Um Espectáculo Invisível (2001), data/local (2002), Transitions (2004), Corpo de Baile (2005), and Karima meets Lisboa meets Miguel meets Cairo (2006), in collaboration with Karima Mansour.

Luís Trindade is a researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History at NOVA FCSH, and at IN2PAST – Associated Laboratory for Research and Innovation in Heritage, Arts, Sustainability and Territory. He taught Portuguese and European studies at Birkbeck, University of London, and contemporary history at the University of Coimbra. In 2006-2007, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has carried out research in the areas of nationalism, Marxism, cinema and other aspects of popular culture in Portugal in the 20th century.

Ana Bigotte Vieira (1980, Lisbon) is Co-IR of the FCT Archiving Theatre project and an integrated researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History. She has published Uma Curadoria da Falta, about the ACARTE service of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in 1984-1989, based on her doctoral research. Between 2018 and 2023 she was part of the curating team at Teatro do Bairro Alto. Together with João dos Santos Martins, she started the project For a Timeline to Be – genealogies of dance as an artistic practice in Portugal, of which dance not dance – archaeologies of new dance in Portugal is the 7th edition.

dance not dance

This event is included in the (re)performances, films and talks series which constitutes the first part of dance not dance – archaeologies of the new dance in Portugal. More info.


Artistic direction

Miguel Pereira


Miquelina da Costa Frederico and Miguel Pereira

Dramaturgical collaboration

Paula Caspão

Creation assistance

Bibi Dória

Light design

Hugo Coelho

Set design collaboration

André Guedes


O Rumo do Fumo


Teatro do Bairro Alto / EGEAC


Estúdios Victor Córdon


Ana Pais, Bruno Moreno, Catarina Alvarez, Daniel Tércio, Filipe Viegas, Henrique Neves, Laura Lopes, Luis Graça, Magda Pereira, Marcelo Evelin, Otávio Almeida and Vera Mantero

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation reserves the right to collect and keep records of images, sounds and voice for the diffusion and preservation of the memory of its cultural and artistic activity. For further information, please contact us through the Information Request form.


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