Unearthing memories of dance

With Piny, Angela Guerreiro and Desirée Desmarrattes (InterStruct collective), moderated by Cristina Roldão

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Dance not dance invited Piny, Angela Guerreiro and Desirée Desmarrattes to research the presence of black bodies and Afro-diasporic narratives in Portugal’s dance history. The contrast between the scarcity of references to the colonial past in the Portuguese dance archives and its everyday presence (in bodies, imaginaries and their emanations) will be addressed during this talk. Moderated by Cristina Roldão, the discussion brings back an expression coined by the InterStruct collective – “unearthing memories” – and will be an opportunity to examine the conditions and challenges still faced by this research in various archives and contexts.

As part of the dance not dance programme, this talk is connected with the performances Miquelina e Miguel, by Miguel Pereira, presented on the same day, and Idiota, by Marlene Monteiro Freitas, on 9 and 10 January. Even though diametrically opposed, coloniality is present in these works not as a theme but as lived experience, with all the challenges that it entails for modern societies.

Image: Project Z, by Angela Guerreiro © Wolfgang Unger

Angela Guerreiro (1965, Lisbon) is an Afro-descendant mother, choreographer and performer, dance therapist and somatic movement educator, curator and researcher. She produced the annual festival DanceKiosk – Hamburg (2005-2016) and several other projects dedicated to contemporary dance. She is a PhD candidate in Post-Colonialism and Global Citizenship at the University of Coimbra (2023) and a member of União Negra das Artes (UNA).

Desirée Desmarattes (1992, Germany) investigates the colonial legacy in different topographies. She graduated in Art Studies from the University of Duisburg-Essen and completed a Master's degree in Art and Design for Public Space at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto, with a thesis on the colonial past in Porto's public space. She has worked in contemporary art and photography galleries in Essen, Marseille and Istanbul.

Piny (1981, Lisbon) is a performer, choreographer, researcher, teacher and facilitator of mixed and blended practices. Born in Lisbon, Angola, she has a degree in architecture with a postgraduate qualification in scenography, and a degree in contemporary dance from the Portuguese Higher School of Dance (ESD). In 1999, she began studying dances from the Middle East and North Africa and, since 2006, she has also dedicated herself to Hip Hop and Clubbing culture, through dance and Djing.

Cristina Roldão (1980, São Domingos de Rana) is a sociologist, guest lecturer at the School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal and researcher at the Centre for Sociology Research and Studies from the University Institute of Lisbon. Social inequalities regarding the school are her main area of research, with a focus on processes of exclusion and institutional racism.

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.

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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