Black Cats... comes from my fascination to provisory structures and nomad ways of life. More than a work "about" nomadism I work to construct a nomad performance in itself. The work develops around a provisory set that installs a certain operativity. This scenography will be constructed and destroyed in each performance, generating a choreography of labor and underlining the ephemeral condition of the performative gesture in comparison with the "eternity" of the building that hosts it. The performance as the suspended time in between the rising and the destruction of this provisory place. On stage, three operators work on this process that becomes also a fiction. Around this architectonic gesture that crosses the performance they will physically put together heterogeneous materials creating a dramaturgical density that invites us to another space, through this continuos "doing". In the end of the performance, over the scenic remains, there will be nothing left to see, to keep or to buy... Only this immaterial technique embodied on the agents of this performance through the experience of the daily reconstruction of this space that reenacts this event for the public. They have nothing (to lose). Their patrimony is a certain specific technique.
A project by Dinis Machado
with David Cabecinha and Jorge Jácome
Costume collaboration with Ian Mcinnes
Project developped in residency at MDT (Stockholm), Dance4 (Nottingham) and Agora Collective (Berlin)
Produced by Corp and Dance4
Co-produced by Cullberg Ballet in the framework of Life Long Burning supported by the Culture 2013-2018 Programme of the European Union
Project developed with the Grant for the Arts from the Arts Council England
Supported by the internationalization grant of Fundacao Caloust Gulbenkian
Administration: Interim kultur,
Dinis Machado was an associated artist from ZDB/Negócio
Originally from Portugal, Dinis Machado is currently based in Stockholm. Educated in dance, acting and visual art, he creates on the intersection of these fields. His poetics might be named “dramaturgy of labour”, since strategies of body-based visual art (installation, performance, happening) are put together with a combination of utilitarian gestures (like fixing the bike or painting the wall) and dance gestures. In Black Cats Can See in The Dark But Are Not Seen those actions are placed in a carefully built structure that is continually re-negotiated throughout the 75 min duration of the work, following Machado’s “fascination to provisory structures and nomad ways of life“.
Three performers are operating this space, as one. The performing mode is introverted; no visible contact with the audience or one another. The dynamic comes from the progress of the performance material itself.
The text is present during the entire performance; a stream of elegantly written letters and diary entries, covering a variety of ideas and concerns. Read by Cabechina, it is occasionally transferred into dialogue with Machado who keeps his physical actions going while developing the text. Signed “Yours, Dinis“, the text gives a level of intimacy and includes the audience directly in Machado’s somewhat introspective world. He enters into reduced choreography, modulation of one phrase only. His skills and movement expertise, however, are captivating.
Black Cats… asks for patient attention, but is enormously rewarding. Using the epistolary format, Machado takes the audience on a voyage that is intimate and personal, yet possible to connect to. It is a multilayered articulation of acute questions in choreography and performance such as conceptualization, fiction, nomadism, art-product, interdisciplinarity. “Let’s start in the middle….” says Machado closing Black Cats… “And we will stay there… to finish is a simulacrum.” and the audience follows this idea by keeping the discussion on offered themes long after the performers are gone.