© João Fiadeiro

João Fiadeiro [PT]
From afar it was an island
From afar it was an island is the title of a children's book by Italian designer Bruno Munari. In the book, Munari photographs a series of stones and rocks he found in southern Italy, organizing them to illustrate some of the principles and premises that underpin his practice and thought. Among them, the simple realization that perception is intimately bound up with context and relation, where a small change of perspective or scale is sufficient for a line to become a road, a particle of dust to become a planet, a stone to become an island.

João Fiadeiro's performance doesn't rely on the book directly, but what he and his collaborators seek in terms of quality of presence, duration and attention is rooted in the principles and games of perception that the book addresses.

From afar, what the performers say and do seems to make sense. Their movements follow a logical system - a sense of beginning, middle and end - that we recognize in our bodies and in the bodies we interact with daily (real or fictional, present or absent). But as time passes, we realize that those bodies are going nowhere and that they represent nothing more than their own presence. This doesn't mean that they are going in circles. They are going somewhere, to a place they never left. A place where time is simultaneously suspended and expanding. A place where the end and the beginning overlap; the inside and the outside are reversed; and the center and the periphery blend. If they succeed (if they find this place and are able to share it), they fulfill what seems to be the only function of a work of art: to offer itself to the imagination.

João Fiadeiro performed at the first Danças na Cidade festival in 1993.

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June 6–8

Wed, Thu → 21h
Fri → 19h

Teatro Nacional D. Maria II
Sala Garrett

Running time
75 min approx.


Age guidance

In several languages, with Portuguese surtitles


João Fiadeiro belongs to the generation of artists who emerged in the late eighties in Portugal and gave rise to the New Portuguese Dance movement. He is the artistic director of RE.AL (founded in 1990), which, in addition to producing and touring his own work, hosts and presents emerging artists and transdisciplinary projects. Since the late 90s, João Fiadeiro has been dedicated to the systematization and application of the Real Time Composition method, a tool that studies decision-making and collaboration in art and its relation to science, academia, and society. He is regularly invited to conduct workshops in schools and universities in Portugal and abroad. He is artist in residence at Viriato Theater in Viseu and is currently working towards his PhD in Contemporary Art at the College of Arts at Coimbra University.
Concept and direction João Fiadeiro
Co-director Carolina Campos
Performers and co-creators Adaline Anobile, Carolina Campos, Iván Haidar, Julián Pacomio, Nuno Lucas
Stage design Nadia Lauro
Sound design Jonathan Saldanha
Light design and technical director Leticia Skrycky
Dramaturgy Leonardo Mouramateus
Coproduction Alkantara, Festival DDD, Teatro Viriato, Teatro Avenida, Centre National de la Danse
Costume Assistant Gabriela Forman
Objects Bruno Bogarim
Intern Mauro Soares
Executive Production RE.AL
Tour Manager Something Great
Artistic Residencies Atelier Re.Al, Espaço Alkantara, Armazém 22
Support Câmara Municipal de Lisboa / Polo Cultural Gaivotas | Boavista

Project financed by República Portuguesa - Cultura | DGArtes - Direção-Geral das Artes
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