University of São Paulo: USP Theater brings a show that discusses blackness in dance

THEhe noises and tensions involved in the incursions of black bodies into contemporary dance are discussed in the new work by Leandro Souza, who is responsible for the creation and interpretation of the show Eles Fazem Dança Contemporânea . The solo, presented by Teatro da USP (Tusp), in partnership with Centro Universitário Maria Antonia da USP, premieres this Thursday, the 20th, and runs for a short season, until the 30th January, from Thursday to Saturday, at 7:30 pm. , and Sunday at 6 pm, with free admission.
After winning the APCA (Paulista Association of Art Critics) award for his interpretation in Earthquakes and Volts , the dancer unfolds in the new show between the intertwining of speech, body and object, from a logic of repetition, overlap and continuous transformation of actions, movements and production of images. The inspiration comes from performance and visual arts – also present in the setting, which reproduces the traditional white cube of art galleries.

For some time now, Souza has been looking for challenges and answers to his concerns in other languages, in addition to dance. According to him, in the publicity material, “only the idea of ​​dance, understood as the exclusive realization of body movement rhythmically organized in time and space, would not be able to handle these issues”. And he adds “this work also deals with this attempt not to be tied to pre-established concepts. I want to talk about the risks and power of being a black artist and dancing in the face of a landscape filled with demands for representation, questions about cultural appropriation and a yearning for the decolonization of the production of art and knowledge, which challenges us to rethink how to live together considering not only our similarities but also our differences.

In addition, the dancer wants to discuss what it is like to be a black contemporary dance artist in the city of São Paulo. “There are many expectations and idealizations in our society’s imagination of how black bodies should or should dance. Black bodies can only circulate in certain places established by a colonial logic (the logic of the enclosed space, as Achille Mbembe says so well). I know that this work only scratches the subject and does not clarify any doubts, it only raises questions that need to be talked about. At the same time, there is a need and desire on the part of the broad and diverse black populations of African descent to value, affirm and re-signify ways of doing and thinking about culture and art, which for centuries have been marginalized and vilified”, he points out.

“In the present day, the persecution of these modes of existence has been intensified more and more. However, the diaspora produced an infinity of blackness that cannot always be harmoniously stitched together. As an artist, I think that divergence and a certain criticism and disobedience to totalizing mechanisms is a source of wealth and not weakening. In terms of art, I am interested in this blackness that escapes and evades us when we try to grab it, tame it and submit it to our good or bad intentions.”, questions the dancer.

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