19:00 May 02 Arts printing house (Black hall)

Of Ivory and Flesh – Statues Also Suffer

Marlene Monteiro Freitas (Cape Verde/Portugal)

Choreography: Marlene Monteiro Freitas

Performance: Marlene Monteiro Freitas, Andreas Merk, Betty Tchomanga, Lander Patrick, Cookie (percussion), Tomás Moital (percussion), Miguel Filipe (percussion)

Light and space: Yannick Fouassier

Live music: Cookie (percussion)

Edition and sound: Tiago Cerqueira

Research: João Francisco Figueira, Marlene Monteiro Freitas

Production: P.OR.K (Lisbon, PT)

Distribution: Key Performance (Stockholm, SE)

Coproduction: O Espaço do Tempo, Montemor-o-Novo (PT); Alkantara Festival, Lisbon (PT); Maria Matos Teatro Municipal, Lisbon (PT); Bomba Suicida, Lisbon (with the support of DGArtes, PT); CCN Rillieux-la-pape (FR); Musée de la danse, Rennes (FR); Centre Pompidou, Paris (FR); Festival Montpellier Danse 2014, Montpellier (FR); ARCADI, Paris (FR); CDC Toulouse/Midi-Pyrénées, Toulouse (FR); Théâtre National de Bordeaux en Aquitaine, Bordeaux (FR); Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Bruxelas (BE); WP Zimmer, Antwerp (BE); NXTSTP (with the support of the EU Culture Programme)

With the support of: ACCCA – Companhia Clara Andermatt, Lisbon (PT)

Acknowledgements: Staresgrime (PT), Dr. Ephraim Nold


Premiere: 2014

Duration: 80′ (without intermission)


Stone, wax, wood, metal, ivory and other materials served man to create bodies, figures, mechanic puppets… Physically and emotionally crafted, forms of the virtual world, deified or freely fantasied, they managed to simulate life and trick death.

In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the story of Pygmalion that develops within the myth of Orpheus, is a song of hope in resurrection. In this story inside a story, which narrates transgressions, death and earthly limits are defied through desire.

The subtitle of this project relates to Alain Resnais and Chris Marker’s Les statues meurent aussi / Statues also die, of 1953. The French word “souffrir” means both to suffer (to be in pain) and to wait (it can be said of an unclaimed package at the post office). Within the frame of our project, bodies-statues “suffer from reminiscences”: the agile and performing body becomes a body of symptoms, as if gestures become reminiscent and intense.

Statues are a possible metaphor for stillness; balls, a possible one for movement; petrification, one that may stand for the transformation of humans into statues, corresponding to a rooting into the place where it occurs. Petrification turns to be the strangest metamorphosis to movement and the most contradictory to the idea of a ball. Of Ivory and Flesh – Statues also Suffer is a ball of petrified figures.

Marlene Monteiro Freitas (Cape Verde, 1979) studied dance at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels, in Lisbon at the Escola Superior de Dança and at the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. In her native country, Cape Verde, she co-founded the dance group Compass and collaborates with musician Vasco Martins. She worked with Emmanuelle Huynh, Loïc Touzé, Tânia Carvalho, Boris Charmatz, among others. Her creations include: Bacchae – Prelude to a Purge (2017), Jaguar (2015), with Andreas Merk, Of ivory and flesh – statues also suffer (2014), Paradise – private collection (2012-2013), (M)imosa, co-created with Trajal Harrell, François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea (2011), Guintche (2010), A Seriedade do Animal (2009-10), Uns e Outros (2008), A Improbabilidade da Certeza (2006), Larvar (2006), Primeira Impressão (2005). The common denominator of these works is openness, impurity and intensity.

In 2017 Marlene received Jaguar, a prize for the best choreography, from Portuguese Society of Authors (SPA), and in the same year she was distinguished by the government of Cape Verde for her cultural achievement. In 2018 she created the piece Canine Jaunâtre 3 for Batsheva Dance Company. Also in 2018 La Biennale di Venezia awarded MMF with the Silver Lion for Dance. She has an ongoing collaboration with O Espaço do Tempo (PT) and from 2016-2018 La Manufacture CDCN (FR) contemplates her with the program “Artiste Associé”. She is the co-founder of P.OR.K, her production structure in Lisbon (PT).