Sunday, June 26, 2005

Afternoon Soap/Hoje à Tarde

Foto de Humberto Almendra
Originally uploaded by tangaloa.

Next performances

Arena Festival. Erlangen, Germany


8th of July at 6pm and 8 pm

9th of July at 8pm

Afternoon Soap explores in an ironic way the world of soap-operas: the daily afternoon drama.

The structure of the choreography follows free narrative sequence and inconclusive ending of each episode as in television soap-operas. The interruptions of climatic moments by commercials are always present, returning abruptly to completely new circumstances and settings.Dramas are built as if the characters live through cycles of never ending catastrophic events. It follows a familiar narrative: infidelity, secrets, pain, secrets and an excess of intrigue. The characters are one dimensional- for example, "the good wife" and "the evil seducer".This work is conceived for an actor and a dancer.

The two disciplines are interwoven, dance and theatre become unified aspects of a unique performance language. Exploring the possibilities of human expression though telling the story of daily domestic drama, it is a portrait of the romantic imagination and fantasies of men and women.

Conception and Choreography Andrea Gabilondo

Music Elena Katz-Chernin-Ray Brown-Nicola Piovani-Permendes Hernández-TNX

Performers Andrea Gabilondo andLuciano Amarelo

Video Artists Hélder Dias and Susana Jacques

Light designer Rui Damas

Stage Design and Costumes Susanne Rösler

ProductionLa Marmita

Sponsors M/C Ministério de Cultura-IA Instituto das Artes-Pé de Vento

Foto: Humberto Almendra

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Pensamiento Matinal sobre Arte

La creación artística tiene la necesidad de perfeccionar los órganos de los sentidos, la curiosidad de envolverse en la complicación de las características psicológicas del ser humano y la necesidad de afirmar la imaginación en todos los niveles, desde la coordinación armónica y dinámica del movimiento hasta el desarrollo sutil del tacto y la palabra.

La mayoría de la crítica de la obra de arte, desde mi punto de vista, no ayuda a comprender su contenido expresivo, ni la actitud del artista frente a la vida.

Se tiende a encerrar la obra artística en pequeños cajones, como archivos de una oficina, con nítidas etiquetas dándole un nombre, pero en realidad, el único nombre y estilo que puede ser definido es el del propio creador. Un producto único e individual, surgido de una experiencia de vida y pasiones personales.

O así debería de ser.

Image sent by a friend- Author unknown Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Clown Ingredients part 2

I was talking about timing and surprise. I think I left out a very important element: expectation.
Here is the description of the process of making caramel. This was actually a description of the real struggle of this friend of mine, written while it was actually happening. While reading it I can almost smell the kitchen. Its amazing how our minds fill the gaps.

As I will do it around what he wrote.

No I decided otherwise. It would lose its original effect. I think all of us can fill the gaps. It’s better to leave it simple. It's a whole sketch by itself.

Yes, this is the best decision.

Making Caramel

Let’s say Today at 11pm

1- Goes from blonde to BURNT very quickly!
2-And even after you take it off the heat I might add!

I love the smell of burnt sugar in the morning.


3rd try...


Geez my apartment really stinks now.


If I have to go out at this hour to get more sugar, I'll be one POd baker!


Geez, and the cake isn't even in the oven yet.

Sleep? I LAUGH at sleep!


OK, it's a little on the dark side, but I think the 3rd
time was a charm!


Can you buy caramel candies and melt them in a double boiler?


It's finally in the oven!
I have a double boiler, but recipe said dissolve 1 cup
sugar in 1/4 cup water. Cook until amber color. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream.

Let's's 11:50. Cooks for 50 minutes. That'll bring me to 12:40. Then another hour to cool. Hmmm...1:40.

So the question becomes...

What time do I take an Ambien?


Well, at least it smells good!


Wow! That was the first cheesecake I made that didn't crack!
Wow! I can't believe how tired I am!
Wow! I can't believe I can still type!
Ow! I cut my little finger!
How now brown cow?!

I need some sleep.

Next day at 2:42pm

Well, I know people appreciated it,
Even though everyone said it was good, I didn't think it
was that good. I think I overcooked it. Not so creamy.

Oh well! I certainly TRIED!


\ /
\ /
\ /


Wow....the above looked good!

How's this:



Three weeks later 4:41pm

Going through the fridge at work today...there was still
a piece in there! Eeeek!

Work, Train and Flyinhorse

Originally uploaded by tangaloa.

So there I go to another small working trip.
It is an extra work I accepted with a theatre group, not as a creator or a performer, but as a stage manager and I have been travelling all over the country.
Among my responsibilities are: taking care of the set, the props, the actors and the public. I get quiet nervous with these tasks, not because they are difficult, but because I am so absent minded.
I wouldn’t do this in regular bases, but is a nice way of making that extra money I need for my own performances.
Of course as any artist I have the dream that someday someone is going to be so thrilled about my work that I would be offered a subsidy and a theatre. Why not? If I dream is better to dream big.

But anyway, I was not going to talk about the economic difficulties of free-lance artists, but about landscape.

The place I went to is called Castelo Branco (White Castle) and yes, it has a marvellous castle that glows at night on the top of a hill.
The Company offered to pay the bus ticket not the train because is cheaper.
Mhh………I don’t like buses, I feel claustrophobic and I hate when they speed, besides that I can’t read, write or dream.
So, I decided to go by train and pay the difference. Wow I am a great business woman! LOL
But the magnificence of the trip is worthwhile.

For most of the trip from Entroncamento to Castelo Branco, the train travels on a one way track that follows most of the time the Tagus river bank surrounded by proud mountains.
The landscape tastes better if you listen to some flowing music just as water itself. But I chose this ongoing music, the kind made of sounds that seem to flow into infinity, like wind, it makes me see a flying horse

So there it was this amazing white horse running along the water of the never ending river, running along the lonely train, running with me.
I could see its/his/her, it is a she, definitely!
So, I could see her legs moving faster and faster…………run……..the wind against her mane wild with joy – zoom to the horse’s head, zoom to her eyes where you can see reflected the window of the train, which reflects the river that at the same time reflects the horse. A perfect circle of reflections- run……run……run………..a suspended breath…………………………………………………………and softly, very softly there she goes to the sky. Circling the surprised proud mountains, coming down and up in loops with a grace never seen. There she comes diving down splashing the water with one wing and spreading drops of water that become like pearls under the sun. This makes me laugh, what a wonderful performance.
Magnificent view against the landscape.

Suddenly very far away I listen. “Proxima paragem Castelo Branco”. I wake up with a jump; the image of my Flyinghorse makes me so peaceful that eventually I always fall asleep.

And now while I write this in another train coming back from my trip, I see a field full of horses, eart horses.

Wind of music still in my ears.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Clown Ingredients part 1

A friend of mine posted this wonderful recipe.

Genuine Australian Camel Stew

NOTE: Recipe requires a quite large Dutch Oven,
Recommended for entertaining VIPs in Camp.

3 Medium sized Camels
1 ton salt
500 bushels Potatoes
1 ton pepper
200 bushels carrots
3000 sprigs parsley
2 small rabbits
1000 gallons of brown gravy

Cut camels into bite sized pieces, cube vegetables.
Place meat into pan and cover with 1000 gallons of brown
gravy. Simmer slowly for 4 weeks. Garnish with Parsley,
Should serve 3800 people. If more are expected add 2

He told me he couldn’t take credit for it because he found it while searching the Web for camels in Australia. He was curious about something he listened in the radio. He said this to me:

“I was listening to the radio, and someone mentioned camels were introduced to Australia and the population has exploded because they thrive in the arid environment and have no natural predators...I was curious”

I am glad for his curiosity.
This takes me back to a clown workshop I took a year ago.
Before that I was completely uninterested about clowns, those red noses and slapstick scenes didn’t move my heart. It was until I lived through the experience of creating my own clown character that my respect for this profession grew.
To become a clown you have to be able to laugh at yourself and to be able to laugh at yourself needs a lot of self-confidence as we know.

There is a special technique to wear the nose. You have to give your back to the audience in the rehearsal room, just like you do with a mask, because at the end a red nose is one of the simplest but most wonderful masks.
When we give our back to the public, many times it can be translated in stage language, as “I am not here”.
Then you have to decide the timing to appear (or turn to face the public). Are you going to face the audience, slow and shy, slow and mean, fast and nervous….all this will define your character from the beginning of the improvisation. Make a bad choice and you are stuck. So you have to be absolutely playful with yourself and be very aware where you are going with your situation..

There is nothing worse than trying to make laugh and face no reaction. To be able to make laugh others, we need to be absolutely serious about our character, the circumstances and the way we will react to the situations we create. But this is just one tiny part.

Timing and the surprise element, is another important part.

This friend of mine is very funny, he has timing. Although he honestly doesn’t credit himself with the “Camel Recipe”, he has a natural gift as a clown. He makes a “divertissement” of the recipe:

1- OK, I've got the camels, but had a few problems sneaking them in past my landlady and up my stairs.
They are loud, and smelly.

2-I also have the other ingredients, and all of a sudden...a thought came to me that one could probably halve this recipe for fewer people.

Oh well, I guess I'll just have some leftovers to freeze

3-I truly entertain myself.
And the camels think I'm a riot, as well.
(yes, I understand camel-speak)

And so on.

My friend has absolute credit to another recipe “Caramel”, it is a great example of timing and surprise. But this will have to be posted later. If not this one will be too long to read.

To be continued……

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I want to be a dancer

Dancers arms Posted by Hello

When I was a little girl, my mother used to play over and over again the Violin Concerto of Beethoven, I remember that my first improvised dance steps began there. It was Oistrakh playing, if I well remember.
As every child, I dreamed to become an astronaut or a fireman/woman or a dancer. My parents found this to be very cute.

The first dream to go away was about extinguishing fires, years later I gave up on being an astronaut, but the dream of becoming a dancer stayed. Not so cute anymore for my parents though.
Their argument was logical. They were artists themselves and they wanted for their daughter a more secure career, even becoming a musician was better than a dancer.
Dancers at the end had been at the bottom of the artistic list for ages. But I continued my dream. Yes I became a dancer. And I was proud of myself to have endured, competition and diets.

Working in a theatre is like living in another planet, because it IS another planet. I was proud of having a good job. At the end I could show to my parents that I could have a secure job, if I was careful enough not to break a knee.

But to the outside world, my profession was dubious. There were the people that asked me: “which is your profession?” or “what do you do?” (Funny I always feel like answering: I breathe). Of course I would proudly say: “I am a dancer”. So people would insist: “I mean what do you do for a living? “. “I am a dancer” I would gently repeat. “No, no, which is your career?”………they couldn’t understand that dancing was my profession. As many governments can’t understand this either.

Then I met the people that thought I worked in a cabaret, with feathers and high heels, entertaining the male eye. When I would try to explain, with my rehearsed patience that I was a “professional dancer” not a stripper. They used to change conversation, as if I was lying.

Today I am still a dancer, but I principally create dance-theatre pieces.. Today some people that ask me: “which is your profession” and I say: “I am a choreographer”,. react with a tiny pause and a lack of focus in their eyes especially if they are from the tax office. I realize they don’t know what a choreographer means, so they don’t ask.
Many times I imagine it has to sound to their ears something like “Photographer” or “Cartographer”

When at last my mother accepted the choice of my profession, she was happy that I was a ballet dancer. Many years later, when I had become a “Cartographer”, she was unhappy. “Daughter”- she would say with a sight- “Do people like your crazy choreographies?” She never could understand how I could have switched from Ballet to completely avant-garde. I stopped sending her videos of my work and also I stopped making money with my art.

But this doesn’t discourage me. I still think I made the right decision. I prefer to watch the astronauts in TV and I always feel that it would be too claustrophobic the trip for me anyway. And also impossible to dance.

Something from Suzanne Beecher

A friend of mine sent me this. She told me that my post "Indecision", made her remember this written by Suzanne Beecher.

She is very funny, here are her links:

Whenever I'm getting ready to say something that I feel strongly about,that emotionally touches me, I get all jumbled up. My body gets tense andI'm wishing for a quick dress rehearsal--some time to think it through, butthere isn't any.
And then to make things even more stressful, suddenly the words don't seem good enough. Maybe I should play it safe and considerexchanging "my" words for some of the "how-to-say-it" suggestions that I'veread about in books. "Words guaranteed to make people listen and really'feel' what you're saying." But the fancy words, the clever phrases--they don'tfeel right to me. I'm really better at just being me. My first couple of sentences may run-on a bit because it takes a moment forme to get used to the "feel" of saying what's really on my mind. And that's okay; a little fumbling makes a person seem more approachable.

I'm hoping my simple words will be enough to make a difference, because they come from my heart--they're for real. Cutting loose with feelings, the stuff that I swore I'd never tell another soul--it's scary. I get anxious, short of breath, and the heat quickly risesup through my body. But for me, that's the go-ahead sign, the evidence that it's something I really need to say.*****

Monday, June 06, 2005

Selling a Solo

Selling a solo performance is always hard, unless you are famous or you have a wonderful agent.
Well, I am not famous that is for sure and I have no agent, I am my own agent as it seems.
But most artists are the worse people to sell their own creations. At least that is what I think or perhaps I am just projecting myself.

In the north they wanted a performance. They wanted “Afternoon Soap”, my choreography with an actor, but the deal was besides paying the expenses, just to give me 50% of the entrances. This always translates into: “I will pay for performing” lol
Not great deal of course. But then there is this other voice “but it IS a performance”, so I thought that by offering a solo instead, I was being very smart. I didn’t have to pay the actor and my light designer had less hours of work, what made it cheaper too.
Of course I forgot my own work, the hours of rehearsals to prepare the show.

I don’t have to go on with the experience, of course I lost money and although it went well, I had no public. Why? Because of poor publicity from the organizer.

I tried to be positive: “At least I filmed it”

But yesterday, when I could feel the tiredness, I said to myself like the crow: “Never More”.

Why people think that art is no work?

Why everybody want things for free?

I have to explain so many times, that it is not free for me. There is a set to move, a light designer to pay and if there are other artists, I have to pay them too. I have to explain, that I can’t pay from my own pocket so an organization exhibits proudly the many performances they organize.

“Never More” said the crow

I hope this time I mean it

Thursday, June 02, 2005

A Porta Aberta/The Open Door Posted by Hello

Nice image sent by a friend. Unfortunately I don't know who the author is.
Cycles Posted by Hello

Recycling choreographies

So.....I was asked to make a solo for a performance with an actress. Little problem: I will be inside a small terrace, not too much space to move. I thought about special lights or mirrors, so that some effects could surprise the eye, I know the difficulty of the space will "eat" the idea.

So the actress is going to say these poems by Sofia de Mello, a portuguese poet. I read them with care. They are about, death, destiny, the Minotaur and the labirynth.

Two years ago, I made a solo that talked about this, but it was based in the Moiras mith, the three sisters responsibles of the string of life. In this choreography, I used a string as the source of impulse in different parts of the body....a constant big chord, never stopped comming down from the ceiling.
It didn't matter what happened to the character in this landscape of light and shadows, it didn't matter that through growing old the use of the string changed to different parts of the body, making the movement sometimes beautiful and sometimes grotesque. It didn't matter that at the end the characters dies.....the movement of the chord, coming down slowly as if from the sky never stoped. Even when the character stopped moving......destiny.

So I will recycle the idea, the string...of life and death....destiny