Brazilian Volmir Cordeiro’s piece Rua could be seen as a carnivalesque portrait of everyday life in the street.
Rua is made in collaboration with brazilian drummer Washington Timbo. Together they look for improbable relationships where sound, body and movement can bring together a set of questions related to the fury of the streets and our collective memory.
Through movement, Volmir Cordeiro offers the body the form of short poems. He has included some of Bertolt Brecht’s poems on war where the format is brief, powerful and thematic. The drum decides the rhythm of the writing and the movements. It creates cuts, suspensions and amplification. Volmir Cordeiro’s movements are abstract and exaggerated, far from the norm of classical and contemporary dance standards. With Timbo and Cordeiro’s strong presence and impressive stamina they hold their audience from the very beginning to the end, creating a vibrant portrait of our universal urban landscape, the streets.
Volmir Cordeiro presents Rua at Short Theater 2020 thanks to the collaboration with Materiais Diversos within the Displacement of Festival / More Than This
Born in 1987 in Brazil, Volmir Cordeiro first graduated in theater and worked with the Brazilian choreographers Alejandro Ahmed, Cristina Moura and Lia Rodrigues. He has just closed a first cycle of his work, made of the three solos: Céu, Inês and Rue (Street).
He created the duet Époque with Marcela Santander Corvalán in 2015, and L’œil la bouche et le reste in 2017, which was declined also as an exhibition. He has just published a book based on his phd thesis, Ex-corpo, in Carnets collection. Trottoir, his last piece for 6 performers has been recently created in Festival d’automne à Paris in December 2019.
choreography e performance Volmir Cordeiro, Washington Timbo
production, touring, administration Manakin Production, Lauren Boyer and Leslie Perrin
whitin More Than This
Notes on Short Theatre 2020
What else is your work about, besides what is already told in the synopsis?
Rua is a dance of tension and reconciliation between two different bodies, holding specific cultural realities and perceived as extremes in the social hierarchy.
Rua is a dance where submission and domination repeatedly clash, where the roles are changing, inverting perspectives to produce an ever-changing identity.
Rua is a combination between the silence and the drum, the movement and the poem, the word and the voice, the fear and the joy, the individual feeling and the community landscape.
For each scene, the motivation comes from a different Bertolt Brecht’s poem from his book The ABC of war, that discusses our proximity and distance as humane bodies living in a public sphere and dealing with our fear/resistance of otherness.
Who or what—real or imaginary, present, past or future—do you think contributed to the creation of this work? Is there any object/trace you own that can make this clear? Later on, you will be asked to make a short video about this object.
The first contribution comes from ourselves, Washington Timbó and I. The second, from all the people who worked with us during the process and now during the performances in different parts of the world: it is in the fortification of this micro-society that this work is created. Another important contribution comes about when the piece meets the audience in each singular context around the world.
The fact that we’re working in museums, streets, squares, parking lots, gardens, makes us closer to a mixed audience, composed of a large spectrum of realities – and not necessarily concerned with the small dance/theatre milieu. In a way, Rua contributes to amplify the access to dance and to the discussion about how to live together – even though we’re constantly obliged to take distance from each other, to hide our faces, to be clean. What interests this piece is the confrontation with our difficulty to support the difference; the capacity to live with values or people or feelings or neighbours or things that we didn’t choose to live with; the intensification of our mutual recognition through the gesture of looking at each other and finding the similarities and the differences, a familiar and strange projection.
Finally, this piece is interested in rolling in the shit of this racist, homophobic and sexist society to try to unmake the continuity of these unbearable bodies’ inequalities.
What do you imagine you will say about this work in fifteen years time? Would you ever have imagined making such work fifteen years ago?
Yes, I would.
From the beginning of my theatre and dance studies, I was affected by the social relations and the space of freedom in a very restrictive society. As an artist, I am interested in knowing how the normative life tries to penetrate myself, to disturb me, to destroy my feelings and how I can invent resistance mechanisms through collectiveness, being able to fight for a good form of political organization and for good sorts of feelings in the face of a good kind of freedom.
When I decide to cope with these normative interferences I feel the empowerment of freedom. It is the condition before the risk of feeling that I drive my life and the limits of my freedom – and remember that my life and my freedom can also drive me. So, it is a project to produce risk, precariousness and vulnerability everywhere, all the time. And it is impossible to think about freedom out of this frame.
I think in a couple of years I will still be researching these notions because I don’t believe we’re transforming the social relations enough to the point that we can get rid of these concerns. This is my artistic position: to actualize all the time my feeling in the face of the social crisis and to find the poetic gestures that are able to interrogate our common decisions and the future of our lives.