NEW—OLD DANCE is a 5-month long cycle of performances, exhibitions, talks and workshops that will parasitize Santarém’s cultural activity. The programme of events, organized by local cultural association ‘Parasita’, takes advantage of several existing institutions and resources in the city. Although events will be held at Sá da Bandeira Theatre and INcubadora d'Artes, as part of the project’s contribution towards a widespread access to the arts, the cycle will also extend its activities to involve Dr. Ginestal Machado Secondary School through a pedagogical programme.

Taking place from February to June 2017, the cycle proposes to explore the diverse aesthetic and social contexts that have framed Portuguese choreographic production in its recent democratic history. Although the cycle presents pivotal works from the New Portuguese Dance movement (1980s/90s), it simultaneously supports contemporary production by showing productions done in the last decade by a generation of choreographers working predominantly in the independent scene.

In parallel to the above programme, the theatre’s Gallery will host the exhibition/installation “A Timeline To Be”, a singular exercise of periodization and collective mapping concerning dance as an artistic practice in Portugal during the second half of the 20th century. Under the guise of various conversations and performative activations of the chronological apparatus, this project complements the overall cycle with a discursive content that generates a bridge between ways of seeing and doing.

Comprising a series of monthly performances in articulation with discussions and exchanges between artists and the audience, laboratories, installations and residencies involving several of the projects premiering during the cycle, NEW—OLD DANCE intersects research, transmission and creation, resulting in a privileged moment to closely observe the contemporary panorama of Portuguese dance, interrogating both the past and present of that practice.

João dos Santos Martins