Hello everyone, welcome to my blog, here I will be sharing some comments of the performance designs and possibly and inevitably architecture.
For the first post I couldn’t resist to write about one of my biggest references, the architect/scenographer João Mendes Ribeiro. I assisted this performance, Pedro e Inês, after having the privilege of interviewing the architect for my research work.
Pedro e Inês, had scenography designed by the talented João Mendes Ribeiro, choreographed by Olga Roriz and interpreted by the National Ballet Company. This piece was based in a legendary Portuguese dramatic love story, an impossible love between D. Pedro and Inês de Castro, which the king D. Afonso IV was against it and end up murdering Inês.
This scenography is a horizontal plan, inserted in a naked proscenium stage, where all the technical devices, lights and artists’ doors are visible. All the attention is in this horizontal plan which doesn’t reveal anything. As a book waiting to be open, there was the platform waiting for the body action to be revealed. This is the element which contains all the substance for the narrative and also all the mystery inherent to performative arts. It is a multiform and multi-operative set which gives form to the dramatic action and works as a motor for the evolution of all performance. In this way, the set is being revealed little by little, as the performance goes on, responding to the body action, highlighting gestures and movements.
The set is composed by a water tank and an earth area, all inserted in a wooden platform, which limits the space of action.
It is in the water tank where the bodies get more expressive and the space of scene overflows, projecting space outside the platform’s limits. This is where the bodies show their passion to each other, resulting in one of the most intensive scenes. This intensively is repeated later in a very dramatic scene, this time through the earth element, which also highlighted the gestures and the dramatic scene.
Another important element used with great master was the time. Though the manipulated time of the narrative, inherent in the performative arts, João brings the real time into the scene through the sound. The sound of the natural waterfall of the tank, bringing the spectator closer to the scene, making them conscious of themselves in the scene.
The minimalism of this piece shows the signature of the architect, his education, Oporto’s school, a long conscious professional career and mastery.
Assisting to this performance made me realized how much I identify myself with this work. It represents an important revelation for me of what I am really passionate about and what I want to do in terms of professional career.
Thanks to João Mendes Ribeiro I haven’t just found what I really like to do, as he also showed me how I can correlate architecture and scenography. There is so much more to explore, and this two disciplines definitely can work together and take each discipline much further!
I hope you enjoyed my first post. Soon there will be some more!