A invenção da maldade

    10/05  | 20:00
    11/05  | 15:00
    11/05  | 22:00
    12/05  | 15:00
    12/05  | 20:00
    13/05  | 20:00

€ 18 / € 15
1h

No seats
Contains nudity

Brazilian choreographer, researcher and performer Marcelo Evelin is a prominent name in the field of contemporary dance. His latest creation came into being in a former warehouse in his hometown, Teresina, which he uses as his artistic workplace. Raw and unpolished, the space reflects the city and the surrounding country, where everyday lives run up against powerful political tensions and a growing intolerance towards minorities and artists. It is in this context that Evelin created A invenção da maldade (The invention of evilness), in which six dancers give expression to a primal fury, an innocence that does not recognize its own fierceness. To do so they leave their inner world, their bodies engaging in hyper-physical actions. They create a battlefield at whose centre the spectators find themselves. This corporal revolt is the physical confirmation of something ungraspable, comparable with a sleeping arm that has to be shaken back to life violently. In Brussels, the industrial site of Kanal – Centre Pompidou will form the setting for this unique project.

A piece by: Marcelo Evelin/Demolition Incorporada
Concept and choreography: Marcelo Evelin
Creation and dance: Bruno Moreno, Elliot Dehaspe, Maja Grzeczka, Márcio Nonato, Matteo Bifulco, Rosângela Sulidade
Sound design: Sho Takiguchi
Dramaturgy: Carolina Mendonça
Philosophy research: Jonas Schnor
Collaboration: Christine Greiner, Loes Van der Pligt  

Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Kanal – Centre Pompidou
Production: Demolition Incorporada (BR), Materiais Diversos (PT)
Coproduction: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Kanal – Centre Pompidou, HAU – Hebbel Am Ufer, Mousonturm, Teatro Municipal do Porto, Festival d'Automne à Paris
Supported by: MI ME School – Academy of Theatre and Dance (Amsterdam), Rumos Itaú Cultural 2017–2018 (Brasil), Xing/Live Arts Week (Italy)
Created in residency at: CAMPO Arte Contemporânea, Teresina-Piauí-Brasil

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The Invention of Evilness

I am no longer there. But the space is still vivid in my body. The vast concrete floor. A square in the middle of the room guarded by four columns. The roaring sound of cars passing by outside. The occasional assault of rain showers on sheet metal. This place, which used to be an old storage building, is CAMPO in Teresina, Brazil. An artistic space created by choreographer Marcelo Evelin and producer Regina Veloso, where dance, performance, and photographic creations are taking place. The space is raw and unpolished and reflects the surrounding city, the surrounding country: a place where the lives lived are traversed by strong political tensions and immediate precarity. With the recent elections in Brazil the atmosphere has intensified to political hopelessness, in the face of a new leadership that promises nothing but more instability, more violence, and more intolerance towards minorities and artists.

I am not there. But I can imagine the six bodies in that large, horizontal space. Moving frantically, irregularly, enigmatically. How they approach and touch each other with a certain animality, a kind of affective aggression. A state of almost naive curiosity. I can also imagine the bells hanging from the ceiling, producing a sort of floating atmosphere like the loud silence of a shrine or like wind passing through a wooden cabin. The sounds of not-there. And I see the bodies dancing this too, a kind of desubjectified doing, an angelic non-presence that passes like a fluid through the flesh. Celestial infection? 

Are Evelin and these six performers seeking a (re)invention of the body in the form of a “primalization”? A dehumanisation that leads both away from and towards a humanness? Are they approaching the moving presence of the body, of the bodies, from a place devoid of an inside – that knows only exteriority, only doing, only acting, a place where choices are made, but on such a thin edge that they are almost nonchoices? And could this doing of the body be another form of thinking, a philosophical proposal? Like how Foucault coined the writings of Maurice Blanchot, as “the thought from outside”? A close-to-non-figurative place, where desire and thought collapses on each other in the liminal space, which we call the body?

I am not there yet. But these are the questions I am asking myself as Marcelo Evelin tells me about the creation process of A invenção da maldade taking place at CAMPO these months. The six performers come from different movement backgrounds and parts of the world – from Poland, Belgium, Italy, and Brazil – representing a diversity that fits well with the heterogenic pool of experimentation that the platform Demolition Incorporada represents.

The title of the work has a peculiar backstory. When Evelin was growing up he would constantly create performances. Small shows, directing his siblings and friends. Once, he lit a pan of oil on fire behind a curtain, in order to stage the burning of Rome. And whenever this impulse to stage would take over him, his grandmother would say: “It’s going to start the invention of evilness”. Invention is something else than creation. Inventions never arise out of nothing, they are born of necessity, they come from something. The wheel was invented because distances were being crossed.

In Portuguese there is a difference between mal (evil) and maldade (evilness). The first concerns the evil in the world, the evil that is only produced by humans. “Evil is a simple human invention”, as Spinoza said. Evilness, on the other hand, is something archaic, mythic, biblical. Something before or outside the world. Evilness is also something childlike, an innocence that doesn’t know its own ferocity. The moment Prometheus steals the fire from the Gods. The moment Lucifer betrays God and a primordial rift is torn in the fabric of existence. 

The invention of evilness thus sounds to me like a paradox, like an impossible moment of destruction and creation, where the one cannot be distinguished from the other. Like a darkness that resists the brightness of light by having a glow of its own.

To evoke the invention of evilness at this time in Brazil cannot help to affect and be affected by the presence of political evil in the sense of mal. But this evocation is not a reaction to that evil. It is instead a diffuse and feral act of resistance, an affirmation of something intangible and unclassifiable, which rises like waves from the outskirts of the accepted. It is an event perhaps best described as the sensation of waking up in the night with one arm drained of blood and having to shake it violently into life again: An uproar of corporeality. 

In my imagination A invenção da maldade is the moment when evilness asks about its own origin and hears no answer, and where exactly this non-answer as a dark, impenetrable point, a hole in the world, is given a chance to speak. An invention continuously undoing itself, simultaneously not-yet and no-longer there.

Jonas Schnor

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Marcelo Evelin (b. 1962) is a Brazilian choreographer, researcher and performer, and one of the most preeminent names in dance, performance and political action in contemporary art. He was based in Amsterdam from 1986 to 2006, where he collaborated with professionals from different disciplines on projects for the stage, videos, music, installations and site-specific work with his company Demolition Inc. He currently divides his time between Europe and his hometown of Teresina in Brazil, where he founded and coordinated the artistic collective Núcleo do Dirceu until 2013. He teaches improvisation and composition at the Mime School of the Academy of Theatre and Dance in Amsterdam, where he develops his own work while guiding students in their own creative processes. He has directed workshops and collaborative projects in Europe, South America, Africa and Japan. Three of his recent pieces, Matadouro (2010), De repente fica tudo preto de gente (2012) and Dança Doente (2017) continue to be presented at festivals and theatres around the world.

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