Vera Mantero studied classical dance until 18 years old and danced in the Gulbenkian Ballet (Lisbon) between 1984 and 1989. She started choreographing in 1987, and since 1991 has been presenting her work all over Europe, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, South Korea and the USA. She teaches regularly composition and improvisation in Portugal and abroad.

She represented Portugal at the 26th São Paulo Art Biennial 2004 together with the sculptor Rui Chafes with the co-creation “Eating your heart out”. Her artistic work has been recognized with institutional awards such as the Prémio Almada (Ministry of Culture – 2002) or the Prémio Gulbenkian Arte for her career as creator and performer (2009).

“For me, dance is not a given fact. I believe that the less I acquire it, the closer I will be to it. I use dance and performance work to understand what I need to understand. I don’t see any sense anymore in a performer specialized in a single discipline (a dancer or an actor or a singer or a musician) and I now see some sense in a performer specialized in the whole. Life is a terribly complicated and rich phenomenon and I see the work I do as a continuous fight against the impoverishment of the spirit, both mine and others, a fight that I consider essential now and always”.

The thinking body – Composition and interpretation

Relaxation, the use of voice, writing, breathing and free association are some means to be used in this workshop in order to find the movements and actions going on inside us. We will explore some of them separately first in order to incorporate them later in longer and more complex improvisational processes. The idea of getting inside a particular state of consciousness will be very important. Awareness and use of space, and the exploration of objects and materials will not be forgotten. Irony and empty hands will take us further. Maximum number of participants: 16. Required material: sound system, pen and regular paper for all the participants.