Celebrating the 170th birthday of the Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II, iconic old theatre in central Lisbon, this extraordinary project involved a large cast of professional performers, invited guests from the community, and supporting technicians, photographers and videographers. It culminated in multiple site-based performances of dance, music and drama in many spaces throughout the theatre, from the director’s office on the 5th floor down to the artists’ bar in the basement. Annie Grieg and I, from Tasmania, performed as lesbian brides who had come to Portugal to be married and we have many wonderful images of ‘family groups’ from the audience posing with us. I also worked to capture the show in photos and video.
Co-directing this show with Pedro Salvador (musician), Madalena conceived of three movements that explore the theme of solitude in the city. The show begins in the street behind the theatre, then brings inside the audience to witness various aspects of life and history around the location of the theatre: homeless people, a blind group who attend performances but never actually see them, African women marketeers, young people who move in a crowd, the ebb and flow of commuters through the main train station opposite… hence the title of the show Estação Terminal.
Prolific Portuguese choreographer, Madalena Victorino (b. 1956) is internationally renowned for her capacity to work imaginatively with a mix of socially marginalised communities and arts professionals. Over the past three decades she has produced numerous critically acclaimed performances, not only in theatres, but in all manner of everyday spaces such as the street, factory, museum, church, park, beach or forest. She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards in recognition of the unique artistic and social value of her work. Madalena is a passionate advocate and teacher of the performing arts in schools and tertiary institutions in her home city of Lisbon as well as in regional areas of Portugal.
I have worked with Madalena on three major projects since 2015 capturing photos/videos and immensely admire her approach to producing high quality performances that actively engage with audiences, while promoting grass-roots community involvement in arts performances.
View a 15 min movie in which Madalena explains the project and we experience images of the cast in rehearsals and final performances.