With Bacchae – prelude to a purge, Marlene Monteiro Freitas creates a polyphonic stage experience, drawing inspiration from the texts of Euripides and combining them with grotesque, fantastical carnival- like elements to a monstrous and joyous piece. 

In Euripides, delirium, irrationality, hysteria, and madness are traversed, from illusion to blindness and from blindness to revelation. Ferocity and the desire for peace, savagery and the aspiration for a simple and peaceful life are articulated. The clash of opposing forces, dismembered bodies, and the testing of faith and beliefs create a world filled with ambiguity and miracles. Through music, dance, and mystery, Bacchae – prelude to a purge leads us as funambulists over the wire of intensity, in combat of appearances and dissimulations, polarized between the realms of Apollo and Dionysus. 

Marlene Monteiro Freitas (Cape Verde, 1979), studied dance at P.A.R.T.S. (Brussels), at ESD and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon). She worked with choreographers such as Loïc Touzé, Emmanuelle Huynh, Tânia Carvalho and Boris Charmatz.

Among others, her creations include RI-TE (2022; with Israel Galván), ÔSS (2022; for Dançando com a Diferença), the performance Idiota and the exibition X  AND (2022; around the painting of Alex Silva), Pierrot Lunaire (2021; with Klangforum Wien and Ingo Metzmacher), Mal-Embriaguez Divina (2020), the installation Cattivo (2019), Canine Jaunâtre 3 (2018; for Batsheva), Bacchae-Prelude to a Purge (2017), Jaguar (2015), Of Ivory and Flesh-Statues also suffer (2014), Paradise-Private collection (2012), (M)imosa (2011; with Trajal Harrell, François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea), Guintche (2010), A Seriedade do Animal (2009), Uns e Outros (2008), A Improbabilidade da Certeza (2006), Larvar (2006), Primeira Impressão (2005).

The common denominator of these works is openness, hybridism, impurity and intensity. In 2015, in Lisbon, she co-founded, P.OR.K, the structure that since then has been producing her work. In 2017, Jaguar was awarded the SPA prize for choreography and the Cape Verde government distinguished her cultural achievements. In 2018, she was awarded a Silver Lion by the Venice Biennale, in 2020, Bacchae was awarded the Prize for the Best International Performance by Les Prémis de la Critica d’Arts Escèniques of Barcelona, in 2022 she was awarded the Chanel Next Prize and the Evens Arts Prize. Since 2020, she co-curates the project (un)common ground, on the artistic and cultural inscription of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.