The feijoada is a symbol of Brazilian gastronomy, but its origin is at the heart of a controversy. Popular knowledge attributes its creation to slavery in Brazil, where enslaved people put together the scraps of leftover beans and meat thrown away from the houses of the masters. Some researchers contest this theory, but one can ask: is history linear and does it present only one version?

Calixto Neto, together with Ana Laura Nascimento, Yure Romão and transdisciplinary group of artists, invites the audience to witness the preparation of a feijoada in real time, with the cooking time being the duration of the performance. A roda de samba sets the pace of the evening, in which songs, dances, interventions of texts, political discussions, and stages of preparation of the dish are put into dialogue. Linked to the cooking process and the ingredients, various questions are addressed and interpreted: What are the cheapest meats and flesh on the market? Which bodies are most affected by the inequalities generated by Brazil’s place in the global order? The feijoada is prepared as a choreo-gastronomic work. At the end, everyone enjoys the feijoada together with the artistic team.

Feijoada is an artistic answer to a generational encounter. In 2019, Calixto Neto was invited to reenact the iconic piece O Samba do Crioulo Doido (2004) by the Brazilian choreographer Luiz de Abreu. The piece was seen in Helsinki at Moving in November in 2020. In a scene of the piece, Luiz (and since 2020, Calixto) dances a Bossa Nova in which the lyrics is a feijoada recipe sung in French. The dancer offers himself to the public’s gaze as if he were the dish of the day. Feijoada comes as a will to dig into the violence and joy of this scene. A group of performers invite the audience to take part in the party, a creative reflection of a national gastronomic symbol and the sharing of stories about struggles, power, legacy, ‘saudade’, and love.

Calixto Neto

Calixto Neto is a Brazilian dance artist. He began his path by studying theater at the Federal University of Pernambuco, and later entered the master’s ex.e.r.ce of choreographic studies at the Centre Chorégraphique National de Montpellier. He was a member of the Lia Rodrigues company from 2007 to 2013 and has collaborated with Mette Ingvartsen, Anne Collod, and Luiz de Abreu, among others. Calixto Neto likes to think about the choreographic field as a place of intersection between notions of identity, representations of the (black) body, and decolonization.