O Samba do crioulo doido by Luiz de Abreu was planned to open this year’s festival. The festival artistic director saw the piece first in 2004 and again in the beginning of 2020 in its reconstructed version. During that time, the piece had not lost its actuality but seems sadly as actual and crucial as before. In O Samba do crioulo doido Luiz de Abreu turns dance into the means to deconstruct racial identities. de Abreu deploys a singular choreographic language, through which he refocuses the question of identity of the body in this radical solo. The violence of his writing comes over as an urgent approach to the decolonial question, the heritage of slavery and the contemporary relations with domination. First the piece was performed by Luiz de Abreu himself, now this time by Calixto Neto. By having Neto replay stereotypes linked to the representation of the black body, in particular during the carnival where it is set between exoticism and eroticism, the choreographer turns this cliché back onto itself, the better to mock racist unawareness. Through the power of a performance, he looks to return to the body-object, the subject that has been stolen from it, with feelings, beliefs, and singularities. Buoyed up by a transgressive humour, the piece stands as a relentless criticism of the inferior condition of Blacks. From penile games to a misappropriation of the national flag, the point here is to see dance as an instrument for a physical liberation, a cry which organises the shift between body-object to body-subject.

Luiz de Abreu

Luiz de Abreu was born in Minas Gerais, Brazil. He discovered dance in the 1960s through the rituals of the Afro-Brazilian umbanda religion. The choreographer and performer is a graduate of the contemporary dance school Angel Vianna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and holder of a master’s from the university of Uberlândia in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Mainly turned towards the exploration of stereotypes connected to the black body, his work has been shown in France, Germany, Portugal, Croatia, Cuba, Spain and Brazil, where he lives and works.

Calixto Neto

Calixto Neto is a Brazilian dance artist. He studied theatre at the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil, and dance with the Experimental Dance Group in Recife, Brazil. Later he took a master’s course at Exerce at the CCN of Montpellier, France. Between 2013 and 2015, he created there the solo petites explosionsas well as the duet Pipoca, in collaboration with Bruno Freire. He was a member of the Lia Rodrigues company from 2007 to 2013 and has danced for Mette Ingvartsen, Anne Collod, and Volmir Cordeiro. His last solo oh!rage was created in 2018.