Filipa Francisco | Espiões Project

Espiões©Bruno Simão_LRESPIÕES PROJECT 




Espiões Project addresses the relationship between the performing arts and the construction and transmission of cultural memory from a personal standpoint. From individual and collective memories of some of the artists of her life – the choreographers-performers Francisco Camacho, Miguel Pereira and Silvia Real – Filipa Francisco identifies a unique heritage in memory of those choreographers and draws a creative and affirmative gesture  against the scarcity of dance documentation in the Portuguese national panorama.

Following previous projects such as Íman, built from the individual memories of African dance and hip hop performers, or A Viagem, which explores traditional dance as a form of connection to the body, Espiões Project proposes valuing a built heritage through a confrontation between personal repertoires and imaginary and new choreographic gestures.


As part of a broader reflection on dance history as a living and transformative heritage, Espiões will include a cycle of workshops entitled My museum of dance that can be adapted to each local context. Making the most of the teaching experience of the choreographers/performers, My museum of dance includes laboratories for dance students or early-career choreographers, inter-generational dance workshops, and sessions for children and youth.



The anthropocentric era implies a greater awareness of personal responsibility in each act and gesture, particularly relevant in dance. Working on this awareness through the world that each one of the creators transports involves exploring critical thinking on many levels: artistic, human, past, and the construction and possibility of a future.
In Europe and North America, this contemporary urgency translates into artistic practice in various ways:
• Recreation (revisitation) of historical pieces in contemporary dance;
• Intersections between traditional artistic expressions and contemporary creation;
• The double-exposure of stage presence: rather than choosing between the presence of the body and/or representation, a fluidity between the two;
• Constructing zones of contact that allow the documentary/personal to coexist with creative new material/ material which resonates with the real and the universal;
• Coexistence of poetic dimensions and formal research;
• Construction of a ‘living museum of dance’.
Precisely because of our awareness of the technological rationale that determines many of the social/economic interactions that we manage daily, it is important to give value to intimacy in the content of the piece: the ‘family’ of artists with a ‘shared past’; the choice of improvisation as a method; establishing ‘fetish’ artists as a reference.
Connected with this is the fundamental importance of memory (the theme for the improvisations) at this particular moment of extraordinary generational renovation in contemporary dance in Portugal, in which a new generation has entered into an inspiring dialogue with the first generation of authors, with mature authorial work. It is urgent to bring this recent past into the present as an investment in the future that we have not yet given up on constructing. It is evident that this construction, with implications on many levels, exists in the experience of a thinking and sensitive body, with a personal, national, and universal History inscribed in its muscular memory.


Creation and artistic direction Filipa Francisco
Co-creation and interpretation Francisco Camacho, Miguel Pereira, Sílvia Real
Music composition António Pedro
Set and costumes Carlota Lagido
Light and tehcnical direction Carlos Ramos
Publication editor Cláudia Galhós
Photography Bruno Simão
Production and touring Materiais Diversos
Coproduction Maria Matos Teatro Municipal, Teatro Municipal do Porto e rede Open Latitudes (Latitudes Contemporaines, Vooruit, L’Arsenic, Body/Mind, Teatro delle Moire, Sin Arts Culture, Le Phénix, MIR Festival, Materiais Diversos funded by the EU Culture program)
Support EIRA e Pólo Cultural das Gaivotas | Boavista – Câmara Municipal de Lisboa
Acknowledgments Culturgest, Gulbenkian, ESD – Escola Superior de Dança de Lisboa, Forum Dança, FMH, Daniel Tércio, Sophie Coquelin, Mariana Brandão, Elisabete Paiva, Mark Depputer, Vasco Wallenkamp, Margarida Bettencourt, Olga Roriz


Choreographer and performer, Filipa Francisco studied Dance, Theatre, Improvisation and Dramaturgy at Escola Superior da Dança in Lisbon, with the Trisha Brown Company and at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York, as well as with dramaturge André Lepecki. She has worked with the choreographers and directors Francisco Camacho, Vera Mantero, Sílvia Real, Madalena Vitorino, Rui Nunes, Aldara Bizarro, Paula Castro, Bruno Cochat, Lucia Sigalho, and João Garcia Miguel. Together with Bruno Cochat, she is founding member of Cia. Torneira, with which they create Nu Meio, performed since 1996. Production highlights include Leitura de Listas, with André Lepecki (Festival Way, 2004) andDueto, created with Basque choreographer Idoia Zabaleta (Alkantara Festival, 2006), performed at several festivals in Portugal and abroad. Filipa has developed a training and creation programme with prison inmates in Castelo Branco (Projecto Rexistir) throughout seven years. In 2007, she was invited by Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian to  guide a project of Reintegration through Art in numerous schools. In 2007/2008 she coordinated Nu Kre bai bu onda – a training and creation project in Cova da Moura in the Lisbon periphery, that resulted in the performance Íman, distinguished as the best performance of the year. Since 2011, she has been travelling with The Journey, a performance co-created with traditional dance groups. Filipa Francisco is an associate artist at Materiais Diversos. 

Tour manager contact (for professionals)

Sara Abrantes
t (+351) 915 227 787



Teatro Municipal do Porto - Rivoli / Dias da Dança
/ 5 May, 19h / 6 May, 18h30

Casa da Cultura de Ílhavo
/ 18 March, 21h30

Festival Materiais Diversos 2016 [premiere]
/ 17 September, 21h30