From the life and work of Fernando Pessoa.
Life is what we make of it. Travel is the traveller. What we see isn’t what we see but what we are.
Fernando Pessoa, “The Book of Disquiet”
This performance uses an imagery inspired by a somewhat obscure chapter of the life of Fernando Pessoa, Portugal’s leading literary figure, mostly renowned with “The Book of Disquiet”: his arrival as a young man in Durban, South Africa in 1896 where he spent the first years of his life. ZULULUZU is a neologism that intends to connect two common places: an idea of Portugal (Luzu) and one of South Africa (Zulu).
Teatro Praga takes advantage of the cooperation between two cultural clichés to attack a cliché of the theatrical institution: the black box. In ZULULUZU the theatre building is used as a scape-goat for a discourse against all discourses, which claims a space for those who are left out, the forgotten stories and characters, the victims of “the way things are”, those who become invisible in front of a black wall. The performance takes hold of a post-structuralist, feminist and gender theory vocabulary and applies it to its own life. ZULULUZU is not a performance against the black box, it is just recognizing the building, demanding visibility for its architecture and normativity, and ultimately for ZULULUZU, a performance on the life and work of Fernando Pessoa.
ZULULUZU announces the end of the “apartheid” of ideas, genres and forms – a strange declaration of queerism, a manifesto in favour of an immaterial object, a performance that does not rest in anyone’s memory and where the exoticism gives way to an endoticism. If “I have in me all the dreams of the world”, as Pessoa wrote, ZULULUZU wants the whole world and its infinity.
Artistic direction and text | Pedro Zegre Penim, José Maria Vieira Mendes and André e. Teodósio
Cast | André e. Teodósio, Cláudia Jardim, Diogo Bento, Jenny Larrue, Joana Barrios, Maryne Lanaro, Gonçalo Pereira Valves, Pedro Zegre Penim
Scenography | João Pedro Vale & Nuno Alexandre Ferreira
Costume design | Joana Barrios
Master seamstress | Rosário Balbi
Original score | Xinobi
Light design | Daniel Worm d’Assumpção
Sound design | Sérgio Henriques
Production | Bruno Reis
Executive producer | Sara Garrinhas
Communication | Clara Antunes
Photography | Alípio Padilha
Acknowledgments | Aida Tavares, Alexandra Pinho, Alex D’Alva Teixeira, Ana Brito, Ana Carina Paulino, Ana Lúcia Cruz, André Godinho, António Mega Ferreira, António Gouveia, Aviva Obst, Calixto Neto, Carlos Pinto, Catarina Homem Marques, Chloé Siganos, Christophe Lemaire, Clara Riso, Companhia Nacional de Bailado, Cristina Correia, Cristina Piedade, Damaris Muga, Diana Lopes, Ela, Elisabete Azevedo, Giftor Neville, James Muriuki, Joana Gomes Cardoso, João Macdonald, Jody Paulsen, Maria João Sigalho, Mariana Sá Nogueira, Mark Lowen, Marta Neves, Nelson André / Traços Interiores, Patrícia Azevedo, Patrícia da Silva, Paula Nascimento, Paulo André, Paula Sá Nogueira, Paulo Pascoal, Pedro Rapoula, Rosário Balbi, Rui Horta, Rui Tavares, Sébastien Capouet, Selin Gerit, Simore, Sónia Baptista, Syowia Kyambi, Teatro Cão Solteiro, Tiago Bartolomeu Costa, Tiago Coelho, and an infinite thank you to our co-producers, theatre directors, supporters, and all creators who’ve taken part of this proccess, our families, Richard Zenith, João dos Santos Martins, and Luísa Taveira
Co-produced by | Teatro Praga, São Luiz Teatro Municipal (Lisbon), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), ÍKSV – Ístanbul Tiyatro Festivali (Istanbul), Teatro Municipal do Porto – Rivoli (Porto), Casa Fernando Pessoa (Lisbon), Institut Français au Portugal
Support to the première | ÍKSV Camões – Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua, Portuguese Embassy in Turkey
Support to the artistic residency | Pólo Cultural das Gaivotas | Boavista, O Espaço do Tempo
performance spoken in Portuguese, Zulu, English, French, German and Spanish, subtitled in English / French / Portuguese according to the place of presentation
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