Dance festival focuses on unstable times

THE NINTH International Contemporary Dance Festival, A Sul, is well underway and, for the first time in the festival’s history, this year’s event is being staged by the Fundo do Fundo cultural activities association, a co-production between the association and the Câmaras of Faro, Lagoa, Loulé, Vila Real de Santo António and the Municipal Theatre of Faro. Performances can be seen at venues in the Algarve and Lisbon, and the festival continues until October 1.

Going back to the programme format of previous years, the focus is on southern countries that have seen tense and unstable times, in both social and political contexts. Cyprus, Greece and Turkey are the three countries that have been invited to take part this year.

Anthem (30 mins) from Cyprus is a show that combines music, images and dance. The backdrop is full of stuffed animals and the scene is set with a pianist playing Schubert and Chopin. A singer asks questions and sings on a loud speaker. There is accompanying music from an electric guitar. This is a really ‘out there’ production and if you fancy something a little different, this is definitely for you. Anthem is being performed tonight (September 9) and tomorrow night (September 10), at 10pm, at Faro’s CAPa Centro de Arte (289 824 783) and in Lisbon on September 13 and 14, at Negócio/ZDB (213 430 205).

In Hermaphrodite (30 mins), well known Greek choreographer Apostólia Papadamaki invites the audience to become voyeurs and view a “perfect naked body” on a white pedestal – a distance is created, highlighting its untouchable and unreal qualities. Hermaphrodite can be seen after Anthem tonight (September 9) and tomorrow night (September 10) at CAPa Centro de Artes in Faro (289 824 783) and in Lisbon, on September 13 and 14, at Negócio/ZDB (213 430 205).

In this year’s programme, there are three solo shows, entitled Roj, Tired and Delirium, which are being choreographed and performed by three young Turks. Roj (15 mins), Tired (30 mins) and Delirium (20 mins) can be seen at Loulé’s Cine-teatro (289 400 880) on September 17, at 10pm, and at the Centro Cultural António Aleixo (281 510 045) in Vila Real de Santo António on September 23, at 10pm.

Crazy Happiness is a production portraying the relationships between a group of friends, in a series of scenes that demonstrate affection, foreplay and even sex. Music from Bach is played in the background. Crazy Happiness (60 mins) will be performed at the Auditório Municipal de Lagoa (282 380 434) on September 23, at 10pm, and at CAPa in Faro (289 824 783) on September 25, at 10pm.

Bringing this year’s programme to a close is a unique production entitled Home Sweet Home. The choreographer was invited to live in an old church in Loulé (Convento de Santo António) and to create a production based on life in her new home. Local people were invited by the choreographer to take part in the production. This is a multi-cultural show. Home Sweet Home (60 mins) can be seen on September 29 and 30, and on October 1 at the Convento de Santo António in Loulé (289 400 800).

• More details on the programme of the International Contemporary Dance Festival, A Sul, can be found at