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© Laurent Philippe

Bacchantes – Prélude pour une purge

Marlene Monteiro Freitas

An ode to the imagination and the irrational. With thirteen dancers and musicians, Bacchantes delights both eye and ear, never running out of steam. Absolutely delicious.


Anything goes in this haunting concert for bodies and instruments. No doubt about it, Marlene Monteiro Freitas presents an electrifying version of The Bacchae, worshippers of Dionysus. An ode to the imagination and the irrational, this piece for thirteen dancers and musicians blows this Greek tragedy wide open, transforming it into an orgiastic carnival where order and chaos are linked together.

Part rowdy, wild happening, part clamorous fanfare and Dadaist fable, this new work by Freitas—a Venice Biennial Silver Lion recipient—features an incessant metamorphosis of bodies and objects. The Cape Verde choreographer has a penchant for outrageous fauna, a gallery of arresting faces and sensational, exuberant creatures. In a series of tableaux where the boundaries of strangeness are constantly pushed back, Bacchantes dazzles and delights both eye and ear, never running out of steam. Absolutely delicious.


Produced by P.OR.K
Choreographed by Marlene Monteiro Freitas
Performed by Cookie + Flora Détraz + Miguel Filipe + Guillaume Gardey de Soos + Johannes Krieger + Gonçalo Marques + Andreas Merk + Tomás Moital + Marlene Monteiro Freitas + Lander Patrick + Cláudio Silva + Betty Tchomanga + Yaw Tembe
Lighting and Space Design Yannick Fouassier
Sound Design Tiago Cerqueira
Stools João Francisco Figueira + Luís Miguel Figueira
Research Marlene Monteiro Freitas + João Francisco Figueira
Distribution Key Performance (Stockholm)
Production Bruna Antonelli + Sandra Azevedo

Coproduction TNDMII (Lisbon) + Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels) + steirischer herbst (Graz) + Alkantara (Lisbon) + NXTSTP – Programme Culture de l´Union européenne + NorrlandsOperan (Umeå) + Festival Montpellier Danse +  Bonlieu Scène nationale (Annecy) + La Bâtie – Festival de Genève within the frame of soutien FEDER du programme Interreg France-Suisse 2014-2020 + Teatro Municipal do Porto + Le Cuvier – Centre de Développement Chorégraphique (Artigues-près-Bordeaux) + HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin) + International Summer Festival Kampnagel (Hamburg) + Athens and Epidaurus Festival + Münchner Kammerspiele (Munich) + Kurtheater Baden (Baden) + SPRING Performing Arts Festival (Utrecht) + Zürcher Theater Spektakel (Zurich) + Nouveau Théâtre de Montreuil – centre dramatique national + Centre Pompidou (Paris)

Creative residencies O Espaço do Tempo (Montemor-o-Novo) + Montpellier Danse – Agora, cité internationale de la danse + ICI – centre chorégraphique national (Montpellier) as part of the program Par/ICI

Presented by Infopresse in association with Monument-National

Written by Elsa Pépin
Translated by Neil Kroetsch

Premiered at Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, Lisbon, April 17, 2017


© Andreas Merk

Marlene Monteiro Freitas (Mindelo + Lisbon)

A native of Cape Verde, where she co-created the dance troupe Compass, Marlene Monteiro Freitas studied at P.A.R.T.S., the famous school in Brussels founded by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, and then in Lisbon, where she settled.

Full biography