Rule of Thirds


interview by KRISTIN V JAM

Everywhere in the world we can find these talented and gifted creative people. I just found two new souls in the heart of Lisbon, Portugal. Just a short trip away from the big Cities like London, Lisbon reflects the spirit and intensity of southern Europe.

São Castro and  António Cabrita, the minds behind the dance piece “Rule of Thirds” talked to me about their inspiration and what contemporary dance means to them.

Rule of Thirds Margarida Belo Costa and Luis Malaquias

KvJ: Hi you two. I just saw your show and I am super excited. How did you come up with the concept for this project ?

São: We did a piece in 2014 called Play False—we worked texts and characters from Shakespeare as an inspiration for that creation—and since then, we always had in mind that we would do a piece based on a visual-art artist, who we would one day also create with. So in our search for a visual-art artist we found Henri Cartier-Bresson, and immediately we felt that it could be a great challenge to work on his incredible images to create a dance piece. To create movement from a still image.
António: We found in photography our inspiration, but it could have been sculpture or painting. The great work of Henri Cartier-Bresson immediately resonated with our approach to dance. The strong connection between rigorous composition and the humanity in his pictures made us immediately choose his work.

KvJ: How did you work on incorporating the “The Rule of Thirds” in your dance ?

São: At first the name Rule of Thirds, was just a good title for the piece: it’s connected to photography and also a rule that Cartier-Bresson talks about a lot in his interviews as something that should be something felt by the natural and instinctive eye of the photographer. He even says that he hopes to never see photographic equipment stores selling geometrical schemes to place on cameras… Exactly like what we have now! But then, in the process of creation, Rule of Thirds became a kind of rule to us in terms of dramaturgy and the use of space.

António: In fact, in this piece we paid even more attention to composition and the dancers’ relationship in space in connection with the light design and stage. We also found it interesting to play with a side concept that came to our minds when we thought about the title; we chose to be a quartet but somehow never allow the four dancers to be on stage together.

KvJ: Why and how where you inspired by the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson?

São: We started our search through visual-arts, sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, video; and then it was António that came with the proposal to use the work of Cartier-Bresson to create a piece. I had seen some pictures of Cartier-Bresson in the past, but when I started to get more and more into his work, I felt immediately inspired by the people, the geometry, the poetry, the sensibility, the mystery, and life of his work.

António: One day I found a book of Henri Cartier-Bresson in a bookstore; it was not the first time I had the opportunity to know about his work. I have in my family a strong connection to photography since my grand father, Augusto Cabrita, was a photographer, and because of that I had a deep connection with this art form. So I felt that maybe could be a very good proposal for this creation.

KvJ: At last, what does dance mean to you ?

São: For me, dance is the language of the body beyond words. You’re present and you just can express yourself by using the only material that is always with you: your body. You’ll find so many ways to be deeply understood—to use the body and its potential to connect with other people as an art form, even if it is one of the most abstract non verbal communication. That is a wonderful challenge!

António: Dance for me is like photography, but in motion, we don’t need words. In my very humble view, dance is one of the art forms that has the potential to make humanity more connected. We can play anywhere in the world with the same movement, touch anyone with poetry, and the most amazing thing is that it will always be different. Each person will enhance the dance they perceive with their own personal poetry also.

Rule of Thirds premiered in Lisbon in April. With São Castro and António Cabrita were also their dance partners Margarida Belo Costa and Luis Malaquias on stage.


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