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Dona Lourdès


Orfeu Negro movie’s poster in the living room, the uncanniness of a language, the exotism of colors and the grain of the past, a painting just like a family picture in a museum in Rio de Janeiro, the gaze that shapes, and the one that emancipates itself… So many hints and strata that led Némo Camus to imagine a project somewhere in between homage, biographical story, and poetic reflection on the cultural, racial, family heritage inspired by the journey of his Brazilian grandmother, whose name became the title of the performance: Dona Lourdès. 

With Brazilian performer Robson Ledesma’s support as translator, Némo Camus interviews her to capture the movements and rhythms of a life – making room for the tension between classical dance and samba, for what one leaves behind, and for the ways one phrases one's own story. 

But then the material slips away, the gaze is blurred, and positions become more complex... How can we inherit a family history made up of myths, distance, and differences, but also admiration? What can we ask of this history, imbued with fantasies about Brazilian culture fabricated in Europe, still today? 

In a close, composite collaboration between Némo Camus, Robson Ledesma and Brazilian dramaturg Nathalia Kloos, a collective mis en scène is invented in which the body becomes the ferryman/medium/carrier between two transatlantic shores. The body dives into memory and assembles its pieces, to trace a path that questions the challenges and joys of reappropriating, with strength but also with circumspection and modesty, the images that punctuated the life of Dona Lourdès, so many commonplaces for the Brazilian diaspora in Europe. 

 Set design by Rafa Pamplona, lighting by Inès Isimbi and costumes by Miguel Peñaranda Olmeda. With sound design by Baptiste Le Chapelain, and choreographic support by Mary Szydlowska.
With the voice of Lourdès de Oliveira.

• Némo Camus is a Brussels-based sound artist and producer. His work, rooted in a dialectical approach, moves back and forth between intimate narrative and history, environment and individual, matter and thought, activism and poetry.

• Robson Ledesma is a Brazilian performer based in Brussels. He trained at the Municipal Theatre of São Paulo, where he joined the contemporary dance company. Between 2013 and 2016 he worked with Luiz Fernando Bongiovanni before joining P.A.R.T.S. 

concept & text Némo Camus | collaboration & performance Robson Ledesma | direction Némo Camus, Robson Ledesma & Nathalia Kloos |  dramaturgy Nathalia Kloos |  costumes design Miguel Peñaranda Olmeda | choreographic collaboration Mary Szydlowska | scenography Rafa Pamplona | light design Inès Isimbi | music creation Baptiste Le Chapelain | production atelier 210 | co-production atelier 210, Charleroi Danse, Atelier de Paris / Centre de développement chorégraphique national, La Coop asbl et Shelter prod | support La Bellone, kunstcentrum BUDA, Maison des Cultures de Saint-Gilles, Kunstenwerkplaats vzw, Théâtre Varia, Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles, le Bureau International Jeunesse | with support of Montévidéo, Centre d’Artla, de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles - Service général de la Création artistique, de, ING, du tax-shelter du gouvernement fédéral belge et de WBI, Wallonie-Bruxelles International . 

Presented by
Atelier 210