Dance and music piece for: THREE DANCERS, CELLO AND ELECTRONICS.
Choreography: Beatriz Cantinho | Music: Diogo Alvim; Ricardo Jacinto | Scenography: Ricardo Jacinto | Movement: Filipe Pereira, Jácome Filipe, Marta Cerqueira | Sound Design: Suse Ribeiro | Light Design: Frederico Rompante
Duration: APROX. 50´
Location: Jun 19th (performance) @ ESPAÇO DO TEMPO/ MONTEMOR-O-NOVO || Sep 25th – Oct 03rd (Residence + Performance) @ Arquipélago / Ponta Delgada || Oct 12th/13th (performance) @ Teatro Thalia / Lisboa
Date: 2017



“The New Art of Making Ruins is a dance show, inspired by the documentary; Havana – The New Art of Making Ruins, by Florian Borchmeyer and Matthias Hentscheler, which presents a unique experience of its ruins by its inhabitants. Havana is a city that has lived in recent years an economic decay, resulting from its political isolation and that is mirrored in the degradation of its building. However, its inhabitants continue to occupy these buildings in multiple forms, revealing a great capacity for resilience. The melancholic narrative, built around this experience, translates an affective and political dimension of the body into a space and time of memory, evoking a possible ‘ruin of the world’.

More than a metaphorical or imaginary representation of ruin, the New Art of Making Ruins project intends to experience the abstraction and translation of the different premises associated with a movement of ruin and resilience – erosion, repetition, fragmentation, accumulation, reconstruction – in choreographic and musical composition.

Choreography: Beatriz Cantinho
Music: Diogo Alvim; Ricardo Jacinto
Scenography: Ricardo Jacinto
Movement: Filipe Pereira, Jácome Filipe, Marta Cerqueira
Sound Design: Suse Ribeiro
Light Design: Frederico Rompante

In this project the theme of ruin is explored as a vestige of a once-built ‘edifice’ (understood in its physical, aesthetic and political dimension), but whose fragmented and eroded presence finds it difficult to find ways to resist forgetting and disappearing. More than a metaphorical or imaginary representation of ruin, the project experiences the abstraction and translation of the different premises associated with this movement of resilience, for choreographic and musical composition. The premises of possible appropriation by the composition are: erosion, repetition, fragmentation, accumulation, recovery, destruction and reconstruction. In this movement we want to observe how this theme can be operative as an instrument of composition and how from its performative experience can become reflective in its multiple dimensions.

The choreography, by Beatriz Cantinho and performed by three dancers, focuses on the identification and collection of a set of gestures with different levels of evocation, which constitute a heteroclite vocabulary of movement, on an apparent map of fragments, which when articulated make up a choreographic building (phrase (s) of movement) that will undergo a set of formal transformations resulting from the abstracted premises of the idea of ​​ruin and the process of ruin .

In parallel, in electronic music by Diogo Alvim, the same premises serve basis for the construction of operational processes on equally diverse sound material. Through a database of recordings of political speeches, whose theme / content will focus around references with different levels of semantic possibility, we intend to explore compositional processes that operate on concepts such as unity and fragmentation, system and disturbance, as well as different listening orders : sound as a physical phenomenon or as a reference power.

The cello and electronic of Ricardo Jacinto is located in a place of encounter between the choreographic gestures of BC and the different listening orders of the music of DA.
Applying compositional and performative procedures deriving from the premises in question, the gestural and sonic dimensions are treated at the same level and using two types of procedure: on one hand a system of amplification and processing of the cello sounds that allows during the performance a deconstruction of the architecture of the instrument, “perceptively fragmenting” its sound integrity, and on the other the choice of a melodic repertoire based on a collection of national anthems whose recollection introduces a political and territorial “horizon” to the piece.

The piece consists of a non – hierarchical relationship between the different elements of the composition – movement and sound – exploring the juxtaposition and interaction of vocabulary and procedures of each. The three approaches are thus juxtaposed in time and space of presentation. This confrontation will take place in the same space, in the same arena, exploring from the choreographic and musical specificities forms of territorial occupation that fluctuate between the singularity of each of the performers and the architecture, or the environment. The choreography uses the displacement of the bodies of the dancers and the music, of a system of multichannel spatialization that allows distributed and distributed sound diffusion. In this way, the composition (choreographic and sound) is inevitably related to the Thalia theater space, where the piece will be presented.
The Thalia theater in Lisbon is a project of the architects Gonçalo Byrne with Patricia Barbas and Diogo Seixas Lopes and constitutes a reference work of the contemporary architecture as an intervention in ruin. Ruin thus emerges not so much as a deconstruction of a physical space, but as the accumulation of it from the contingencies proper to the interaction between bodies and spaces, between spaces and sounds, between architecture (the specific place), a time of intervention, and a time. A dance show with live music that establishes a unique relationship not only between the choreography and the sound, but also with the architectural space where it is presented. Besides adapting to the physical and acoustic dimensions of each space, we intend to establish relationships in an aesthetic and conceptual dimension, where idea of ​​a body (architecture, choreography, sound) reveals itself fragmented, questioned and reconfigured.”

This was the common conceptual framework that structured the creative process.
The work with the dancers would be autonomous of that of the music. Both processes should run in parallel using short periods of common work to explore the relations between movement and sound.

Besides the music the stage design was also developed by myself in accordance with Diogo Alvim and Beatriz Cantinho. Its structure presents a situation where the presence of musicians and the dancers is equivalent. Therefore the use of Medusa in this context was relevant to the definition of the overall electroacoustic and lighting system setup and its relation to the audience.

Also a key concept for Medusa is the notion of playing the relations between micro and interior events and the listening amplitude given by concept of acoustic horizon. The staging design of all this actions was important to create the appropriate conditions for experiencing this 45 minute performance.

Its design would take into account the relation to different architectural backgrounds, which particular characteristics, are important to enhance in every performance and installation iteration.
It should also present an abstract organization of space which would at the same time confront, with an affirmative design and spatial organization/functionality, each different architectural container but also presenting ways to let the outside have a performative presence.


In this Dance-Music piece Medusa´s principles were important to determine the overall structure of the setup and the way it structured the internal relations of the piece both in the movement of the dancers, the sonic impact of the musicians and their relation.

The stage-plot included the use of a double stereo system in a quadraphonic setup with audience and stage inside the squared area. Both the speakers, the light and the audience area clearly defined an internal arena shared by musicians and dancers. This arena device allowed at the same time the definition of a clear distinction of the inside and the outside territories. The dancers explored through movement this border, exploring on one hand fixed positions with repetitive gestures and on the other large movements in space occupying the space outside the central arena area.
The two musicians were facing each other and, for each of them, the stereo on their back was their main diffusion source. Only in certain periods they occupied the 4 speakers. Specially when the sound was to be experienced as coming from a distance or, in the case of the electronics, when a quad system was necessary for movement of sound in the arena´s space.

This arena should consider a certain level of interaction with the surrounding architecture in the way it is positioned and there should always be ways out of the square in order that the dancers can move to the outside. The Lighting emphasizes this distinction between inside and outside when it is needed. (???)

This project was presented in two very different venues and the approach for the whole setup was adapted to the architectural conditions and the ways it could potentiate articulate its structural relation with music and movement creative processes




– LISBOA – 12/13 DE OUTUBRO 2017

In both cases the full arena concept design was not tried because of specific architectural characteristics. These included attention to internal sound and movement specifics and their relation to the formal and symbolical character of the architecture.

Medusa´s system adapted its performativity to this collective project and included new types of DSP which are relevant as an outcome of this research because of its impact in other iterations of the project.

It was therefore put into practice the relation between two different approaches to the processing of the sound of the cello which would once again explore the relation/articulation/drift between the identified micro and the macro territories. The first which focus on the mapping of the cello´s body (which was already stable from previous iterations), magnifying the small differences in resonance in the cello´s body (microterritory), and the second which would focus on the cello´s macro territorial impact, and particularly in a new way (in this research) of playing with distance. In this case Medusa wouldn´t use contact speakers to occupy objects or part of the surrounding/nearby architecture but extend the sound diffusion to the four speakers around the arena. The sonic extension of the cello would in this case be a kind of dissolution of the sound of the cello in distance through long reverberations, digital signal degradation and digital distortion. This was diffused from speakers surrounding the audience to hinder the localization of the sound source, in this case the cello.

*(this project was developed at the same moment as the Medusa iteration in the Lisbon Architecture Trienal – Medusa (territórios) and therefore test similar approaches)

The max-msp patch for this Medusa setup needed some adjustments.

For this particular case the patch was reprogrammed in order that the expression pedal´s ramp would be assigned to more parameters besides volume, panning, delay. In this case the ramp (between 1 and 127) would control also the mix between Direct sound, Early reflections and Reverberation in a Reverb VST plugin, the level of the L1 compression threshold, the distortion and signal degradation levels.

In this case the limits (o and 127) of this ramp would perform as follows:

A) Minimum = 0 :

EQ : passa baixos

B) Maximum = 127 :


A – Minimum midi value = maximum horizon

B – Maximum midi value = maximum inverted horizon (extreme proximity)

Proposal for new scenography for Physical Education (Da Nova Arte de Fazer Ruínas)


The piece was divided into 7 parts, each of them corresponding to framed periods for specific movement vocabulary and improvisation/composition procedures and space occupation from the dancers. Each of them corresponded also to different sonic material from both musicians and different spatial diffusion.

PROTO-SCORE for Dance and Music

1st: 6 m

DANCE: Circular floors
> The dancers walk in a circle in space, always keeping the same pace as before
> Already for the last minute begins to emerge either launch / shoot
> I thought this might start dark until I heard the last one.


2nd Launch / Shoot: 6m

> Begin to increase the intersections in space in the figure of the launch
> Gradually increase the amount of launches and crossing in space
> At a certain point the gesture itself has already diluted and what is most noticeable are the beginnings of the gesture and the erratic occupation of space (crossings)
> At the last minute someone has already introduced a ruin or another (mechanical phrase)

3rd Ruin 1st sentence: 12m

> The phrase is presented synchronously by the three or three times
> The phrase is progressively ruined along the block, with repetitions, pauses, extemporaneous movements to the phrase, and spreads through space
> It breaks the verticality of the bodies with falls
> It also increases progressively in speed
> By the end of the day someone has already indicated the drag / pull

4th Drag / Pull: 6 min

> Done between them or indicted alone by the falls of the body
> As if it were a catch game
> In the space, shapes of triangulation are drawn, which change in shape, velocity, etc.


5th Ruin 2nd sentence: 7 min

> A shorter and more allusive phrase
> suffers also a process of ruin but has to be in some aspect or several noticeably different from the first: in rhythm, space, speed … .etc


6th Final race: 10m

> Enter one … two more …
> gradually increases speed to also emphasize inclined bodies and exhaustion

> At the end some can go to the trepidation and one is still running …

7ª Trepidar: 4m

> starts small and grows in the body … not necessarily in speed … the body is getting more and more occupied by the movement