The artist as medium. The body as territory of spiritual revelation. The performance as a ritualistic experience of access to other states of consciousness. Mariana Tengner Barros, in her experience as dancer/performer and choreographer, found herself as a “kind of mediator of messages through her own body, voice, her performers, messages associated to ideas, sensations, emotions”. Each time more conscious of the size of her part she is interested in recovering the mediumship side of her practice. Without wanting to do with labels, the artist devises “Séance”, a performance that derives from the principles of a spirit session, or seance. In this research she discovers the theatricality implied in the device, that allows access to different levels of “interpretation”, of manifestation of trance.

Mariana Tengner Barros navigates between the artificial and the genuine, transgressing its possible forms, introducing the ambiguity between whats real and fiction. “Séance” is an intimate performance, for 3 to 10 spectators at a time in unique and continuous sessions of 30 minutes each. Barros dives deep in Victorian era aesthetics, searching for reference in the Espírita movement that emerged in the 19th century simultaneously with the feminist movement and as a reaction to the industrial revolution, that at the same time denotes the permanence in the 21st century of the strong desire for the paranormal and supernatural. The body arises this way as a vehicle to access the “messages”, the hysterical discourse. Mediating, intimate and different in every 30 minute session, this performance is like a shot that transports us to a parallel world, by hand of one of the most interesting artists in Portuguese performative arts.


Artistic direction and performance Mariana Tengner Barros
Artistic consultant and texts Nuno Miguel
Sound design Jonny Kadaver
Costumes Inês Monteiro de Barros Tavares
Styling Ana Sousa
Props Inês Monteiro de Barros Tavares and Mariana Tengner Barros
Pictures Bruno Simão
Technical direction Daniel Oliveira
Production A Bela Associação
Coproduction BoCA, ZDB

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