Tiago Guedes - new projects within the framework of the France Portugal 2022 Season

Dance today is a very hybrid discipline, closely linked with other practices, such as contemporary art or hip hop.

Recently appointed as head of the Maison de la Danse and the Lyon Dance Biennale, the Portuguese choreographer Tiago Guedes talks to us about the programming of the France Portugal 2022 Season this October. He has encouraged several new collaborations between dancers from both countries. Projects to be discovered at the Théâtre National de Chaillot and La Manufacture - CDCN de Bordeaux. 

Updated on 13/10/2022

2 min

Tiago Guedes
Tiago Guedes © Muriel Chaulet

Could you tell us a little about your background? How did you first discover dance? 

I studied at the Higher School of Dance in Lisbon, before starting a career as a choreographer which lasted from 2002 to 2013. The following year, I was appointed to head the Municipal Theatre of Porto. Since then, I have devoted myself entirely to programming and managing cultural projects. During this time, I also founded a new dance festival and a choreographic research centre in Porto. With my recent appointment in Lyon, I am starting a new adventure, and I am also looking to the future, with the creation of the Ateliers de la Danse, which will open in 2025. 


After worked as a dancer, a choreographer, and having directed an internationally recognised institution such as the Municipal Theatre of Porto, you have just been appointed director of the Maison de la Danse and the Lyon Dance Biennale. What does this appointment mean to you? 

When I decided to apply to Lyon, it was primarily because I wanted to project myself into completely different issues, on a totally different scale. The Maison de la Danse is one of the only theatres in France, along with Chaillot, that only presents dance, and which is associated with one of the world's greatest events, the Dance Biennale. Almost 70% of shows are newly created for the occasion. The Ateliers de la Danse, which will soon be joining the Maison de la Danse, will also allow us to think about dance that is accessible to all. It is therefore a very specific context, notably thanks to its heritage base established by my predecessors, first by Guy Darmet and then by Dominique Hervieu. After all, I am only the third director of this place in almost forty years. I would therefore like to try to incorporate their legacy, while looking to the future. Dance today is a very hybrid discipline, closely linked with other practices, such as contemporary art or hip hop. In my eyes, it is therefore "a context" rather than a discipline. This idea will be the starting point for my programming. 


What will be the other main thrusts of your leadership? For example, what will be the role of the Ateliers de la Danse within the scheme? 

The Ateliers de la Danse project was conceived before I arrived, to offer a genuine complement to the Maison de la Danse. The latter has a large hall with nearly a thousand seats and a studio. It is therefore a large theatre, but with few additional spaces for research and presenting the work of artists. The future Ateliers de la Danse will be made up of numerous stages, dedicated to research, work with non-professionals, with school audiences, and residencies, but also a performance space with nearly four hundred seats. The artists will therefore be able to fine-tune their creations in every detail and perform them for the first time in front of an audience in favourable conditions. These new premises will be part of a new district, the Kennedy quarter, and will be close to a gymnasium, a swimming pool and a school complex, which is really ideal for bringing dance back into the heart of a real urban dynamic. It will therefore not just be an extension of the Maison de la Danse, but a complete new space in its own right. 


The start of the new season will see a major programme as part of the France-Portugal 2022 season, with a particularly important role for the Teatro Municipal do Porto. What does this coming together mean for you?

Even before I arrived at the Maison de la Danse, I had already been approached by several French partners to develop this project. At the Teatro Municipal do Porto, we had very strong relationships with several French companies and institutions. It was therefore a form of continuation, this time with means that offer us the possibility of imagining collaborative projects between French and Portuguese artists. I am thinking of the company Dançando Com Diferença, who will present two shows at Chaillot: a piece by Marlene Monteiro Freitas and another by François Chaignaud. Or the project initiated with the Manufacture in Bordeaux, where Marco da Silva Ferreira will work with French artists. So it's not just a question of international programming, but of real exchanges and new collaborations between the artists. This will also allow us to showcase young artists we have already supported in Porto who are not yet well known in France. 


You were in charge of the Focus Portugal programme at the Théâtre National de Chaillot from 5 to 9 October. What will be the highlights of this cycle? 

I suggested to Rachid Ouramdane artists that I had a real passion for, and that I also knew would be able to use non-dedicated spaces, such as the foyer at Chaillot. With his team, they therefore devised a programme around Marlene Monteiro Freitas, in collaboration with the company Dançando Com Diferença, and Marco da Silva Ferreira and Amala Dianor, this time with the company Via Katlehong. The latter will feature two different shows presented by the same company. There will also be performances by Ana Isabel Castro, Vera Mantero and Gabriel Godoi, and the duo Jonas & Lander. 


The Danse Dança Bordeaux Porto programme begins in Bordeaux and Porto on 17 October. Can you tell us more about it? 

From 17 to 22 October, two pieces will be performed in Bordeaux: Siri, by Marco Da Silva Ferreira and Jorgé Jérôme, who is a filmmaker, and the piece Hark! by Luísa Saraiva and Senem Gökçe Oğultekin, based on the human voice. This offers us a particularly hybrid programme. In parallel, from 24 to 29 October, Rideau by Anna Massoni and 22 actions faire poème by the company La Tierce will be presented at the Municipal Theatre of Porto. 

The Institut français

The France-Portugal Season 2022 is implemented by the Institut français for the French part. 

Find out more about the France-Portugal Season 2022 

L'institut français, LAB