TRACE's preparatory and research residency took place in the primary forest of Madeira Island, in the areas of Fanal and Fajã da Nogueira, during the first half of December 2020 with Sara Anjo.
TRACE works with the body in relation to the surrounding environment. And in Madeira Island several walks were made to visit the centenary trees from Laurel Forest, one of the main primary forests in Europe.
This Forest remains intact because of the island orography, with hard and difficult access, which stops the human action of exploration and exploitation.
© Carlos Carneiro and Sara Anjo
During November 2020, we were still in a preparatory moment. Invited by the professor Anabela Mendes, we presented the project in the "Aesthetics Performative Studies Seminar" from the Performative Arts Bachelor at the Faculty of Letters of Lisbon.
Working with TRACE scores we developed a sonic recording with the collaboration of the following students: Adriana Gonçalves, Araiana Gambala, Diana César, Giulia Dal Piaz and Leonor Madureira. This recording had the sound design of Sara Anjo and mastering of Artur Pispalhas.
The recording is in portuguese.
We had the first artistic residency in O Espaço do Tempo, during the 1st week of January, with Flora Détraz, Nádia Yaracema and also with Mickaella Dantas, that from London connected with us through virtual space.
TRACE is a project that puts the body in direct relationship with the territory and from this experience we highlight the visit to Freixo do Meio homestead. We observed the agroforestry plantations, an Utopia in progress that proves that the soil and landscape of the Alentejo is not monotonous, much less a desert. We danced next to "Zambujeiro do Tempo", a millennial tree that makes us travel for a long time and we also climbed to "Pedra Alta", where our megalithic ancestors met for rituals.
© Inês Samba and Sara Anjo
Our second residency took place online, between London and Lavre (Alentejo), with Mickaella Dantas and Sara Anjo.
There was an intensive, intricate and symbiotic exploration of the body in relation to the surrounding environment.
We also worked starting with the principle that in the beginning was the movement, life wrapped up in the Earth. Bodies, various and sundry, coalesced and rose until they stood, unsteadily, on their two feet, wavering and wobbling to keep their balance, since bodies are force fields traversed by a thousand vectors, stresses and strains, motions and commotions.
© Mickaella Dantas and Sara Anjo
To be inspired for the sound pieces we went to the Salinas do Samouco Foundation, in the last week of February. These salt pans are located in the nature reserve of the Tagus estuary. And are the largest wetland in Portugal as well as a sanctuary for fish, molluscs, crustaceans and, above all, birds.
At this time of the year, the Samouco Salt Flats are a refuge at high tide for the Black-Tale Godwit, a great migratory bird. In addition to this species, we could hear and see several others, for instance the exuberant Flamant.
© Artur Pispalhas and Sara Anjo
The shooting of the videos TRACE II and TRACE III, Flora Détraz, Nádia Yracema and Sara Anjo were filming with Joana Linda. We returned to Salinas do Samouco to be next to this bird sanctuary, where the rhythm of the tides takes us to different landscapes and different ecosystems.
We were also in Lavre, a small village in Alentejo, with the cork oaks, whose growth gave way to trees with curious shapes.
© Joana Linda, Flora Détraz & Sara Anjo
TRAÇA presented a performance on the 23rd of May, at the Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias, in Funchal, based on the artistic objects developed so far - the scores, the sound pieces and the videos.
Also exploring the 3 choreo-political agents of the project - breathing, walking and being still, the piece evokes different environments and landscapes in variations of blue, a color that refers to the depth of the sea and the breadth of the sky. But above all refers to the infinite and permanent line of the horizon that joins them.
© Joana Linda
Between the 24th and 27th of May there was a residency for the making of 2 artistic objects: a video and a sound piece.
This residence took place in areas of endemic Laurissilva forest, such as Fanal, Chão da Ribeira, São Jorge and Santana. In these areas there is still primary forest, centenary trees and even volcanic remains with a great impact on the ecosystem of Madeira Island.
© Artur Pispalhas e Sara Anjo
The first workshop took place in June. The first one, between 4th and 6th for the general public. And the second one, between 9th and 11th for the company Grupo Dançando com a Diferença.
Based on the 3 mains actions of TRACE - breathe, walk and being still, we approached different movement practices with meditative and contemplative character. These practices were based on the 12 scores, written with instructions, which call for a set of actions subject to free interpretation, underlining the freedom and autonomy of those who create and interpret them.
© Sara Anjo
The third workshop took place in Lisbon, during the solstice week, between the 21st and 26th of July, at Espaço Alkantara.
We work as in previous workshops, based on the 3 TRACE actions - breathe, walking and being still. We approached different practices of movement with a meditative and contemplative character, practices that were based on the project's 12 scores. The work was developed in a relationship between studio and walks that from the center to the outskirts of Lisbon.
© Sara Anjo
Within the workshop at Espaço Alkantara, we developed a particular work on memory. We map the most relevant memories of each participant about breathing, walking and being still. Based on their memories, we made a remaking exercise based on transforming those memories into scores, into actions. An exercise that transforms the past into the present and changing the personal story into one to be lived in the plural.
This exercise resulted in an improvisation, a kind of poetic reading made by Carina Dias, Joana Franco, Julian Bonnin, Lara Portela e Sofia Miguel Castro.