An interdisciplinary dance research project by visual artist, performer, mother and activist Andressa Cantergiani (Caxias do Sul, Brazil, 1980). Inspired by the Greek myth of the Amazon warriors and its entanglements with Brazil’s colonial history, Cantergiani’s new project arises from the desire to extrapolate and desecrate Western myths, situating a creative feminist vision where struggle becomes a practice of self-care through self-defense.
Around this theme, the artist carried out a year-long performative and aesthetic research on both the iconography of diverse women warriors and the symbology of feminist militant struggles. This part of the research achieved a participatory dimension through the collaboration with curator Paz Ponce, backed by the Berlin-based NGO neue haute e.V., mediating a series of community meetings in their project-space at Uferstudios around the theme of combating gender violence.
A hybrid program of online & offline talks connected with collaborating agents active on intersectional feminism in Latin America and South of Europe, exchanging theoretical, conceptual and historical references for the project (Manoela Cavalinho, Cristina Ribas, Érica Saraiva from MARÉ - Artist collective & FREPLA/RS, Margarita Pita). This section of the project was funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe in the frame of the Fellowship-Program “Weltoffenes Berlin” /See: AMAZONA.
By early summer 2022, and after obtaining a production grant from NPN Joint Adventures / Neustart Kultur, the participatory program opened itself to a target community of dancers from the context at Uferstudios and a local audience of migrant women, in the shape of feminist self-defense workshops, with guest instructors coming from Spain (Clarissa Fontana) & Greece (Margarita Pita & Aris Pitas, Movement Lab / Fight Back Club Athens) who work on martial arts techniques and methodologies aimed at self-protection for women and LGBTQI+ people in everyday environments. The Greek collaboration in this research was funded by Onassis AiR.
This parallel movement research exploration became the dramaturgical base for the development of a new dance piece:
AMAZONA or a Dance of Resistances in collaboration with 7 dancers selected from the group of participants attending the workshops: Pêdra Costa, Daddypuss Rex, Julia B.Laperrière, Mzamo, Maque Pereyra and P.G.L (Or Meilin). The choreographic material was collectively generated during a two weeks practice exchange lab, where they shared with each other their personal movement interpretation of the concepts of resistance and self care in the context of combating gender violence. Video and editing became expanded choreographic tools in this performance (video direction & photography by Maryna Marenko, editing by Livia Massei.
Amazona or the dance of resistances (9'53'')
Concept & Artistic direction: Andressa Cantergiani | Performances & collective choreography: Andressa Cantergiani, Pêdra Costa, Daddypuss Rex, Julia B.Laperrière, Mzamo, Maque Pereyra, P.G.L (Or Meilin) | Self Defense instructors: Clarissa Fontana, Movement Lab Athens / Fight back club (Margarita Pita & Aris Pitas) | Digital Space instructor: Mert Akbal | Research & dramaturgical support: Paz Ponce | Direction of video choreography & photography: Maryna Makarenko | Film editor: Livia Massei | Color Grading: Renato Batata | Sound Design & score: Alan Egedy | Sound Mastering: Zeno Mainardi
Supported by the NATIONAL PERFORMANCE NETWORK - STEPPING OUT, funded by the Minister of State for Culture and Media within the framework of the initiative NEUSTART KULTUR. Assistance Program for Dance.”
neue häute e.V. in cooperation with: insurgencias.net - Berlin-based platform for socially conscious artistic practices & activistic positions from Latin America