NEVERODDOREVEͶ is a collaboration project between two duos of choreographers, Filiz Sizanli & Mustafa Kaplan (Turkey) and Sofia Dias & Vítor Roriz (Portugal). Each one of these artists works almost exclusively with his/her couple for more than a decade. Filiz and Mustafa premiered their first piece in 1996, and ten years later, in 2006, Sofia & Vítor premiered theirs.
Although having very different creative approaches and experiences, these two couples have the same fascination for precision, minimalism, language, abstraction and a growing interest in the interactions between spoken word, voice, movement and gesture.
There is something else that brings together these duos and that seems to be specific of long-time collaborators: a strong awareness of what means to share closely a creative process, where authorship gets diluted, and research is nourished by a continuous dialogue with the other even if recognizing the irreducible solitude where artistic creation lies upon. Collaborating with another for such a long time is also the experience of a shared solitude.
Filiz, Mustafa, Sofia and Vítor met for the first time in June 2019 in a residency in Lisbon where for two weeks they’ve shared their practices, methodologies, taught each other small excerpts from their own performances, and even learned together Becket’s Quartet. At the end of that period, they felt the desire to further their meetings and to risk making a piece together. Since then, these four artists have been making a creative dialogue at distance that is originating an archive of brief “performances” they create for each other.
A part of this dialogue consists of the effort to articulate something that is subliminal to the act of COLLABORATING. György Kepes used to talk about the need to go beyond the fear of sharing knowledge, giving privilege to the confluence instead of segregation, and Hans Ulrich Obrist points out how that this attitude was fundamental for the creative dynamics in Black Mountain College. In some way, the creative process of this piece has been based upon a mutual trust in sharing the intimate mechanisms that are associated to the DOING-THINKING of each duo. Mechanisms that probably would remain invisible without this encounter because, only in confronting the other, by mirror effect, it becomes possible to articulate and name traces that may seem at a first imperceptible.
The mirror effect that stands out from this quartet configuration, where each duo sees itself reflected in the other, made it clear that one of the compelling concepts of this project would be the DOUBLE in its artistic, social and literary coverage. In that sense, although the strong attraction for similarity, the choreographers are also interested in what differentiates them and on how to stress those differences in the search for a distortion – the double of the quartet.
“…we’ve been thinking on how we can use this context not only to merge into each other’s similarities but also into pushing the four of us into doing something none of us has done before. An ambitious and lightly naive goal, but a very stimulating starting point. The need for change is as strong as the need for continuity, and what will prevail from this tension is yet difficult to predict.
Besides the DOUBLE, there’s another concept that results from the geographical condition of each duo. In an Eurocentric perspective, one of the common aspects between them is that they both live in the periphery of Europe (Turkey and Portugal) and, from this place they can integrate their experience as PERIPHERAL bodies. To think the world through the lens of frontiers, borders, limits, centers and peripheries seems fundamental to reflect about some of today’s main social, economical and cultural tensions. But there’s still much to do with the collective energy of the quartet so that each one of these duos dislocates itself to FOREIGN territory. In some way, this will be one of the virtues of the residencies of this project: each duo can be in their own context and the quartet can be something else in a place that is foreign to all, testing and welcoming a strangeness, a reverse an OTHERNESS.
In Turkish and English with surtitles
Co-direction and performance: Filiz Sızanlı and Mustafa Kaplan, Sofia Dias and Vítor Roriz
Light design and technical Direction: Cárin Geada
Set and costumes design: Ângela Rocha
Sound: Sofia Dias
Administration and Distribution: Vítor Alves Brotas
Production: Agência 25
Co-production: Théâtre de la Ville, São Luiz Teatro Municipal, Alkantara Festival, La Briqueterie, Teatro Viriato, CCN Nantes, Teatro Municipal do Porto /Festival DDD – Festival Dias da Dança
Support: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Casa-Atelier – Fundação Arpad Szenes – Vieira da Silva, Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, Polo Cultural Gaivotas | Boavista
Thanks to: Leonor Carpinteiro
Premiére: 26 November 2022 Alkantara Festival 2022, Lisbon, Portugal