Nymphalis Antiopa (2024)

From the moment we are born we have two bodies, the living and the dead.


In "Les démons de midi", an essay by the writer Roger Caillois, is addressed the idea that in the Western tradition ghosts are associated with night and darkness, while in ancient times and in greek mythology, it is at noon that gods and demons are seen, when the sun is at its zenith and there are no shadows. These contrasts are paradoxical. What happens when the logic of meaning is reversed? At what point did the mythologies of day turn to night? Light and shadow, contrast, yin and yang, two opposite and contradictory forces that at the same time complement each other, are the keys to this work.

Polarity is an inseparable condition of the human condition. We are social beings and from birth to death we have someone walking with us.


Being together/in conjunction, accompanying each other in the tasks of life seems simple, two bodies that look at each other, dance and accompany one another. However, in this "Dueto" we see two people who, in their privacy, build cities of matter and affections, unique and unrepeatable customs and rites: a language of their own. Two bodies that remain united from beginning to end, that never stop looking at each other, that never forget to observe each other. The eyes of one are always in the eyes of the other.


For this piece, the dialog of contrasts, of opposite poles, where one cannot live without the other, is important. As actors and dancers, we never perform for anyone, we are alone, we are living scenarios. But can we be accompanied by the other? The scene of affections that the bodies build goes with them, moves with them, we do not know if they are the bodies and the scene is their shadow or vice versa, if they are the shadows of a scene of flesh and blood. At the viewer's distance, they look like a buoy floating in a sea that is the stage, which can be seen from the shore, but will never return its gaze.


The state of the two dancers is a being-in-between, which is accompanied by an alteration of perception, of the gaze and of the state of the bodies. An image, of the continuous present, which tells us what is happening. They are two bodies in a utopian place, it is the most lost scenario of all lost scenarios, it is only built for those who live it in an intimate and non-transferable way, that is, for themselves. During the play, different states of energy are transited. Without abandoning the journey, energy acts as a kind of flow that never disappears, that transforms itself and goes from euphoria to rest, from vitality to absolute exhaustion. All the dance and movement they build comes from this communication, from the changes in the rhythm, strength and intensity of their movements. Two bodies that use balance and imbalance, that move apart and come closer without ever ceasing to be connected.


If the face is the mirror of the soul, faces and facial gestures communicate more about the true personality of a human being than their words. That's why, in this piece, the gestures of the face are part of the dance. They are an inseparable part of the communication, with each other and with the audience they never touch, and yet they are deeply connected.


This piece is also a walk together towards a place, an emotional journey. This journey is accompanied by original music produced exclusively for the piece. A sound intensity that tries to multiply and amplify gestures and movements, plays with the scales of vibration perception, seeking to create several layers of sensory experience.


Julián Pacomio, may 2021

Artistic direction, choreography, interpretation Papillons d'éternité
(Tânia Carvalho & Matthieu Ehrlacher)

Light design, technical direction Anatol Waschke

Music marum

Executive direction Vítor Alves Brotas

Executive production Janine Lages

Communication coordination Maria João Bilro

Production Agência 25

Co-production Le Gymnase CDCN (FR), Teatro Viriato (PT), Teatro São Luiz – Egeac (PT)

Coproduction residencies O Espaço do Tempo (PT), Le Gymnase CDCN (FR), Teatro Viriato (PT)