Companhia Paulo Ribeiro
Making a welcome return to this year’s New Territories festival, choreographer Paulo Ribeiro’s new works Masculine and Feminine were born out of his youthful fascination with the late poet, Fernando Pessoa.
‘When I was a teenager his poetry was a strong part of my life,’ says Ribeiro. ‘And Pessoa himself was completely fascinating. He lived in Lisbon and I’m from there too, so there was a kind of identification – something that’s in your blood, we breathed the same oxygen.’ It’s easy to see why Pessoa held such appeal for the young Ribeiro. Pessoa created the concept of heteronyms – a series of disparate characters, under which he wrote his poetry.
Masculine and Feminine are inter-connected but stand alone. Masculine will be performed one night, Feminine the next, and audiences can choose to watch either or both. ‘Both pieces have moments when they more or less speak about the same thing,’ says Ribeiro. ‘But the final resolution is different and the pieces are completely autonomous.’
Pessoa died in 1935, but it was the era many years later, when Ribeiro first came across his poetry, that influenced the new works. ‘Masculine and Feminine are very connected to the 1970s,’ he says. ‘When I created the pieces I tried to recall a period when I was very optimistic about life and the future. Now that we have a strange and dark future, it was good to recover some of those memories and make the pieces quite optimistic and full of humour.’
Tramway, Glasgow, Fri 27 & Sat 28 Feb