O Canto do Cisne (Swan Song)

16 to 18 July, 2021
Festival de Almada

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"O Canto do Cisne", choreography by Clara Andermatt, was one of the last pieces performed by the Gulbenkian Ballet in 2004, before its extinction the following year. Challenged by the Companhia Nacional de Bailado (National Ballet of Portugal), the choreographer revisits the piece with the original artistic collaborators. Based on the theme launched that time, “The Fascination of Distant Worlds”, Clara Andermatt seeks the unknown through mystery and surprise towards what is probably most enigmatic in everything we do not know: death. Formally, the choreographer chooses "The Death of the Swan" by Camille Saint-Saëns as a starting point, asking Vítor Rua to create variations on the original theme. Andermatt approaches death not as the end, but as the beginning of the future that it contains, plunging into metamorphosis and its transforming power. That is the moment which the choreographer identifies as the Swan Song. The present turns out to be a continual realization that it's the past and the future simultaneously, because everything is in ceaseless mutation. An idea that Clara Andermatt emphasizes by citing Peggy Phelan: “When you think you've found a way to love, to observe or to remember someone, everything has changed already."


Choreographer and director: Clara Andermatt
Artistic consultant: Amélia Bentes
Choreographer's assistant: Barbara Griggi
Music: Vítor Rua
Lighting designer / scenic space: Manuel Abrantes (from the original concept by Rui Horta)
Costume designer: Aleksandar Protic
Balletmaster: Tom Colin
Dancers: Companhia Nacional de Bailado
Special thanks to: Jonas & Lander, Mark Haim, Centro de Artes de Marvila

Photos by CNB / Hugo David