Dançar Cabo Verde (Dancing Cape Verde)

“Dançar Cabo Verde”, co-created by the choreographers Clara Andermatt and Paulo Ribeiro, marks the beginning of what was to become Andermatt’s long-lasting relationship with Cape Verdean culture, with its very rich and diverse music and dance expressions, that had a strong impact in the creative work of the choreographer and in the Cape Verdean contemporary dance scene.

With “Dançar Cabo Verde”, Clara Andermatt and Paulo Ribeiro were intent on establishing an inter-cultural dialogue with that country; on casting a bridge between the culture they had taken with them and the one they discovered at the archipelago, in particular its traditional dances and music. It was an encounter of cultures transcribed into choreographic language.

During a ten-week residency at Mindelo (São Vicente island), the choreographers, ten Cape Verdean and European dancers, and nine Cape Verdean musicians, created a new piece where music and dance intersects.


“Dançar Cabo Verde” was awarded with the ACARTE/ Madalena de Azeredo Perdigão Prize for the best choreographic work in the 1993/94 season.


Artistic direction and choreography: Clara Andermatt and Paulo Ribeiro | Performers: Amélia Bentes, Avelino Lopes, Carlos Tavares, Clara Andermatt, Félix Lozano, Manu Preto, Mónica Lapa, Patrick Harlay, Zenaida Mendes, Zé Silva, Zezinho Semedo | Musicians: Djosca, Malaquias, Mick Lima, Tchalé Figueira, Russo, Voginha, Tomar, Humberto Ramos | Music: “Tamos a Desenrascar” (original composition by Vasco Martins, Travadinha voice sampler recorded by João Oliveira), “Como se o Mundo Ouvisse” (Vasco Martins), “Tanhuca’ (Nando), “Passagem” (Bau), “Tarone”, “Sodade”, “Ó Nha Gente” and “Ó Bernold” (popular folk songs) | Musical coordinator: Margarida Martins | Costume designer: Victor Vasco | Lighting designer: Rui Marcelino | Co-production: Lisbon'94 - European Cultural Capital, Cape Verde National Institute of Culture | Support: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, São Vicente City Hall, Embassy of Portugal in Cape Verde (Mindelo and Praia Cultural Centres – São Vicente and Santiago islands) | Special thanks to: Embassy of Cape Verde in Portugal, Moacir Rodrigues and Leão Lopes (Mindelo)

Photos by José Fabião

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