or brief study about paralysis

Creation, direction and scenography: John Romão
Texts: Mickael de Oliveira
With: Bernardo Rocha, João Folgado, Mariana Tengner Barros, Miguel da Cunha
Light Design: José Álvaro Correia
Music: Daniel Romero (.tape.)
Coreography collaboration: Elena Córdoba
Wardrobe Collaboration: Carlos Sáez Ripoll
Critic following: Paulo Raposo
Photography: Susana Paiva
Co-production: Colectivo 84 / Penetrarte, Teatro Nacional D. Maria II (Lisboa)
Colectivo 84 / Penetrarte is a structure sponsored by Secretaria de Estado da Cultura – Direcção Geral das Artes

National Theatre D. Maria II (Lisbon, Portugal): 9 to 26 june 2011 (Link TNDMII)
TAGV - Teatro Académico Gil Vicente (Coimbra, Portugal): 24 november 2011
CELCIT (Buenos Aires, Argentina): 22 & 23 march 2013
Espaço Aberto Pierrot Lunar (Belo Horizonte, Brazil): 29 & 30 march 2013
Teatro Ipanema (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil): 2 & 3 april 2013

Horror questions the ability we have of paralyzing the creation of urgent utopias and stealing our sleep, by excessively revealing, in the name of the ideology of progress and profit, the mysteries of faith and the body. We propose, onstage, through tragic and festive bodies, an incursion through the impossibility of becoming naïve before a decadent political and economic scenario. We edify the legitimacy of a utopia of ingenuity, not one of slyness, but from those who try to go back to an animal state and prefer to have explained, before the gang bang theory, the origin of the universe. Or to live a long amnesia.

“Everything that is good in “Horror” – the reaction to a matter of fact state, the physical and intellectual provocation, the energy and generosity of the actors and creators, the self-referential aspects, the strong moral dimension – is, using a colloquial and economistic expression, profitable.”
(João Carneiro, Expresso Actual, 18/06/2011)

“This theatre is not only political nor does it only reflect unrest or juvenile growing pains. It is a theatre that intervenes against the flow. Therefore, a primal need when change, after all, only persistently sustains society’s social, spiritual and political agony. (…) A commendable act of cultural guerilla that is capable of provoking shock.”
(Rui Monteiro, Time Out Lisboa, 21/06/2011)

The body is endangered
One of the situations that led me to think this show through was when, in a porn site search, Google proposed a website that had pornographic videos and images (as we know them) along with videos and images of decapitated, gutted people with bloody bodies, which were the result of car crashes. What surprised me the most were the comments (of pleasure) from anonymous people that visited that place (of pleasure). The partial bodies or objects exposed there were immediately shown, in other words, devoured by the spectator’s eyes, escaping an “enactment”, contrary to the “portraits of young boys” (from 1400 to 1700) which present to us anonymous carriers of an introspective and enigmatic stare. The body is endangered. Before the society of the body, in which a hardcore porn film serves the didacticism for the erotic learning, the body is no longer a mystery. The face itself is, often, an inconvenience. I see how, with cyber reality disguised as knowledge, the element of mystery started to lose itself, in a dissuasion of the real to the hyper-real, from the body to its forced materialization. During six weeks of rehearsals, I worked with four young players around a vertigo of utopia, trying to answer questions that before I felt incapable of asking, because each idea and each object would resend me the image of their limitations. This utopia is bound to the hostile terrain that is theatre and that tries monstrously to hide the shame through technique. I was interested in confronting the players’ bodies with impossibilities, working on the state of frailty that makes us raise our finger or bring our hands to our faces, by finding today’s political failure and economic horror in our country. By creating a landscape of events, a place where all accidents fit, I propose to return to a kind of “origin” of theatre, working on the potency and possession that failure, utopia and party are engines of, offering the possibility of the spectator being penetrated, because it is within him that theatre, actually, happens.
John Romão (director)

Sasha Grey or the impossibility of loving
What has worried me in all the texts I’ve been writing lately is the brutality, the coldness, the irony and the superficiality with which we deal (with which I deal) with reality. The show proposes a kind of perverse hope, or, a utopia – because going back to animalism is wanting to go back to a certain state of purity, that we could call naivety. The brutality of our days is accelerated by the instruments that we invented in order to exercise a kind of domination over reality. Here, there are two fundamental instruments to propitiate us in high speed from the image, the word, the narratives: 1) deconstructionism, a theory according to which no phenomenon in our reality is natural, and 2) the internet, a great platform to accentuate the brutality – an excellent place for instant micro-narratives. The internet is the solution and the problem. It is the freedom and the coercion. We find everything and anything, but always with the purpose of revealing something that proposes the truth, that renders us sleepless. The internet is a display for all exhibition: from science’s newest discoveries to porn videos. And in either case, we are raped by knowing – a new theory that dislocates us from what we knew (and we become unstable), or a post-hardcore porno film in which the actors’ job is to vandalize the other, following Plato’s theory about the truth and the polis. All pornography is a proposal to overcome the Aristotelian theory, against likelihood. Actually, from a Judeo-Christian viewpoint, I still haven’t been able to answer the question of whether or not it is still possible to love Sasha Grey. Therefore, we propose a horror as a loss of naivety, a loss of the notion of “virginity”. The horror is, more than a strong momentary reaction to something, a profound state in which we recognize ourselves outside of the mysteries, outside of the animal world, while youth is the place (per se) which claims to continue immerse in the mysteries with which it lived through its whole childhood. Youth, adolescence, is an age (a state) of great frictions, of frequent falls, of physical and intellectual changes, of willingness to believe and to participate in certain utopias, creating for the balance, at the same time the collective, but also personal, dystopias. Therefore, the body of youth is the place par excellence for horror (and politics).
Mickael de Oliveira (dramaturgy)