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Intensified Bodies from the Performing Arts in Portugal

Gustavo Vicente

The way the body is considered and explored in the performing arts has assumed a growing importance, introducing new questions and cross-cutting perspectives on our understanding of the political, sociological and philosophical relevance of the body today.

This book is a meeting point for these questions, bringing together a set of contributors experienced in examining the body’s presence in live performances. It interweaves several disciplinary outlooks, addressing current theoretical debates on the body relating to the theory of affects, ethics, gender, age, discourse and representation.

Looking at recent practice in Portugal, the volume examines several cases where the body and issues of corporeality raise questions of memory, identity, experience and existence. It opens a rare window onto the distinctive Portuguese post-colonial legacy, which has given rise to an intensified search for new forms of bodily affirmation in the world. In so doing, the book conjures up the transformative power of performing arts today: from body into Being.

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1 Affective rhythms in Until the Moment When God is Destroyed by the Extreme Exercise of Beauty by Vera Mantero (Ana Pais)

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ANA PAIS

1 Affective rhythms in Until the Moment When God is Destroyed by the Extreme Exercise of Beauty by Vera Mantero

ABSTRACT

Through the lens of Affect Theory, I will be looking at how bodily rhythms and felt intensities are crucial to understanding theatrical encounters. Drawing upon Teresa Brennan’s (2004) and Sara Ahmed’s (2014) models of the circulation of affect, I will be suggesting that audience engagement can be thought of as a reciprocal movement of affects that impacts both spectators and the performers. In this chapter, I further discuss how Portuguese choreographer Vera Mantero’s performance Até que Deus é destruído pelo extremo exercício da beleza [Until the Moment When God is Destroyed by the Extreme Exercise of Beauty, 2007] brings forth a politics of affect that opens a radical space for being together with the audience through a poetic pattern of felt rhythms and intensities, potentiating rather than predetermining affects, making itself vulnerable to commotion.

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