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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.

Gustavo Vicente is a scholar, performer and artistic director. He is Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Lisbon and a researcher at the Centro de Estudos de Teatro [Centre for Theatre Studies]. Current co-convener of the Choreography and Corporeality Working Group of the International Federation for Theatre Research, he is also a member of the editorial board of Sinais de Cena: Performing Arts and Theatre Studies Journal. He began his career as an actor in 2001, gaining wide experience both in theatre and cinema, before going on to win first prize at the Portuguese Academic Theatre Festival with his first project as an artistic director, in 2009.