photo (c) Rui Palma
The creative work of Tânia Carvalho, moves between choreography and music, between dance and drawing.
Born 1976 in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, Tânia Carvalho began her dance studies in her hometown. In the 90s she pursued Artistic Studies at the Escola Superior de Arte e Design (Caldas da Rainha), at the Escola Superior de Dança de Lisboa and at Fórum Dança (Lisbon).
At the turn of the century, she began to present her first creations in the realm of choreography.
From then on, an artistic career marked by the rhythm of versatility and mystery has followed: Tânia Carvalho moves frequently from the field of choreography to that of musical composition. She is the author of several original soundtracks for her own pieces, such as "Como Se Pudesse Ficar Ali Para Sempre" (2005) and "Síncopa" (2013). Tânia Carvalho has also performed as a singer in Idiolect (2012), and as a pianist in “De Mim Não Posso Fugir, Paciência!”.
In this way, Tânia Carvalho affirms herself as an artist whose will to expression is not exhausted in one single language. And this will to say of the author contains in itself a symbolic universe of its own: her creations wander through the shadows ("Olhos Caídos", de 2010), the vivification of painting ("Xylography", 2016), expressionism and the memory of cinema (in 27 Ossos you willl find The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and The Seventh Seal in “27 bones”), bodies that become things other than bodies, and finally the idea of the liquefaction of something solid (“The recoil of Words” from 2013,”Explodir em Silêncio Nunca Chega A Ser Perturbador" from 2005, and "Orquéstica" from 2006). Hence the artist constructs her mysterious cosmogony, a set of codes that transcend the very art of movement - whether this should take place in the linguistic and semantic carefulness that she inscribes in the titles of her work (Icosahedron, but one could equally mention Orquéstica or Weaving Chaos), or in the frequent passing through territories more distanced from that of choreography, like drawing ("Toledo", a series of drawings exhibited at the CAAA in Guimarães 2013, but also "Glimpse – 5 Room Puzzle", a hybrid in-between drawing and dance).
In 2018, a Programme Cycle dedicated to her work had place in several theatres in Lisboa, where she premiered “S”, a new piece for the National Ballet Company of Portugal, and “A Bag and a Stone - dance piece for screen”.
This density and versatility in Tânia Carvalho’s work have led her to a plethora of spaces and collaborations, from the institutional to the alternative, from the formal to the informal.
Over almost two decades, Tânia Carvalho has been paving her way: thoughtfully and each time more multidisciplinary; cultivating a refined slowness, generating obscure universes – and for all of those reasons deeply fascinating.
Edited from a text by Eduardo Brito