Eva Azevedo, Interculturality and Dance

Eva Azevedo is a dancer, choreographer, researcher, dance and pilates teacher.

She began her dance career in Classical Ballet, but then felt more connected with Contemporary Dance, Somatic Movement, African and Afro-Contemporary Dance, ending up getting specialized in “Traditional African” Dances and “Afro-Contemporary” Dance in Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Burkina Faso, Benin, France and Spain. Dance PhD student at FMH and supervisor of the Masters in Performing Arts at ESMAE, she also graduated in Pilates at ALM Pilates Institute and teaches in dance schools.

With such a vast and diverse curriculum, Eva Azevedo’s career doesn’t lack projects. She started her career as a dance teacher in 2003 and from there created her own teaching method called “Farisogo Sira – O Caminho do Corpo na Dança Africana”, and developed research, training and artistic creation works in Burkina Faso, Benin, Brazil and Europe.

When asked about her routine, Eva tells us: “Managing between being a “self-producer” of my projects, being an independent worker, being the mother of a 10-year-old girl and doing a PhD without financial support… A gymnastics of time.”

Eva founded a dance and world music company, Semente, in Porto, in which she acted for a few years until the birth of her daughter.

In recent years, Eva has focused on the theme of colonization and it was from there that she created the solo “Olokum” with artistic direction by Vincent Harisdo and Vanessa Fernandes and the support of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. This show was presented in Portugal, Brazil and Benin and portrays the story of “a Portuguese colonist who sinks into the sea and meets Olokum, an orixá owner (olo) of the deep waters of the oceans (Okum), an element that separates and, at the same time unites Portugal, Brazil and Africa, having been the link between cultural, social, religious and economic exchanges, transforming the public’s view of Portuguese Colonization and Interculturality.”

Training in Benin
"Affôte" Performance in Benin
"Affôte" Performance in Benin
"Olokum" show in Benin
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Her projects do not stop there.

While touring Olokum, Eva continued her investigations on the history that unites the three countries and from there she has been creating shows that translate through body expression the results of her theoretical research. The last one is “ALI-KLAN“, developed together with Guillaume Niedjo. “This show was born from the need to question the present coloniality, with the expression of corporality and black culture marked in the relationship between Brazil, Africa and Europe through the political bodies of the dancers Guillaume Niedjo (Benin), Jorge Ciprianno (Brazilian) and Eva Azevedo (Portuguese).” Despite having already carried out an artistic residency with the support of the Paulo Cunha e Silva Campus, this project continues to seek financial assistance for its achievement.

In addition to this support, Eva also emphasizes the need to find sponsors and other financial aid to the Socio/Cultural Association in Benin, NIAZ’Art, which is a project that is under development and aims to build a socio/educational cultural center in Benin.

For Eva, one of the biggest challenges of being an artist is the lack of appreciation of this class in Portugal in general, either by the State or society, and especially regarding the dance style with which she works: “dance from the West coast of Africa, which is still seen in Portugal as a tribal dance, deprived of technique, of the primitives, and not often considered a dance in the Portuguese education system […] It is very difficult to get support for the theme I want to develop because it touches on subjects that the Portuguese do not want to talk about.”

Even facing this many challenges, Eva continues her journey in an exemplary way, taking a little bit of history to the public who watches her and to the students who are happy to participate in her classes.


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