29.05.2022, Boris Hristov House of Culture

Start: 18:00

Duration: 60 minutes

Ages 6+

Filming & taking pictures during the performance is forbidden.

Choreography as an art form between architecture and music

When scientists discovered an unknown pale pink octopus three decades ago, they began to look for the name of this cute little creature and because of its charming appearance, they called it Opisthoteuthis Adorabilis. When Jonas Lopes and Lander Patrick began work on their performance, they sought out the choreographic embodiment of their Adorabilis and used the richness of cultural and natural diversity to create a captivating labyrinth-like dance.

After 3 years of collaborative work in which Jonas and Lander plunged into each other’s creative space, the point of departure for this new piece is their shared direction. Jonas&Lander aim to create a work process that intertwines contrasting inspirations that range from choreographic structures influenced by Sufi dance to the amplitude and elegance of Bob Fosse’s expressive hands.  A marriage between precision and the coarse strongly marked by the appropriation of a rhythmic and vocal body, which are distinguishing characteristics of these two performers.

The intention is to produce a solemn, ceremonious space filled with a variety of ritualistic processes carried out by bodies in a state of emergency.  These bodies dance in order to alter the speed of visual time through tense choreographic constellations creating virtual bodies and beings that exert themselves in extreme and contrasting physical tasks throughout a number of storylines that spark tension in the dramaturgy of the piece. At their point of departure, Jonas&Lander will also merge different interests to bear in their creative worlds: symmetric-asymmetric relationships, physicality and expression, virtuous tasks, the human voice as a choreographic element, and narrative incoherence. Their strategy is to rouse these macro-interests until a self-referential and unique performative material arises, thereby making this piece a symbolic act of creative unification.


Jonas and Lander have been contributing to each other’s imaginary since the beginning of their intimate relationship around 2011. Sticking together and constantly divorcing the past J&L have been experiencing very contrasting paradigms: living in a mobile camper with a cat; to living in a fancy house in Sintra with a pet bellied pig where they illegally served food and presented live concerts; to living in the middle of the mountain next to the beach.

Somehow we could observe this divorcing the past behaviour in their creations and sources to choreograph the thought. Cascas d’OvO (2013) reveals somehow the way they subscribed themselves as professionals in the artistic field: hardworking, naive, precarious. A piece rehearsed in the public gardens of Lisbon and Guimarães  with several onlookers, dogs and sparrows for an audience led them to acknowledge the power of communication of their bodies.

Literally and metaphorically they started to walk blindfolded (as in the beginning of the piece) in many European and South America theatres and were selected as Aerowaves Priority Company 2014. If in Cascas d’OvO they scrutinized the rhythm of slapping each other’s face as a dramaturgical vehicle, in Matilda Carlota (2014) we observe their empowerment in music as dramaturgy assuming something they completely did not master: Opera. Projecting the decadence of Jonas favourite divas in their late lives such as Amália Rodrigues, Maria Callas, Marilyn Monroe and Edith Piaf we see Jonas (singing countertenor) and Lander (playing piano) performing the solitude framed in a barroc set and fulfilled with robotic animals and tiny exquisite bits of dark humour. Matilda Carlota worked the strength of the presence, the volcano inside the silence. With artificial and stylised bodies Jonas and Lander remembered how decadence can gain a glamorous dimension, and provoked the spectator to look to the fictionary frame – as known as stage – with the same meditative and sombre state he/she looks at the inside of an aquarium.

Diving in the unknown is a statement assumed in Arrastão (2015) where Jonas and Lander direct musically their audience. Inspired by Soundpainting – a vocabulary developed by Walter Thompson where a maestro can direct musicians, dancers and actors with universal gestures – they teached their audience the basics to produce sound with balloons (rubbing, exploding, releasing the air etc). Within this device of Arrastão, Lander and Jonas could use the public as an extent of their desire to communicate with music. While seeing and listening the gestures of Lander materialized and maximized in chaotic soundscapes we could see at the same time this sonority impulsionating Lander’s body to move and generating a snowball effect of energy, freeing the spectator to exteriorize its energy.

In Adorabilis (Aerowaves Priority Company 2017) we see the couple depositing their curiosity in choreography, choreography as an art form between architecture and music. They explored how every light, text and mistake were a matter subject to be choreographed. They built a labyrinthine dance to impulsionate a schizophrenic eye of the spectator, full of sound, contrasting meanings, micro narratives and lots of tension. With some sparkles of humour here and there, J&L with participation of Lewis Seivwright performed serious virtuous tasks that communicated their clumsiness, skills and their uncertainty of the Human life purpose. Humanism as an ideology that puts the Human being in the centre of the universe is in check in Adorabilis as J&L referred to art works and social behaviours as they referred to  animals and nature in their dance/text/song.

Alongside these works, J&L have been performing works in unconventional spaces. We see Jacarandá (2014) presented in TODOS Festival inside a sewing shop where Jonas performed a monologue built through the answers of his friends, artists and homeless people to the questions “I was born to …?/ I will die to…?”. We also see Orelhão – The Big Ear (2015) performed in the toilets of Panorama Festival (BR) and in the toilets of 100% Marlene Monteiro Freitas season  (FR)  in which Lander proposed the idea of  an confessional. Each person would have the possibility to be alone in the toilet with instructions to throw  his/her thoughts to the door of  toilet cabine. Surrounded by UV lights this door would somehow be the door to an intimate experience from which Lander would declaim a poem in response and thankfulness to this stranger exposure.


Created by: Jonas&Lander

Performed by: Jonas Lopes, Lander Patrick, Lewis Seivwright

Costume Design: Carlota Lagido, based on ideas from Jonas&Lander

Light Design: Carlos Ramos

Sound Design: Lander Patrick

Digital Animation: Web4Humans 

Production and Management: Patrícia Soares

National Touring: Produção d’Fusão

Executive Production and International Touring: Inês Le Gué

Coproduction: Teatro Maria Matos e Centro Cultural Vila Flor

Residencies: O Espaço do Tempo, Alkantara (PT), Centro Cultural Vila Flor (PT), Centro de Experimentação Artística no Vale da Amoreira/Câmara Municipal da Moita, Artemrede/Projeto Odisseia (PT), DeVIR/CAPa (PT), Câmara Municipal de Lisboa/Polo Cultural | Gaivotas Boavista, PACT Zollverein (AL), Sín Culture Centre Budapeste (HU), Graner/Mercat de les Flors (ES), Nave (CL)

Support for Internationalization: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (PT) Aerowaves 2017 Artists

Photography: Mariano Silva

ONE DANCE WEEK 2022 is part of the Legacy programme of Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019.

FOCUS PORTUGAL is realized with the support of Camões Institute and the Embassy of Portugal – Embaixada de Portugal em Sófia.