marcela levi


Silvia Fernandes
MITsp 2019
São Paulo
March 2019

INTERVIEW with Marcela Levi & Lucía Russo about Boca de Ferro (Iron Mouth)

Since 2010, you (Marcela & Lucía) have developed works that dissolve the boundaries between dance, theater and visual arts, in creating a zone of displacement of fixed identities, including artistic ones. How does the project of shared authorship contribute to the dissolution of hierarchies and to a regime of multiplicities that welcomes difference, dissension and diversion?

Thank you for the question! When you proposed the interview, you said: "Our proposal is that you two could divide, so that the two could participate in the interview. Someone answers a question and the other answers the other two questions. What do you think? We propose that neither of us - Marcela Levi and Lucia Russo - answers but rather this third thing that speaks through the "and" placed between the two names. That is what it is about, getting out of the way, leaving room for an unknown who unites us and articulates. We like to say that our direction is di-verted/funny*, that is, poured into two. Blanchot said that the conversation takes place in the interval between one speech and another. To be two to shock, to bump, to break, to splinter, that is to say, to articulate. And the authorship? Well, the authorship is the smoke resulting from the shock and the spark that occurs in the friction.

(*in portuguese and in spanish the word "divertida" means funny, and etymologically means poured into two).

You say that in the work of Improvável Produções*, performativity is an act of invasion - "it does not have a performer stating identity, but being invaded by other existences." How does this appear in Iron Mouth, which lends the nickname of sound speakers in the north of Brazil? Amplifying voices, invading, transforming and disturbing/altering are modes of resistance?
(*Improbable Productions is the name of Marcela Levi & Lucía Russo's association)

Perhaps they are modes of existence. Most of the dancers want to be horsemen, and that is a problem that our work sets for the body. We're not riding our own body: we are the horse...*

More interesting are the bodies (re)moved by invisibilities; our dance convokes these bodies annoyed by their own image and contours... this reminds us of science fiction, cartoons, certain dreams. (...)

Would not empathy be a kind of invasion? A broken, dirty, contradictory and ambiguous body may find it harder to come to quick conclusions and definitive sentences, right? If difference is hosted in the body / existence itself, it may be lived and even celebrated in society.

Alternative existences that appear between one and another, in the in-betweens, between one and another, and another and another and another and another and another and ... what is alive is exactly the unpredictable, isn't it? What surprises us, right? To let ourselves being invaded by the other frees ourselves from the clichés associated with the performativity of our identity. That invasion can be a kind of inoculation of other lives and that might seem a bit mystical, but it is not; it is something sweaty.

For us this work is part of a research about the idea of dancing bodies attached to the outside, bodies diverted (in joyful joint diversion)... That is why we are moved by Bjork singing "Violently happy", the split I of Rimbaud or Nijinsky described in his diary that "We are rhythms. Meaning is always located on the boundary, face to face with the proliferating wave of difference. There are no identities, only rhythms."

*the word horse in Brazil is used to name the person who incorporates other existences in some rituals

The chaotic dance of Ícaro Dos Passos Gaya led a critic to perceive an "infectious rhythm" in Iron Mouth, made of twists and excretions that put on stage a "body sweat guided by sound". How does this dance of exhaustion and vibration challenge the audience of this work?

We expose people - the audience - to a dirty body. A body that upsets oppositions like: question-answer, male-female, animal-human, etc...

All present is exposed to contradictory, ambiguous and excessive voices co-existing in a body which in this way multiplies, unfolds, breaks apart, and un-knows itself.