by François Chaignaud
Blasons is a response to the invitation by Tânia Carvalho, who after creating a piece Doesdicon for Dançando com a Diferença (2017), invited François Chaignaud to share the evening in the context of La saison croisée France-Portugal 2022. As a result of this collaboration, François Chaignaud created Blasons (2022), proposed as a prologue for Doesdicon and always presented together with Tânia Carvalho’s piece.
Blasons (Coats of arms) are known as heraldic symbols that characterize a family, a city or an organization, but they are also poems that emerged in the mid-16th century in France. Around Clément Marot, a group of court poets collectively committed themselves to emblazoning parts of the female body, that is, observing, describing and praising them. These blasons – dedicated to the throat, the lips, the eyebrow, the foot or the nipple – later gave rise to the counter-blasons, their satirical and critical counterparts.
These literary blasons– contemporaneous with advances in anatomical dissection – offer an unprecedented and unsettling pact between perception, objectification and aestheticization. The body of the other – the body of the emblazoned one – becomes a field of observation – divisible and appropriable; the Blason puts him on a pedestal as much as it empties him of his humanity. Historically, the literary Blason is therefore the expression of the privilege of those who discover and regard the world and others as their possession, from a superior point of view.
With the artists of Dançando com a Diferença, we are committed to recovering this dynamic of the Blason – and reversing it. Dancers are no longer the strange, magnificent or curious bodies that we come to observe and scrutinize – they offer to show us their way of emblazoned with the world, that is, of looking at the audience to dance a compliment or a satire. The coat of arms then becomes an act of empowerment, through which the legitimacy of perception itself is recovered. It is also a way of bringing the notions of sovereignty, ornamentation and representation closer to their grotesque limits.
Blasons is a short piece, a kind of observation ritual to start the rest of the night.
Choreography and direction: François Chaignaud
Creation assistant: Gregório Nóbrega
Cast: Bárbara Matos, Bernardo Graça, Joana Caetano, Mariana Tembe, Milton Branco, Sara Rebolo, Sofia Marote, Telmo Ferreira
Light Design: Abigail Fowler
Costume Design: Henrique Teixeira
Dançando com a Diferença
Artistic direction: Henrique Amoedo
Direction Assistance: Diogo Gonçalves
Executive Production: Nuno Simões
Production: Claudia Nunes and Milton Branco