Born in Cape Verde, Marlene Monteiro Freitas is a dancer and choreographer. She studied dance in Brussels and Lisbon, followed by collaborations with Emmanuelle Huynh, Loïc Touzé, Tânia Carvalho, Boris Charmatz, among others. After establishing her first company Compass in Cape Verde, she now works with P.OR.K – co-founded by her – in Lisbon and collaborates with O Espaço do Tempo (Montemor-o-Novo).
Her oeuvre is characterised by unity of openness, heterogeneousness and intensity and includes such productions as Primeira Impressão (2005), A Improbabilidade da Certeza and Larvar (2006), Uns e Outros (2008), A Seriedade do Animal (2009), a solo Guintche (2010), (M)imosa (2011, in collaboration with Trajal Harell, François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea), Paraíso, colecção privada (2012), and de marfim e carne – as estátuas também sofrem (2014), Jaguar (with the collaboration of Andreas Merk), Bacantes – Prelúdio para uma Purga (2017).
In 2017, she was distinguished by the government of Cape Verde for her cultural achievement, also in the same year, Sociedade Portuguesa de Autores awards Jaguar the distinction of Best Choreography of the Year. In 2018, she created Canine Jaunâtre 3 for Batsheva Dance Company and was awarded the Silver Lion award for dance at the Venice Biennale. Since 2020 Marlene is also a co-curator of the project (un)common ground, a project that investigates the artistic and territorial inscription of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In 2020 she also receives the award for Best International Performance by Critica d’Arts Escéniques of Barcelona, for her work Bacantes.
In August 2020, MAL – Embriaguez Divina premiered in Kampnagel, Hamburg and in July 2021, her newest creation Pierrot Lunaire with Ingo Metzmacher was presented at the WienerFestwochen. Most recently Marlene was awarded the Chanel Next Prize (2021), which had David Adjaye, Tilda Swinton and Cao Fei as part of the jury. In 2021 she was also awarded the Evens Arts Prize.