A Minha História da Dança
My Dance History

Marcela Levi

Videoconference, November 12, 2020

Subtitled in English


© Lucia Russo


Choreographer and performer. Over the last 20 years, she has been developing projects that dissolve the boundaries between dance and the visual arts creating a zone of ambiguity and displacements. Graduated from the Angel Vianna Dance School (Rio de Janeiro), Levi has been a resident artist at the Art Center Les Recollets (France), at the Artistas en Residencia – Casa Encendida / Aula de Danza Program (Spain), at Espacio Cultural Azala (Spain), at the Laboratório de Criatividade Urbana ON.OFF, Guimarães 2012 – European Capital of Culture (Portugal), guest artist at the Rio Occupation London program, at the London Cultural Olympiad promoted by SEC RJ (London) and received the Batiscafo scholarship (Cuba). Her projects: “Image” (2002), “Mass of Senses” (2004) – included as one of the ten best dance works of 2004 in O Globo newspaper list – , “In-organic” (2007) – included by the English Artsadmin organisation in “The top 40 illustrated guide to 2008”, cited in the 2008 yearbook of the German magazine Ballettanz and included as one of the ten best dance works of 2007 in the list of Jornal do Brasil – and “Around the hole everything is edge” (2009) – included among the highlights of dance in 2009 by the specialised critics of the newspaper O Globo, awarded the ZKB Recognition Award / Zürcher Theater Spektakel, Zurich 2010 – were presented at various festivals and art centres as: Impulstanz Festival (Vienna), Les inaccoutumés – Ménagerie de Verre (Paris), in Transit (Berlin), In Presentables (Madrid), Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis (Paris), Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), Nottdance (Nottingham), Arnolfini (Bristol), Teatro Solís (Uruguay), COCOA Festival (Buenos Aires), International Dance Biennial of Ceará, Casa França Brasil, MAM RJ, among others. Levi has collaborated with the artists Lia Rodrigues, Vera Mantero, Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Laura Erber, Manuel Vason, Cristina Moura, Dani Lima and Gustavo Ciríaco, and others.

In 2010, Marcela Levi (1973, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Lucía Russo (1975, Patagonia, Argentina) founded in Rio de Janeiro an independent space of training, research and creation called Improvável Produções (Improbable Productions). Levi & Russo are committed to a polyphonic direction in which different inventive positions intertwine in a process that embraces deviant lines, dissent and internal differences as a constructive critical force and not as self-exclusive polarities.

Improvável Produções is responsible for the conception, creation and production of the dance pieces “Monstrous Nature” (2011), “Mordedores” (2015) – included in the list of the newspaper O Globo as one of the outstanding dance shows in 2015 – ,”Iron Mouth” (2016) – included in the list of the newspaper O Globo as one of the outstanding dance performances in 2018 and nominated for the Cesgranrio Dance Prize in the categories “best choreography” and “best dancer” – , “Let it Burn” (2017) – included in the list of the newspaper O Globo as one of the outstanding dance performances in 2017 – , “HARM-ONY” (2019), with the coproduction of Iberescena Fund and NAVE (Santiago do Chile), and the urban intervention “Sandwalk with me” (2012/13), with the coproduction of Panorama Festival (Rio de Janeiro). Levi & Russo projects have been presented in many theatres, festivals and arts centres in Latin America and Europe as: Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis (Paris), Julidans (Amsterdam), Zurich Moves!, Side Step Festival (Helsinki), Tanzquartier (Vienna), MIT (São Paulo), Festival de Curitiba, Sala Hiroshima (Barcelona), MAM (Rio de Janeiro), Sophiensaele / Performance Platform: Body Affect (Berlin), Zürcher Theater Spektakel Festival, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisboa), Spring Performing Arts Festival (Utrecht), among many others.


“All of us, dancers, choreographers or performers, receive somehow, through different means, more academic or more self-taught, an idea of the History of Dance, or the History of the Performing Arts, from which we feel we ‘descend’ (and perhaps we feel we descend from several Histories at the same time!). There were certainly choreographic or scenic creators that made us understand the art we make the way we understand it today. Each one has a specific idea of how this History unfolded, and for each one there are certain artists and certain artistic movements that helped shaping the idea of dance that one has and practices and that, somehow, is answering to that History. These lectures will give us the opportunity to know the History of Dance, that each person has created within her/himself.”

Vera Mantero


The lecture cycle My Dance History is a project develloped since 2011 by Forum Dança and O Rumo do Fumo. This project, initially implemented in Lisbon, has also been presented in Viseu, Funchal and Barcelona, in partnership with: Teatro Viriato, Dançando com a Diferença and La Poderosa. The cycle has been hosted by: Edifício (LX Factory), Espaço da Penha, Rede de Bibliotecas de Lisboa and Estúdios Victor Córdon/OPART.

Forum Dança and O Rumo do Fumo are financed by the Portuguese Republic – Culture / Direcção-Geral das Artes. This project is supported by Câmara Municipal de Lisboa / Direcção Municipal da Cultura / Divisão da Rede de Bibliotecas. Website co-financed by Garantir Cultura, Compete 2020, Portugal 2020 and European Union through European Regional Development Fund - ERDF.

Project summary



Ligia Lewis
27 April, 6:30pm
Palácio Galveias Library

Margarida Bettencourt
2 November, 6:30pm
Camões Library


Forum Dança

Webpage: forumdanca.pt

E-mail: forumdanca[at]forumdanca.pt

Phone: +351 213 428 985


O Rumo Do Fumo

Webpage: orumodofumo.com

E-mail: info[at]orumodofumo.com

Phone: +351 213 431 646


Address: Espaço da Penha, Travessa do Calado 26-B, 1170-070 Lisbon, Portugal

Forum Dança

Forum Dança is a non-profit cultural association, created in 1990, whose mission is to promote contemporary dance, through professional and artistic training, research, editing and documentation. It is a meeting platform for professionals and the public. It develops pedagogical projects, seminars, artistic residencies, informal presentations, workshops and regular classes aimed at professional audiences and amateurs, adults and young people.

Forum Dança is a structure recognized as a structure of public utility since 1998. Forum Dança is an independent structure funded by Portuguese Ministry of Culture / Directorate General for the Arts, the Lisbon City Council and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Forum Dança is one of the founding structures and is an associated member of REDE – Association of Structures for Contemporary Dance.


O Rumo do Fumo

Founded in 1999 by Vera Mantero and supported since then by the Portuguese Ministry of Culture, O Rumo do Fumo is a creation, production, national and international tour managing, research, teaching and programming structure in the field of contemporary dance, which positions itself in an experimental and research artistic territory. Territory that also extends the field of dance and its horizons, characterized by the transversality of the artistic disciplines and where dance, music, theater, literature/poetry, visual arts and cinema intersect.

Since 2000, O Rumo do Fumo has been responsible for the production of works by several artists with the aim of creating the necessary means for development and consolidation of their careers, providing a greater continuity of their works and facilitating opportunities for national and international touring.

Between 2000 and 2002, O Rumo do Fumo supported 10 artists, namely André Guedes, João Samões, Margarida Mestre, Mário Afonso, Miguel Pereira, Paula Castro, Paulo Henrique, Rafael Alvarez, Teresa Prima and Vera Mantero. Since 2002, the accumulation of work, exacerbated by the increase of Vera Mantero’s and Miguel Pereira’s activities, led to the decrease of supported artists, and since 2004 the support was focused on four artists (André Guedes, João Samões, Miguel Pereira and Vera Mantero), allowing to define a more efficient strategy of production, promotion and touring of their works. Since 2008, O Rumo do Fumo started to support punctual projects by young artists, either by supporting the executive production, as in the case of Rita Natálio, Matthieu Ehrlacher and Pablo Fidalgo, or through various support programs for emerging artists. Currently, represents the associate artists Miguel Pereira and Vera Mantero, the supported artists Elizabete Francisca, Henrique Furtado Vieira and Nuno Lucas, and other artists through its emerging artists’ programmes.

In September 2008 O Rumo do Fumo and Forum Dança joined forces to create the EDIFÍCIO at LX Factory, in Lisbon, since then and for the first time the structure has its own studio. This project represented a new collaboration format within the Portuguese dance community, enhancer of new work dynamics, and hosted 102 creation and research projects, organised informal presentations, lectures, seminars, workshops, publication launches and several other events. The synergy created between these two production structures has been consolidated over time, updating strengths and skills with a new work space since 2014: the Espaço da Penha. This space has several studios, as well as spaces for other artistic structures, promoting a cluster that builds and advances together in a new and consistent work hub.

During its years of activity, O Rumo do Fumo has built a solid national and international network of contacts and partners (institutions, theaters and festivals) in four continents, with whom the structure maintains regular activity through the projects by its artists. This network allowed to produce a total of 115 new creations and 315 events (workshops, lectures, meetings, informal presentations, etc), showing 1169 performances, 515 in Portuguese cities and 654 in foreign cities.

Since 2003 O Rumo do Fumo is a co-founding member of REDE – Association for Contemporary Dance, in Portugal.

Biblioteca Palácio Galveias, Lisbon PT, May 19 2022
MACBA - Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona, Barcelona ES, November 13, 2021
Biblioteca Camões, Lisbon PT, March 5, 2020