Leandro Souza

Musa Insistente | Insistent Muse

21 April: 17:30 LEANDRO - Musa Insistente | Insistent Muse
22 April: 19:00 LEANDRO - Musa Insistente | Insistent Muse

The virtuosity of an artist is measured by the ability to throw them off the scent
Dénètem Touam Bona

An escape movement is activated through a tactic of entangling words. A solitary figure wanders around the space, uttering excerpts from songs, philosophical texts, quoting lines from prominent figures in Western culture, exploring how words and the human body engage in a relationship in which they feed off each other and create each other. A game, a puzzle, a battle, dynamics are continually unfolding throughout the space. To crack hardened structures and open a passage, you have to "scratch the record".

Language in the West has operated as an intricate network of commands to regulate the circulation of ideas, beings, objects and materials. Collecting, measuring, analyzing, cataloging, naturalizing, pathologizing, assigning functions, hierarchizing, criminalizing, inducing behavior and producing desires. For the West in particular, language has become an instrument of domination based on the desire not to relate to the various forms of life that inhabit the planet. It's no wonder that one of the strongest crises we are going through is the deterioration of the very way the knowledge is constructed in the West, and therefore how art and culture are produced.

Tell me, O muse, about those who managed to escape. In many parts of the world, groups and individuals have made all sorts of escapes. Fleeing climate disasters, fleeing authoritarian regimes, fleeing hunger, poverty and wars. Escapes from big cities, escapes from degrading jobs, escapes from abuse within the family, escapes from religious and ethnic persecution, escapes from gender and sexual violence. Escape can involve geographical displacement, but it can also take hold in the very territory in which it is confined. In this case, it manifests itself as a centripetal force and in its spiraling movement it erodes from the inside out. It creates forks in single-track paths. It traces and maps the buried gaps, it scrambles the signposts. Escape can be poison or antidote, it's just a question of dosage. An escape inaugurates an act of invention.

Escape is that muse that insists on whispering in our ears when something doesn't fit, especially at a time when we've been convinced to wish for our own capture. It continues to inspire the (re)invention of ways of doing, seeing and thinking about existence beyond what is known, by asking questions: has everything already been captured? Is there no alternative? Is this where we wanted to go? Tirelessly, she pushes to challenge the artificiality of specific and impermeable places, as much as to expose the contradictions of her own ambition. Tangling, dislocating or dissociating, their tricks are numerous. She presents herself not as the one who knows, but the one who has become urgent.

Leandro Souza (1981) is a Brazilian choreographer. His artistic work is structured by establishing diverse partnerships and forming temporary groupings around the realization of shared artistic interests, forming a mobile collaborative network that provides support for ongoing research and production. His choreographic work is developed from an expanded perspective of art, woven into the threshold between languages, moving between knowledge, investigating unusual approaches to movement, hacking and forging tools and strategies for creating art. In his work, Leandro flirts with the word, the voice, the body, movement, objects and various materialities, on a crossroads between practice and theory.

In the context of DAS Choreography, Leandro Souza has been investigating and developing an approach to escape as a triggering concept for choreographic creation, understanding escape as the development of procedures capable of operating as a confrontation, critique and (re)invention of ways of making, seeing and thinking art in the face of the persistence of the forces that flatten human experience. Above all, he focuses on the role of language in the discourses that produce the Western categories that organize social life and choreograph the circulation of beings, people, ideas, knowledge, objects and materials, fixing them and distributing them according to hierarchies and divisions within specific places. How can we escape the traps of Western regimes of representation?

Leandro Souza graduated in dance from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP/Brazil). In 2018 he received the performance award from the São Paulo Association of Art Critics (APCA/Brazil) for his work, Sismos e Volts. His work include Eles Fazem Dança Contemporânea and A Gente é Sutil, Vocês são Explícitos.


Choreography and performance: Leandro Souza; Sound: Juli Frodermann; Light: Patsy Lassbo; Photos: Thomas Lenden; Artistic collaborations: Allyson Amaral, Alina Folini, Aline Olmos, Ines Terra, Marilene Grama, and Isis Andreatta

Tutors: Konstantina Georgelou and Jeroen Fabius; Mentors: Amparo González Sola, Renan Marcondes and Zhana Ivanova

Thanks to DAS Choreography peers and staff: Alina Ruiz Folini, Ahmed El Gendy, Simone Truong, Cornelius, Isis Andreatta, Mario Lopes, Simone Gisela Weber, Zander Poter, Jordan Demetrius Lloyd, Laura Ramirez Ashbaugh, Juan Felipe Amaya Gonzalez, Clarinde Wesselink, Setareh Fatehi, Alice Chauchat, velvet leigh, Harco Haagsma, and Udo Akemann

Thanks to Tetembua Dandara, Elise Bernardelo, Rafael Hurpia da Rocha, Isabel Holzl, Clarice Lima, Aline Bonamin, Mafoane Odara Poli Santos, Juul Beren, Yeng Nación, Martin Brans, Grzegorz Reske, Students from the MA Contemporary Theatre, Dance and Dramaturgy at Utrecht University (NL)

Support: DAS Choreography AHK (NL), Young Art Support Amsterdam (NL), Spring Performing Art Festival (NL)