BACCHAE: PRELUDE TO A PURGE Makes US Premiere at BAM Next Wave
Cape Verde-born choreographer Marlene Monteiro Freitas, who has won a Venice Biennale Silver Lion for Dance and an invitation to create a work for Batsheva Dance Company, has developed one of the most unique dance languages on the European dance scene. Her Bacchae: Prelude to a Purge makes its US premiere in BAM Artistic Director David Binder's first Next Wave season, in which every artist is making their BAM debut.
For Freitas, Euripides' Bacchae is full of dance and mystery. Instead of characters and story, she created a sui generis work in which movement, dance, and music-making are integrated-all with its own logic. Eight dancers and five trumpeters are our guides into the depths of the human psyche where irrationality and madness dwell. Using clownish makeup, semi-robotic movements, and unconventional instruments, Freitas creates a world in which order and chaos, discipline and spontaneity are always in tension.
Marlene Monteiro Freitas studied dance at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels as well as at Escola Superior de Dança and Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon. In her native country, Cape Verde, she co-founded the dance group Compass and collaborated with musician Vasco Martins. Freitas worked with Emmanuelle Huynh, Loïc Touzé, Tânia Carvalho, and Boris Charmatz, among others. Her recent creations include Bacchae: Jaguar (2015) with Andreas Merk, for which she won the Best Choreography award from the Portuguese Society of Authors; Of ivory and flesh-statues also suffer (2014); Paradise-private collection (2012-13); and (M)imosa (2011), co-created with Trajal Harrell, François Chaignaud, and Cecilia Bengolea, which was presented at The Kitchen in 2012. In 2018 she created Canine Jaunâtre 3 for Batsheva Dance Company. She was awarded the Silver Lion for Dance in the 2018 Venice Biennale. Freitas is the co-founder of P.OR.K production company in Lisbon.