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Emanuel Sousa, along with his sister Patricia, are both co-creators of ROSA ET AL, a boutique hotel in the art steeped district, Cedofeita in Porto, Portugal. A multi- disciplinary visionary, Emanuel is an artist, architect, painter, writer, chef, actor, director and designer. This article is part of a multi feature that highlights Emanuel’s endeavours and his favourite spots in the district, including the best designers, galleries, vintage shops, theatres and more. Together they create the perfect Porto guide tailored to creatives who love to travel (yet are never tourists), have exceptional taste and an appreciation for great design.

In this Porto series feature we highlight the vibrant live performance scene with recommendations by our curator and award winning performer, Emanuel Sousa. We delve into why he is so drawn to live performance. He also kindly shares tips on Portos’s best spots for catching great live performances, both for audiences and performers alike. Get your notebooks out kids.

NH&P: You call yourself a theatre maker. Can you please describe what this means to you?

Emanuel Sousa: I am experienced and trained in a series of art forms (visual arts, architecture) and the live performance is the one that attracts me the most, as it is built upon a series of non-fixed variables and non-fixed results. Theatre is here and now; it can never be repeated in its exact form. It’s that error variable that attracts me the most as it can enable the greatest discoveries and leaps of faith, either as an actor or a director.

NH&P: How would you describe the Porto performance scene today- what are some standouts on the circuit?

Emanuel De Sousa Nowadays, it is very vibrant. With the reopening of Teatro Municipal do Porto Rivoli – Campo Alegre, there has been a re-awakening of the older public structures, but also a re-awakening amongst the artists themselves, resulting in a vibrant and rich performative arts (music, theatre, dance, performance) scene where they can show their work and cultural programmes in a more articulated way.

Venues / Theatres

  • National Theatre São João (http://www.tnsj.pt/ ) The national theatre outpost in Porto, but independent from the central cultural programme. It is where I premiered “HETEROTOPIA” in 2015.
  • Teatro Municipal do Porto (http://www.teatromunicipaldoporto.pt/PT/) The municipal theatre, comprising two different theatres. One is in the city center and one is in the new part of the city, Rivoli and Campo Alegre, where I premiered “GH” in April 2016.
  • CASA DA MUSICA (http://www.casadamusica.com )  The music venue designed by Rem Koolhaas with an ecletic music programme throughout the year. Each year has a focus on a particular country’s music heritage and production. This year is Russia.

Festivals and performance organizations:

  • FITEI (http://www.fitei.com ) The festival of Iberian (latin-american) expression, theatre and dance, always around June.
  • SERRALVES (http://www.serralves.pt/pt/ ) The museum designed by Alvaro Siza Vieria, with a live arts programme, mainly dance and performance, and who organizes Serralves em Festa! every year, 40-hours of non-stop of art, music, theatre, circus…
  • MALA VOADORA (http://malavoadora.pt ) A small venue and theatre company with a little theatre and accommodation for art residencies.
  • Festival DDD Days of Dance, usually in May, and recently launched.
  • POSTDOC Documentary cinema festival
  • CURTAS DE VILA DO CONDE (http://festival.curtas.pt) A festival devoted to short-films and cinema in Vila do Conde
  • CIRCULAR (http://www.circularfestival.com ) A festival devoted to performative arts also in Vila do Conde, and now expanded to Porto
  • CCVF, Guimarães (http://www.ccvf.pt ) with two important north region festivals GUIDANCE (dance in February) and FESTIVAL GIL VICENTE (June)
  • Theatro Circo in Braga (http://www.theatrocirco.com) A series of national and international interesting names throughout the year.

And this is just an overview…

Interested in catching Emanuel live? Being selected as the 2016 Institute Français / Cité Internationale des Arts Paris Portuguese laureate in theatre and dance, you will have the chance to see his (currently in development) production, titled  “NQR: Not Quite Right a Choreography” in 2017 in Paris, Porto and possibly other cities around the globe. Stay tuned!

Written by

Writer at large; Singer for Panda Transport; Lover in Lomma Sweden; Made in the USA

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