Language has infested the world. It is a virus that has spread everywhere and infiltrated us. In Overtongue, Michelle Moura plays with confusion of meaning and the disembodied voice, which can be read as a response to the information chaos and increasing polarization of our time. The choreographer uses ventriloquism as a tool to deal with an unusual sensuality of the voice. With an enraptured, misleading language and physical as well as vocal dissociations, she composes body landscapes that are characterized by the mechanical and grotesque. In the performance, the chimerical body is a network that is possessed by voices and speaking tongues – and at the same time becomes something else: perhaps alive, perhaps dead.
A linguagem tem infestado o mundo. É um vírus que se espalhou por todo o lado e que se infiltrou em nós. Overtongue da coreógrafa brasileira Michelle Moura, sediada em Berlim, trata da voz desencarnada e da confusão de significado como resposta ao caos informativo e à polarização do nosso tempo. A coreógrafa usa o ventriloquismo como ferramenta para se envolver com uma sensorialidade invulgar da voz. Compõe paisagens corporais marcadas pela mecânica e pelo grotesco, usando uma linguagem delirante e escorregadia, dissociações físicas e vocais, e transformações. Nesta peça, o corpo quimérico é uma rede, possuído por vozes e línguas faladas. Está em processo de se tornar noutra coisa: talvez vivo, talvez morto.
Choreography and performance: Michelle Moura
Dramaturgy: Maikon K
Texts: Maikon K, Michelle Moura
Sound: Kaj Duncan David
Light : Annegret Schalke
Costumes: Thelma Bonavita
Curtain: Sonja Jokiniemi
A production by Michelle Moura in co-production with CND Centre National de la Danse Pantin (Paris – FR) and Something Great (Berlin – DE).
Distribution: Something Great (Berlin – DE)
Residencies: Vooruit (Gent – BE), STUK – House for Dance, Image and Sound (Leuven – BE), Fabrik Potsdam (Postdam – BE), Tanzhaus Zurich (Zürich – CH), Traumabarundkino (Berlin – DE) and Lake Studios (Berlin – DE)
Supported by: Copel, Profice Governo do Estado do Paraná (BR)
Acknowledgements: Mateusz Szymanówka and all the Sophiensaele team, Alejandro Ahmed, Faetusa Tirzah, Fernando Marés, Greice Barros and Nadja Naira
By Anderson do Carmo IN Conectedance, March 2020
The dramaturgy of Michelle Moura’s Overtongue suggests endless connections to the contemporary problem of discourse in the fake news and post-truth era. The disembodied voice, the muted face, and the alienated body establishes, at certain moments, logics that are similar to the quarrels among strangers commenting on the social media posts or the “cancel culture” online texts that end up meaningless in the semantic pyrotechnics parade. However, the vocal craftsmanship, the baroque sonority and the simultaneously architectural and ruinous quality of each gesture also serve as a warning. In such a difficult time for artistic creation, it is dangerous that each aesthetic gesture responds to the absurdity of political news. The possibility of creating new ways for art to exist should not be buried by the need of responding to a reality that seeks to reduce the idea of life to mere survival.