© André Uerba

Atlas

By: Ana Borralho & João Galante
Premiere: Maria Matos Teatro Municipal (Lisbon, Portugal / 2011)
Duration: 80"

In Greek Mythology Atlas was the one condemned to stand with the Earth and Heavens on his shoulders.
To turn the theater back into a political space. 100 people on stage. A landscape of people with different kind of professions, claiming their position on society, individually as well as in group, mapping a sort of “atlas” of the complex cohesion of a social tissue.

A quiet revolution. A work motivated by the belief that art should play an active role in society. Uniting art and life.
One of the first ideas for this piece where the ideas of the artist Joseph Beuys: “we are the revolution” and “everybody is an artist”. He enlarged the area of art to the whole life of mankind introducing the notion of social sculpture.

© Vasco Célio / STILLS

The performance was inspired by the children song “If one elephant disturb many people, two elephants disturb much more, if two elephants disturb many people, three elephants disturb much more…”.
During the all performance, people come and go like in a catwalk, in waves, each at a time says the phrase but instead of “elephant” they say their own profession. Ex: “If 4 Visual Artists disturb many people 5 Visual Artists disturb much more”.
The performance starts with 1 person and ends with 100. The first half of the phrase is said only by the person who entered and the second half of the phrase is said also by the chorus of people that are already on stage.


Performers: 100 people of different professions
Concept, light and artistic direction: Ana Borralho & João Galante
Light consultant: Thomas Walgrave
Sound: Coolgate
Artistic consultant: Fernando Ribeiro
Dramaturgy collaboration: Rui Catalão
Artistic collaboration and group coordination: André Uerba, Antonia Buresi, Catarina Gonçalves, Cátia Leitão, Tiago Gandra, (Marie Mignot in Lisbon premier)
Stage video and editing in Lisbon and Helsinki: Helena Inverno and Veronica Castro (Volante)
Stage photography in Lisbon: Vasco Célio

Executive production: Andrea Sozzi (casabranca)
Production: casaBranca
Co-production: Maria Matos Municipal Theatre
Artistic residency: Atelier real, alkantara
Support: Junta Freguesia de Santos-o-Velho
Thanks: Mark Deputter and to the performers who have participated in all Atlas performances