© Joana Flor Duarte


14 > 17 Nov 2023
Centro Escolar da Luz, Lagos

We make gestures all the time, sometimes to replace words, sometimes out of habit, often we gesture without thinking, sometimes the gestures come out as squiggles, without grace or elegance, sometimes they are thought out like a chess piece that moves after a lot of tacit thinking, but what is inside a gesture? Movement? Emotion? Idea? Impulse? Dance? Is the gesture that is made by us really ours, or is it a mixture of our genetic heritage and the environment where we were born and grew up? And there will be a repertoire of common gestures, which are understood everywhere in the world – like a lingua franca – and others, which hide secrets and stories that needed to reach us in the form of gesture in order not to be lost – like an ancient secret code. And what was the most beautiful gesture you saw made?

Graphic Game of Gesture is a game by Aldara Bizarro, with illustrations by Madalena Matoso and text by Maria Gil, which challenges us to think about the gestures we make every day. Why we do them, how they are organized, what they mean, and what impact they have on others and on ourselves.

Played in teams, which have to guess a gesture taken from a deck, the game is accompanied by a book with interviews with a series of artists, playonauts, teachers and scientists who work on the issues of the body, movement, playing and thinking. The book also contains a choreographic proposal to dance the gestures played.

In this workshop, we propose to present the game of the Gesture Graphic as a pedagogical tool, for the knowledge of others and of ourselves, in a game process which combines knowledge, challenge, art and fun.

We will use physics to understand the gestures we make, philosophy to understand their meanings and why we make them, choreography of movement and drawing to record in our memory the repertoire of discoveries that are revealed to us through gesture.

Aldara Bizarro was born in Maputo in 1965. She studied dance in Luanda, Lisbon, New Yorque and Berlin. She began choreographing in 1990 with Me myself and Influências, a piece that was awarded a prize at the 4th CDL Choreographic Workshop. She was part of the New Portuguese Dance group represented at Europália 91. She was a pioneer in Portugal in creating dance for young people and involving them in the works through the creation of Projecto Respira (2007). Her piece A Nova Bailarina was distinguished by the newspaper Publico as one of the best pieces of 2011. She was artistic director of Jangada – dance structure, for 16 years. Currently she develops projects for young people and for the community, crossing dance with other arts, focusing on the artistic, social and pedagogical component.