zur künstlerischen Praxis von Vania Rovisco:

- Interview with Norbert Pape
- Vania Rovisco


AADK refers to a concept, in constant adjustment and formation, of works constructed and projected by artists that share a vision to create a structure that support their ultimate needs.

Interview with Norbert Pape

NORBERT PAPE - Do you have any materials which could give insights into your ways of working, choreographic/dance/performance background, conception of your craft and work? in short: about your work?

VANIA ROVISCO - My dance formation began in 1998, my professional career 2001. The top shelf of my library is where all my notation books dating back to 1998 are accessible. During the first years, i exercised the act of questioning and noting down observations. Later i loosely began playing with thoughts that could serve as probable answers or multiple possibilities of the most diverse situations. Personal indispensable scrap notes resonating from the questions and observations collected. With time, questions, observations and answering extended beyond issues centered around movement, performative states and the body. By 2007 the phrase improvisation into composition  surged and became a pivotal point and axis for my research and work. Thus, until the present day the attribution of gathering information, striding towards process, addresses space, time, sound, transmission and direction. I avidly consult my notation books since they contain, and throughout the years, reveal a personal process. Approach that still accompanies me, since process i understand to be a live mechanism that feeds, mutates, informs, as effects all mediums involved in its materialization.

Personal blog link
(not nearly as updated or in live process as the notation books, however an attempt will be made to forward the publication of materials i see fit to communicate publically).

NORBERT PAPE - A further process in your work is also quite particular: Having a background as a dancer for rather large stages, you have chosen to dedicate quite some years of work to exploring the setting of the (fine arts) gallery, and lately have experimented with transferring these discovered ways of performing back into theaters. Can you say more about these moves?

VANIA ROVISCO - After 7 years of intensely working in dance studios and representing on international stages. Questions concerning the relation between how the audience was receiving or experiencing work presented to them, began as a thought and continued to become a practice. I wanted to access the current social body making contemporary dance work. Part of the questioning embedded the role of the choreographer/performer. These thoughts insistently probed me (with distance, now i read them as seeking for what path i wanted to make). Mainly for this reason, i decided to dedicate my research and seclude it to the art gallery setting. The need of gaining insight through the body subjecting it to time, brought me to experience and expose the body to durational live installations processes. An entrance of my research which often acquainted itself with the act of failing in public! Yet the desire was strong to put myself in such a situation and not follow the normal  path of making dance pieces, expected from a dancer.. I wanted to create, therefore had to endure the discomfort of public failure. At what once seemed to be a response of how to realize work, soon became its means of generation. The condition of not having a studio to work in or financial support ( a personal choice since i strongly felt that i had nothing to invite people to see), made that research methods took place before the public in the form of live processes. There were never rehearsals, as there was no studio to rehearse in.
Limitation is everywhere and with it the moment arrived that live process was no longer sufficient to further the information gathered and transmitted. A studio was now needed to be able to achieve presence (art gallery installations) in juxtaposition with performative states (theatre pieces). In 2010 the attempt of applying for funding or instigating dialogues with theater programmers has begun.

VANIA ROVISCO - Recently i received an invitation to present my work on stage. Process culminating in a triptych dance piece entitled The Archaic, Looking Out, The Night Knight , a performance installation by Vania Rovisco. I cannot express the mixture of feelings felt when reading on an evening program performance installation! Adjoined is the open manner young Portuguese curator and dramaturge, Mickael Oliveira, in pure appreciation of my person as an artist programmed my work without never having seen it. The solo piece, however not strictly conventional, is a dance solo piece. Using clumsy illustrated drawings projected onto paper are translated onto a more technical support to compose the various official riders. The set ups have been equally challenging and a pleasure, for now i have access to abundant technical, especially lighting equipment to build with.
The architectural space of the theater is the container that transports the solo. Altering it through form, not content. Even though the contents do suffer and gain other dramaturgical relations, it continues to be the same solo. Due to such, as a piece it has never, until now, closed as a final product even though it can be perceived and produced as one. I do have, however, insights on the number of dramaturgical spatial  versions probable for the solo to deal with. Deriving from notions of composing in conventional architectural settings of theatres and blackboxes. Locations that largely dictate, to a certain extent, the relationship of work/public of most contemporary dance works.

VANIA ROVISCO - My conception is somewhat of defiance towards the institutional or academic and market relations considering what an artist coming from dance is. Instead of the public relating to a single piece programed for a certain evening. I´m more interested and suggest the public having a relation towards an artistic approach. I conceive concept, light, stage set and interpretation, for sound i work with composers  Jochen Arbeit and Gordon Monhahan.
Why not the public relating to an experience of an artistic work or parcours and not a work framed as a choreographical moment in a theatre of a specific program?
Mostly until now the answers received from programmers or the market discourse (please note there is no unpleasant personal issue embedded in this discourse) has been with a certain resistance of the work entering the conventional theatre space. For it is considered to be connected to the gallery setting, therefore deemed unsuitable. Assumption which i highly disagree with!

NORBERT PAPE - You mentioned opening up parts of your rehearsal process while in Frankfurt. It is not evident for artists to work this way: why do you choose to do so? Which formats of collaboration and exchange have you developed, and which knowledge have you gained thereby?

VANIA ROVISCO  My choice to open up part of my rehearsal space is to counter weight the relation of being part of a program where a work of mine is invited, yet rarely meet with the local artists. After travelling extensively as a dancer for a number of years, from hotel room, to theatre  a personal stance felt that as a cultural agent too many times it culminated to a short ended sense of encounter with the other, the city, the culture. Even though i have no objection with the art form as a product, most valid! What we are confronted with is co-existence, of sharing the terrain.
Maybe for rarely having received support for my work, largely self produced, to receive an international invitation, no matter what the financial exchange is. It is difficult for me to overlook that projects from the local scene have not been supported and mine has. Opening up a work space of encounter is a matter of natural balance.

VANIA ROVISCO - It is my greatest interest and desire to meet and connect as an artist with other artists on our creative terrain, that is in the studio. Not merely at the festival meeting point or theatre foyer. Instigating closer encounters for one to have the opportunity to know of the other. This also brushes my views upon the dynamic between artists that make up a vibrant artistic scene. I do not consider that this be left to schools or festivals. Dynamic is pulsation.

VANIA ROVISCO  Since 2008, i began a live process research, inviting artists with ready made own works to be part of a spatial composition, that i would make within art gallery spaces. Striding towards the rich composition of a diverse event, that not collides various artists but also attracts diverse public combinations.
This work began and continues through a platform which i´m co-founder of along with Abraham Hurtado and Jochen Arbeit, called Aktuelle Architectur der Kultur - AADK. The platform exists since 2010, officially, and has extended from Berlin to Portugal and Spain.

Link: AADK
AADK refers to a concept, in constant adjustment and formation, of works constructed and projected by artists that share a vision to create a structure that support their ultimate needs.

VANIA ROVISCO  It is not clear for me why it is not evident for artists to not work in this way.

VANIA ROVISCO  What i also experience is that communities are often closed and self centered. Therefore a space where one can attend a practical process, where the invitation extended is not only to dancers but to person interested in movement, the body, time and space directed towards composition, is most welcome. This also contributes to generate dynamic on the terrain for people to cross paths within their own borders. I began dancing at 25yrs, my skills are other, my workshops are not only directed to skilled body movers. I accept any body, as long as they come with the desire to engage and meet another approach to process.

VANIA ROVISCO  Recently i relocated my living quarters to Lisbon, Portugal and experience the country´s financial situation. Drastic cultural funding cuts are felt, people´s living situation more depleted... We need other systems, other means of production, other proposals. With knowledge gained of having something to transmit, with the ability of affecting  how people use and think about their bodies. I find it important, for it is a manner that i´m able to contribute as a cultural agent to the present moment and learn about how people are functioning to continue/guarantee the flow of things.


Vania Rovisco (Portugal) attended the course of Contemporary Dance for Interpreters (1998 -2000) in Forum Dança, Lisbon, Portugal. Was integrated from 2001 - 2007 in Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods company. Since 2007 directs movement for various theater pieces in Portugal. Resided in Berlin during the period 2005 - 2011. With musician Jochen Arbeit and performance artist Abraham Hurtado conceived the artistic network AADK, Aktuelle Architektur der Kultur, where various projects and concepts are projected as spaces to create within. Since 2006 an own work has been attained form through performance, live installations, while also investigating improvisation through music - playing the horn, and constructing dynamics of space and time in video work through notions of movement. Occasionally integrates herself in collaboration duo projects. Often teaches workshops concerning questions and notions of improvisation into composition. Currently working on an own dance installation piece, colliding notions of the experiences gathered from the stage and gallery settings. Since 2012 is a member of the Council of Dance CID-UNESCO.