Interview with Dinis Machado (PRT / SWE)

Interview with Dinis Machado (PRT / SWE)

We talk to choreographer and visual artist Dinis Machado ahead of his four-week performance installation 'Practicing Paradigm' at Lace Market Gallery. We ask about his plans and also what audiences might see over the coming week.

Tell me a little about what the work is that you're planning to develop during your four weeks in Lace Market Gallery?

I will be working in a different form that I haven’t previously used when developing this piece of work in the past. During my time at Lace Market Gallery I will experiment with the notion of presenting a dance performance in a gallery and also the idea of duration, as I will be present in the gallery for four weeks. The whole project of Paradigm is about creating a DIY folklore, composed of fictional narratives, music, dance and artefacts. The project comes from understanding folklore as speaking about the identity of a certain group of people. Mainstream folklores represent main normative groups in society, therefore in this project I will attempt to invent an alternative folklore for bodies with blurred identities.  

What do you plan to do during your four weeks?

I have invited dance artist Vicky Malin, who has already collaborated with me before on other projects, to be a part of this choreography that was until now performed solely by me. The process of sharing this universe with Vicky and understanding how this process informs the materials will become somehow dramaturgical. In Portugal there is a saying that goes something like “who tells a story adds a line” and with folklores it is the same thing: who dances a dance adds a step, who sings a song twists a note. There is something about trying to approach a shape and adjusting it to be able to perform it with your body, and then this changed version becomes the new version and so on.

What about being in a gallery environment is important to the work's presentation?

Being invited to present in Lace Market Gallery means that I am pausing my plans to build a stage performance. But I want the work to have a life of it’s own. This moment will be more about a space of togetherness around the ideas of Paradigm. How different strategies of sharing it enable different types of togetherness and how dramaturgy becomes transversal and malleable. This happens through this process with Vicky, but also through the shared lunches when the audience is invited to share a soup with Vicky and I and I ask their curiosities or they tell us about their opinions.

I think there is something in questioning the creation process: where you experiment and then you make decisions, and then you have a performance. Shabang!!! Well, here I will try to trick this linearity and every time I have a form I will try to re-question it, to allow things to keep transforming. Some people think the forms have to be set to reflect the right meaning. I would say I believe the contrary: that the form has to be flexible to preserve the content, in the sense that form needs to envelope the context, because form forms in relation with the context.

What sort of thing may an audience see during the work's duration?

They will be invited into a room with documents, objects and experiments around this fictional culture. A room (as a territory) to paradoxically generate and embody this specific collective identity.


Practicing Paradigm will be at Lace Market Gallery from Thursday 19 November - Thursday 10 December, Mondays - Thursday 10am - 4pm. This event is FREE.

For more information about the event please click here.