Lia Rodrigues

Choreographer and dancer Lia Rodrigues was awarded the AFIELD fellowship 2014 for her initiative Centre for the Arts of Maré, a cultural centre in the Maré favela, near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.1

Since 2004 Rodrigues has been working in the favela of Maré, a disadvantaged and densely populated area at the outskirts of Rio. This engagement culminated in the creation of the Centre for the Arts of Maré in 2009. It is in this context that she founded the Free Dance School of Maré, a project of dance, training and and socio-educational actions.
On the one hand this initiative includes a series of workshops and classes open to all residents of Maré, of all ages. On the other, it offers an experience of professionalisation to 20 young people, selected through an audition and often without any prior dance experience, who commit to a practical and theoretical daily training with the Lia Rodrigues Dance Company.
The Free Dance School of Maré is an experience of democratization and access to art, especially dance, to the residents of Maré as part of a process of creating new publics and spaces for debate, for raising awareness of issues related to contemporary art, politics and citizenships. 2

Lia Rodrigues (São Paulo, Brazil, 1956) is a dancer and choreographer based in Rio. She studied classical ballet in São Paulo, before founding Grupo Andança in 1977. After a couple of years in France she returned to Brazil and in 1992 she founded the Lia Rodrigues Companhia de Danças. In 1992, she founded the annual Contemporary Dance Festival Panorama de Dança, which she ran until 2005. Lia Rodrigues was awarded several prizes throughout her career, including the 2017 Bravo Bradesco Award, the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Award (SACD) for choreography (2016), the Prince Claus Award (2014) and the French Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres Medal (2007). 3

For more info:

cover image: Lia Rodrigues rehearsing at Escuela Livre de Dança, Maré, photo: Sammi Landweer

video: interview by Christine de Smedt, realisation by Kathryn Marshall, editing by Maya Boquet, thanks to O Espaco de Tempo

1. Dancers from the Escola Livre de Dança, Maré, ph. Elisangela Leite
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2. Dancers from the Escola Livre de Dança, Maré, ph. Sammi Landweer
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3. Lia rehearsing Pindorama, ph Adriano Vizoni, courtesy folhapress
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