The Performance UNDINE happened in São Luís de Maranhão, Brazil, invited by the art and residency space Chão Slz, in April 2017.
The performance UNDINE is based on the idea of a mixture between several drama figures that have similar characteristics to mermaids: the drama figure Undine that appears in Jean Giraudoux`s theatre piece “Undine” who has an “unnatural deep” love for Hans – he betrays her and has to die. Based on that drama, the Austrian Author Ingeborg Bachmann wrote her emancipated text “Undine geht” (Undine goes) about the role of women in the 60s. In 1888, Norwegian author Henrik Ibsen published a drama called “Lady from the sea” (A dama do mar) about a married woman who is in love with a sailor but actually searches for total freedom. In turn, American Essayist Susan Sontag adapted the piece in 1997 and turned it into a more critical feminist text. During different stops on various squares of the city centre excerpts from that adaptation were read by performer Danielle Fonsêca and me. The last stop before the riverside we made at the Praça Maria Aragão – named after a gynaecologist who had been the leader of the communist party of Brazil in the state of Maranhão that had fought against social injustice and who had been prosecuted and imprisoned during the military regime. Oscar Niemeyer had been commissioned to design the square that had been inaugurated in 2004. With those great examples of female empowerment in mind we finished the parade with finally bringing the buoys to the water.
performance documentation of UNDINE, April 2017, São Luís de Maranhão, Brazil (photos 6/8/10 by Dinho Araujo)