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Labirinto, part of the Horniman Museum's Brazil in Focus season

Event preview

ON THURSDAY, July 28, the week before the start of the Rio Olympics, a special late night showcases Brazilian art all around the Horniman Museum and gardens in an evening curated and led by choreographer Jean Abreu, who will be presenting a promenade reinvention of his dance production A Thread.

This specially-commissioned evening features music and theatre performance, film and a bespoke app which guides audience through indoor and outdoor performances, and is part of Brazil in Focus, the museum’s celebration of Brazilian culture this summer.

Throughout the evening audiences will be able to dip in and out of twelve different short performances as they wander in search of a pathway through a labyrinth of galleries containing fascinating artefacts, objects and sculptures on a haunting but beautiful journey.

Labirinto sees Jean Abreu’s multi-faceted show A Thread reinvented and fractured across the labyrinth of the Horniman’s atmospheric galleries. The evening also features performances from Brazilian guest artists Fernanda Prata, who presents a dance duet based on the Tropicalia arts movement in Brazil, and film excerpts from director Allan Ribeiro’s This Love That Consumes.

A Thread explores tension and balance through the combination of visual art and dance, and comes to the Horniman from performances in the UK and Sao Paulo. Inspired by Sao Paulo based artist Elisa Bracher’s vast installation piece The Endless Still Point, these performances from A Thread meld her weighty metal and wire structures with Abreu’s own contemporary dance theatre ideas of balance and tension within the body and mind.

The dancers are Maria Fonesca, Stephen Moynihan, Rosana Ribeiro, Yuyu Rau, Lewis Wilkins and Fernanda Prata.

Jean Abreu said: “Labirinto is an experiential promenade performance which has evolved in parallel and as an extension of my latest production A Thread. I’ve taken from it the idea of an unpredictable journey and transferred it to this idea of an immersive labyrinth, with the choreographic material emerging in direct response to the various galleries of the Horniman Museum.

“When I first came to the Horniman, I was overwhelmed with information and all the different artefacts you encounter as you walk through the museum. In Labirinto, I am recreating this experience enhancing it to present the museum in a new light. I want the visitors to become treasure hunter, puzzle solvers as they decipher their own path thought the Labyrinth of performances we’ve created.”

Jean Abreu first came to the UK in 1996 after receiving a scholarship to study at Trinity Laban conservatoire for Music and Dance and has been living in London ever since. He choreographed his first work in 2003 and has since toured throughout the UK, including London’s Dance Umbrella Festival, Southbank Centre and Royal Opera House as well as internationally.

Winner of the prestigious Jerwood Choreography Award (2003), Abreu has been an Associate Artist at the Hat Factory and The Place and Artist-in-Residence at Dance East. His other works include Parallel Memories in collaboration with Brazilian choreographer Jorge Garcia, and BLOOD with Gilbert & George.

Elisa Bracher is an award-winning artist known for her large sculptures, displayed in a variety of public spaces in Brazil and internationally. She is engaged in artistic work that extends into four different media – drawing, printmaking, sculpture and photography. In 1998, CosacNaify published the book Madeira sobre Madeira, with text by Rodrigo Naves, about her artwork. She is also the founder and director of Instituo Acaia, which gives opportunities to people aged 4 – 18 to take part in a wide variety of creative activities and workshops.

A Thread has previously been performed this year at Auditorio Ibirapuera, Sao Paulo, Axis Arts Centre in Crewe and ICIA at the University of Bath. On October 14, the piece will be performed at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre. To research A Thread, Abreu and Bracher travelled to China to consult with Martial Arts practitioners and contemporary dancers, and to explore the ancient Chinese philosophy of balance, Yin and Yang.

Brazil in Focus is the Horniman Museum & Gardens’ celebration of Brazilian culture this summer, a collaboration with Brazilian artists and communities to provide a snapshot of contemporary Brazilian art and culture with a season of unique events and exhibitions, inspired by everyday Brazilian lives and neighbourhoods. Featuring installations, new dance performances, photography exhibitions, music and specially commissioned street art, both at the Horniman and throughout Forest Hill, Brazil in Focus will also give audiences the chance to get involved in dancing, making art or music at various events.

Labirinto is suitable for ages 12+.

Tickets: £5. To book, call 020 86991872 or visit www.horniman.ac.uk/.

Running Time: 10 – 20 minute performances repeated from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.

Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, London, SE23 3PQ