A group of archaeologists of emotions tries to recover emotions from the past using theatrical techniques to represent emotions. Together with the enormous challenge of recovering feelings long past and gone, they face yet another, the one of having to deal with their own emotions during the process of research.
Those who mess with emotions end up messed up.
Teatro da Cerca de São Bernardo | Coimbra
November 25th to 27th, 2014 | 9:30pm
Age rating | 12+
Running time | 1h30
Tickets | €10 / €6 student discount, < 25 years old, ≥ 65 years old, theatre professionals and amateurs, science professionals, groups of 10 or more people / €5 groups of 20 or more people, TCSB protocolled entities
In 1872 Charles Darwin published his work “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals” where he presents his research on the relation between facial expressions and emotional states in humans and other animals. One of his research sources was the work of the French physician and physiologist Guillaume Duchenne who, in his work “Mecanisme de la Physionomie Humaine”, presents the result of his experiments where he applied electric shocks in certain areas of the face of some patients, in order to identify the muscles involved in the expression of certain emotions. His work includes photographic images of his experiments, which Duchenne considered the best method to register is work. Some years later, Darwin used these pictures in an experiment with a group of friends of his, asking them to identify the emotion behind the expressions of Duchenne “models”. The results of Darwin’s experiment pointed to the universal recognition of the so-called basic emotions (sadness, rage, surprise, fear, disgust, contempt and joy).
The ways human beings express and communicate with each other have evolved drastically in recent years. At the time of Duchenne’s experiments, the photographic camera was a recent invention, introducing a new support for image communication that the French physician quickly adopted. Nowadays, we tie and untie communicational knots without seeing the wrinkles on the other’s face, we create digital alter-egos, avatars, which we use to relate to other human beings and which can capture and reproduce our facial expressions in real-time. A virtual skin.
We departed from these references and Duchennes’ images to the creation of our “The Expression of the Emotions”. The basic idea was to create an experimental device where we would invite the audience into, to make them sense the ways we communicate and express ourselves and reflect on the small bias between the expression of an emotion and an emotional state, about what we construct upon what we think the other is feeling.
The theatre stage is a device created and still frequently used to express emotions. Consequently, our approach to this theme using this device necessarily constitutes some sort of meta-analysis on the expression and communication medium which is the theatre.
Along with the stage play, and focusing on the same theme of the expression of emotions, we developed LabX – Experimental Laboratory of Photography, oriented by the photographer Susana Paiva and with the participation of eleven volunteers. The results will be presented together with the play in Teatro da Cerca de São Bernardo. They are an additional group of eyes, reflections and provocations on the theme of the expression of emotions.
All this will be a series of intense experiences. Not to be missed. Only three days, like Carnival.
Discussion and Ideas Beatriz Dias, Dara Couceiro, Guilherme Lima, Inês Almeida, Marcos Marques, Mário Montenegro, Miguel Silva, Paula Rita Lourenço, Pedro Andrade, Teresa Girão, Susana Paiva
Cast Beatriz Dias*, Dara Couceiro*, Guilherme Lima*, Marcos Marques, Mário Montenegro, Miguel Silva*, Paula Rita Lourenço
Playwright and Direction Mário Montenegro
Set Design, Wardrobe and Image Pedro Andrade
Photography and direction of LabX — Experimental Photography
Lab Susana Paiva
Original Soundtrack Marcelo dos Reis
Lighting and Technical Direction Mafalda Oliveira
Stage Photography Francisca Moreira
Hair Design Carlos Gago – Ilídio Design
Executive Production Teresa Girão
*interns – students of Curso Profissional de Artes do Espectáculo of Colégio de S. Teotónio
With the Support of
Câmara Municipal de Coimbra
Fundação Bissaya Barreto
Ilidio Design Cabeleireiros
MAFIA – Federação Cultural de Coimbra
Teatro da Cerca de São Bernardo
Bonifrates Grupo de Teatro
Rómulo Centro Ciência Viva
Colégio de São Teotónio
Rádio Universidade de Coimbra
Dolce Vita Coimbra
Bloco de Esquerda Coimbra
A Escola da Noite, Condomínio Criativo de Coimbra, Rómulo – Centro Ciência Viva da Universidade de Coimbra, Laetitia Morais, Rui Telmo