Whether on stage or through video, dancer and choreographer Ana Pi evokes a decolonized perspective of the body, freeing it from stigmatizations and clichés. Through her work and as a result of her researches, she is also interested in developing a pedagogical practice so as to establish a closer contact with the audience. In the past few years, she made the project Corpo Firme: danças periféricas, gestos sagrados [Steady Body: Peripheral Dances, Sacred Gestures], creating connections and establishing common references between urban dances and traces of ancestral gestures from the Black diasporas.
The video presented in this exhibition, Vós [Grandmas] (2011), is a work of major symbolic significance, for it is chronologically placed in a transition moment between two stages of life: from student to professional dancer. The camera shows an affective encounter in which the artist dances for Alexina da Conceição Oliveira and Terezinha dos Reis Moura, her grandmothers, whose voices we can hear in the background talking about the way of dancing, their ideas regarding dance, and what it represents in their lives. An encounter in which dance, as a language, conveys knowledge, emotions, and images through the body and its movement.
Ana Pi studied at the Palácio das Artes in Belo Horizonte, at the Dance School of Universidade Federal da Bahia, and at the Centre Chorégraphique National de Montpellier, in France. Her work participated in several festivals and was presented in theaters around Latin America, Europe and Africa. In 2018, she received the Breakthrough Prize of Cooperativa Paulista de Dança, in São Paulo. In 2019, she was awarded a research grant from the MoMA-Cisneros Institute.
Over 2021, the videos here presented are part of the Brazilian Histories cycle.
CURATED BY María Inés Rodríguez, adjunct curator of modern and contemporary art, MASP