“Trafficking in human beings has become a major problem in Europe. Each year, an increasing number of people, the majority of them women and children, fall victim to trafficking for the purposes of sexual or other exploitation, both within and over borders. This phenomenon has hit unprecedented levels, to the extent that it can be considered as a new form of slavery.” – Introduction from Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings
To me dance is not only an art form but can also be a social/civic instrument. It can be a way to educate, shed light, create awareness and promote dialogue on pressing social and civic issues. It can also be a way to remind us of our moral responsibilities in a world fill with injustices and inhumanity. In the literary theater it is not uncommon to find works that aspire to these purposes but in dance it is rare. From Shakespeare’s Hamlet we have these words, “the purpose of playing [the theater], whose end, both at the first and now [from its invention], was and is, to hold as ’twere the mirror up to nature”.
Here Shakespeare echoes classical authors, who insisted that drama be a form of truth, not mere entertainment. In the theatrical mirror we see our virtues and vices reflected back to us in their true shape: and that I believe is the theater’s moral function.
My creation ARTICLE 160 aspires to remind us of one of history’s most horrible human indignities, slavery, and to alert us to the 21st Century most heinous reiterations of it – human trafficking.
In ARTICLE 160 I do not pretend to speak for, or with expertise about the subject but rather take up perhaps what you might call a more phenomenological position, delving into a point of view, into an authentic artistic engagement with a complex issue. I ask you the audience to not only watch, but also to discuss what you’ve seen.
by Donald Byrd
Artistic Direction: Daniel Cardoso
Choreography: Donald Byrd
Dancers: 7 dancers
Music: Mark Farina, Custodio Castelo, Mario Kober e Dulce Pontes
Light Design: Hugo Franco
Costumes: Margarida Belo Costa
Photography: Cristina Cardoso
Audience: over 12 years old
Duration: 45 minutes