“I found pain in the light, and beauty in darkness.”
In this new solo work renowned dancer/puppeteer Duda Paiva draws on his childhood, during which he suffered an illness that blistered his body and left him temporarily blind. His surreal path to healing involved both shamanic and western medicine. BLIND transforms this experience into a metaphor about disability, rejection, and resolution. Often interacting with the audience, it is funny as well as moving. Never didactic, it finds the political through intimacy, woven into a rich theatrical tapestry of dance, puppetry, adaptations of Yoruba songs from a unique Afro-Brazilian subculture, and driving forces of sound and light.
Concept: Duda Paiva en Nancy Black
Direction: Nancy Black
Choreography and puppet coach: Duda Paiva
Performer: Ilija Surla or Duda Paiva
Music and sound design: Wilco Alkema
Light design: Mark Verhoef
Puppets: Evandro Serodio and Duda Paiva
Dramaturgical advice: Nienke Rooijakkers
Costumes decor: Machtelt Halewijn
Costume performers: Atty Kingma
Decor realization: Daniel Patijn
A coproduction with Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes (FR), Black Hole Theatre (AUS), Nordland Visual Theatre (NO) and Korzo producties (NL). Co-financed by Performing Arts Fund (NL). With a lot of thanks to Hans C. Boer, Domokos Kovacs, Patrick Oliveira and MapLab Utrecht.
Reactions from the press
"In Blind Duda Paiva dances with his demons (…) The man might have been distorted, repulsive – but he is not. When he dances, he looks more like an asymmetrical Hieronymus Bosch (…) powerful choreography and direction (…) strongly supported by soundscape and decor (…) beautiful puppets from grotesquely realistic to almost abstract (…) they remind you of portraits by Marlene Dumas.”
"Duda Paiva captures the audience (…) with bated breath the audience follows the gestures of this genius puppeteer (...) he lets his foam puppets foam dance, sing and let them fight to the death (...) the magic reigns."
Underground The Hague
"I was reminded of the ugliness / beauty, good / evil, lumpy / flat dichotomies we try to negotiate on a daily basis. There is piece of mind in knowing the only thing to do is to hold them tight in an awkward embrace as we blindly dance through life.”
Sydney Morning Herald ★★★★
"Blind is a theatre experience that openly hands interpretation to its audience. It's as delightful as it is heartbreaking and too beautiful to define."
"Incredibly entertaining, moving universe."