ABOUT

Sonia Lopes Soares is a Brazilian director, choreographer and performer, based in New York City since 2015. She is been working independently and collaboratively into NYC, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro. Sônia has received four prestigious grants from the city and state of São Paulo and the British Council to develop, produce, and perform her company's work. Soares is the founder of Viga espaço cênico, a cultural center in São Paulo and she has been working with several companies, choreographers and theater and film directors as Cia Hiato, Cia Opera Seca, Sandro Borelli, João Miguel among others. Sönia has been showing her work in Brazil, Argentina, Peru, United States, Greece, France at the Pompidou and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In New York she has been showing her work at Dixon Place, Glasshouse, NDA/Performance Mix Festival and Judson Church at the Movement Research.

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“To look and not recognize anything or anybody, at the limit and at the edge of the abyss: the fantasy of reinvention and rediscovery. The possibility of rearranging space and being able to see the world for the first time again.”

 

I am a performance maker who surfs through the languages of dance, theater, film, performance, and visual arts, with a primary focus on dance. The core of my research is communicating from the unique space where those languages intersect, exploring fiction as an extension of life.

My work focuses on human psychology and perception and questions the delicate border that exists between pleasure and discomfort, shame and pride, fragility and strength, life, and mortality.

I am interested in the body and its actions as a sensory and emotional object that facilitates but also imprisons. My aim is to develop the body to the point where it can organize itself as dance, embodying and breaking its submissions, barriers, and social patterns.

 

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“When you see one of Sonia's pieces you see her influence over the entire work.  The work she creates covers the music, choreography, costumes and set.  She creates an entire atmosphere.  Still somehow, she allows each artist participating to personally evolve in the process.  It is a rare directorial talent to be able to allow for this kind of collaboration and yet keep an individual vision.  The work is not narrative but creates a special world with individual stories.  It is intriguing and brings the audience into it, always interesting and unpredictable.   The images are strong and stay with you after you leave the theater.  These works are equally movement oriented as they are theater performance pieces.  The dances are subtle interwoven sections of engaging movement mixed with well performed text that push the scenario along like a David Lynch film”.

- Janet Panetta     

 

PROJECTS

LIBOLLI (2020 US, 2021 BRAZIL)

 

Observing plants' energetic autonomy, their lack of a centralized power structure, and magnificent rhizomatic cooperative architecture, the Brazilian performers present libolli.doc: a story about a controversial dance that stems from libolli; a fictitious plant that can itself dance. Is it possible to create an aesthetic composition without any hierarchical control? What are the limits and boundaries of a creation? Is it possible to culturally appropriate a fictitious experience?  Libolli traces the parallels between the human body and plant organisms while addressing questions that create intense restlessness. A performance that is not afraid to make fun of itself and mix up language and forms of speech. A humorous yet thought provoking critique on modes of production, commodification, and consumption of art.

 

Sônia Lopes Soares and Thiago Amaral // Creation and performance

Kuki Stolarsky //sound designer

Sônia Lopes Soares, Thiago Amaral and Aline Filocomo //costume designer

PUBLIC INTIMATE (GREECE 2019. Residency and Performances)

 

Continuing with the idea of using documented stories of intimate personal interactions on the border between private and public space, Public Intimate explores the concepts of intimacy and passion, combining reality with fiction, and the extraordinary with the terrestrial. During their One + One FaveLAB residency in Athens, Soares and Searer created "real" and intimate movement inside of real moments that were happening in public spaces in resonance and dialogue with different audiences. During their Athens residency, Soares and Searer researched Greek theater, language and dramaturgy to extend their ongoing research. What happens to the body when it is touched violently or otherwise? Public Intimate explores how the body reacts, what state it enters, and how this affects and creates movement and sensation in different environments. 

Sônia Lopes Soares and Mercedes Searer // Creation and performance

Kuki Stolarsky //sound designer

Baille Younkman //costume designer

DANCING ON THEIR GLITTERING MIRRORS: about dance, wind and fire (2018)

 

Dancing on the Glittering Mirrors is a piece that combines dance, theater, and visual arts. Using stories documented from intimate interactions in public spaces as its base, the piece explores the concepts of intimacy and passion, combining reality with fiction, and the extraordinary with the terrestrial.

 

Sônia Lopes Soares // director, choreographer, performer

Mercedes Searer // performer

Janet Panetta //performer

Charles Gowin//performer

Jiyoun Chang // lighting designer

Kuki Stolarsky //sound designer

Baille Younkman //costume designer

I'D RATHER THE OCEAN: About dance, high altitude and artificial breathing (2017)

 

In “I’d Rather The Ocean”, an eccentric group gets together with the mutual objective of performing a choreographed dance at the peak of the Himalayas, at an altitude of nearly 30,000 feet. Walking up the mountain serves as a metaphor for life, a starting point for reflection, and a means for creation.

Sônia Lopes Soares // director, choreographer, performer

Mercedes Searer // performer

Christine Bonansea Salut // performer

Janet Panetta //performer

Jiyoun Chang // lighting designer

Kuki Stolarsky //sound designer

1st music// Mussorgsky-Night on the Bald Mountain

Baille Younkman //costume designer

AFTER TOMORROW (2015)

 

Sônia Lopes Soares // director, choreographer, performer

Luciana Paes // dramaturgy assistance

Mercedes Searer // performer

Kevin Fay // performer

Jiyoun Chang // lighting designer

Kuki Stolarsky //sound designer

Baille Younkman //costume designer

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I'D RATHER THE OCEAN, THE TRAILER (2014)

A solo about dance documentary

 

Sônia Lopes Soares and Luciana Paes //conception and direction//

Sônia Lopes Soares //choreography and performance

1st music// Mussorgsky-Night on the Bald Mountain

Kuki Stolarski//sound design and original music

Amy Golembesky//costume design

Ji-youn Chang//lighting design

Tatiana Guimarães//video

Mariana Benedetto//sculptures and graphic design

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MOUNTAIN, THE TRAILER (2014)

 

Sônia Lopes Soares// conception, performer

Patrick Caracas// director video

Amy golembeski//costume designer

OPEN HOUSE  (2012)

Artist/real person performs/rm to spare/xtra bright & spacious, in the sky/private outdoors/calif clsts/nr everything/needs your touch/don’t miss/ pano vus

 

Sônia Lopes Soares and Luciana Paes//Conception and Direction

Sônia Lopes Soares//Performance

Kuki Stolarski//sound design and original music

Ji-youn Chang//lighting design

Valdy Lopes Jn//costume designer

Production//Viga espaço cênico

Chapter 2 (2012)

Six years afrter “A Place for Sarah”, Cia Viga presents Chapter 2 with revised movement and new ideas.

Sônia Lopes Soares Conception and Direction

Sônia Lopes Soares and Tatiana Giuimarães//Performance

Kuki Stolarski//sound design and original music

André Boll//lighting design

Valdy Lopes Jn// set design and costume designer

Gabriela Giora// set and costume design assistence

Production//Viga espaço cênico

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THE ROOMS (2011)

On a sunny day a woman walks through a place that no longer exists. In an attempt to turn things into reality, he plays and interact with the space and objects around her.

Sônia Lopes Soares and Luciana Paes//Conception and Direction

Sônia Lopes Soares//Performance

Kuki Stolarski//sound design and original music

Ji-youn Chang//lighting design

Valdy Lopes Jn//costume designer

Production//Viga espaço cênico

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WILTED VIOLETS (2010)

British author Virginia Woolf is the starting point in the investigation of a movement capable of pluralizing the possibilities of sight. “Wilted Violets” invites the spectator to reflect about the irony involved in the human being’s constant necessity to adapt and fit into its environment.

 

Sponsored by Programa Municipal de Fomento à Dança - VII EDIÇÃO/2009, and Centro Cultural São Paulo Festival

 

Concept, direction and choreography: Sônia Lopes Soares Performers: Guilherme Jorge, Luciana Paes, Sônia Lopes Soares and Tatiana Guimarães. Choreography assistance: Rodrigo Vieira Set design: Valdy Lopes Jn Lighting design: Lucia Chedieck Costumes and visual design: Adriana Hitomi Original soundtrack: Erico Theobaldo Photos: Gal Oppido and Fernando Pião Production: Doble Cultura e Social Duration: 6o minutes

 

 

 

A PLACE FOR SARAH  (2007)

“A Place for Sarah, or whatever Madame would like” combines concepts found in selected works by Sarah Lucas with Sonia’s extensive research on the human memory.

 

Concept: Sônia Lopes Soares Artistic coordination: João Miguel Artistic direction and choreography: Sônia Lopes Soares Performers: Sônia Lopes Soares and Tatiana Guimarães Set design: Valdy Lopes Jn Lighting design: Lúcia Chedieck Sound design: Erico Theobaldo Costumes and graphic design: Adriana Hitomi Photos: Gal Oppido and Willian Aguiar

Production: Cassia de Souza

Doble Cultura e Social Duration: 60 minutes

Sponsered by Festival Cultura Inglesa e Programa Municipal de Fomento à Dança

 

WORKSHOP

THE POROUS BODY WORKSHOP

 We will work our bodies, our energies, and our hearts.

This workshop uses Sonia Soares’s working process as a creator, director, and performer.

The purpose of the workshop is to navigate through modalities- visual arts, theater, “the clown”, mime, psychology, to create access to limitless potential and expression in our bodies. We are material beings, we live in our bodies, we express through our body, but we are more than our body. It is a tool and a vehicle. Exploring the body as a creative power, we will activate our imagination, memories, dreams, desires and feeling states, transforming them into communication.

 

Through specific improvisation exercises and physical and theatrical activities, participants will experience a more porous body where the flow of images and sensations connect to the pulse and action of the moment. Vulnerability acts as an ally as we build a porous body/mind and inhabit a magical world. Soares will direct participants inside these prompts to find a richer performance.

 

We will develop tools to enhance our artistic and personal journeys. This workshop is specifically geared towards performers but is relevant and open to anyone who wishes to live with more presence, freedom, and authenticity. 

DATE AND LOCATION TBD

 

CONTACT

fsoniasoares@gmail.com

instagram @sonialopessoares