with MARIANA BENENGE, MYRIAM LUCAS, Shaka Lion
Marga Alfeirão uses media to carve safe-spaces for the exploration of intimacy and sexuality through dance and performance. Heavily influenced by dance genres and sound textures from the African diaspora disseminated through Lisbon’s social tissue, she attempts an active claim of womanhood, making room for lesbian sensualities. In 2023, she premiered LOUNGE at TanzTage, a lesbian lap dance duet. Last year, together with Camila Malenchini, she premiered Wet Eyez, a work on emotional bodies and fantasy. She has worked with choreographers Tamara Alegre and Antonja Livingstone and with architect Afaina de Jong, among others. She is active in the portuguese Ballroom scene as a founding member of the Casa das Musas. In Berlin she started COYOTE PRETTY UGLY, a 4-member, 10-minute act to entertain lesbian queer evenings in the city. Graduated from HZT’s BA in dance and choreography in Berlin (2017-21), she initiated Lapdances to Ringtones and Lullabies, a research on erotics and rest. Currently she is developing her new work on cheesiness, grief and queerness with dancers Myriam Lucas, Mariana Benengue and herself, DJs Nidia and Shaka Lion and writers Duygu Agal and Candice Nembhard, attempting simultaneous lapdances. Together with her collaborator Camila Malenchini, they are developing a new work on horror, paralysis, womanhood and myth to premier in 2024.
The word “lounge” is both a verb, meaning to sit or lie in a relaxed way, and a noun, meaning a public room where people may relax. Lounging is both an action and a place, a space that you shape and inhabit and savour. This dual nature of rest, of waiting, of moving and being moved, is at the heart of this piece.
LOUNGE is a duet for two female-identifying bodies. Together they move through states of active and passive rest, shifting from reclining and positioning themselves to finding pleasure in the duration of repetitive motions. The lounge as a public as opposed to solitary space is also important here. The performers use each other’s presence to go deeper into themselves and into the vibe. Permeating the piece is the notion of the “Invisible Lapdance,” consisting of small, nearly imperceptible dances that use the gaze to blur the borders between the giver and receiver. This choreographic strategy highlights and interrogates the relationship between dancer and audience, public and private, seeing and being seen. Sensuality is integral to this piece, and consequently so too is atmosphere. The light and music nourish and sustain, a shoulder to lean on, a lap upon which the dancers can sit. By relying on erotics and building togetherness, LOUNGE taps into the comfort of rest as an active claim of womanhood.
“Heaven might be a place on earth but you are in the waiting room and not in a rush. You lean into expectation, linger in sensation. The promise of eternal rest, and peace, and blissful sleep is beckoning. This transitory space prepares you for it. I needed your lap for a little. Could you give me a hand? You could also sit on my lap or lay your head on it and rest. I can sing lullabies at your ear and later whine on your face. It might fall on your lap and that’s ok, we can chill.”