Re-Actions is an excerpt from the film Body-Buildings (2020) directed by Henrique Pina (b. 1987). Body-Buildings brings together dance, architecture and cinema, merging identities and concepts. The film features six choreographies created for six works of architecture in six locations in Portugal. Through film, future memories are drawn.

This two-minute excerpt from the film focuses on a sequence from the choreographer Vera Mantero’s encounter with the Tidal Pools in Leça da Palmeira (1961-66), designed by the architect Álvaro Siza Vieira (b. 1933). This place that has been appropriated by errant creatures, by beings that question themselves, lost between the horizon and a wall, between the sea and the rocks. The episode highlights interaction of noise and silence; primitive and erudite; natural and artificial. The Tidal Pools in the open sun are contrasted with a dark and cramped interior, an immediate repercussion of the human scale.

The sequence shot reveals some of the movements of these creatures, who now fill that interior. There is a repetition of cubicles, each occupied by a body. The creatures perform everyday movements that are almost pitiable, repeating actions without correcting them and without purpose, in a theatrical production that is apparently devoid of sense – blowing, measuring, dusting, hammering nails, measuring, hammering, marking, blowing, noting, spilling. So convinced of their actions, they have become self-absorbed. A continuous background sound registers the disquiet of the noise of each of the actions. 

Action, reaction. Action, reaction.

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A film by: Henrique Pina
Produced by: Henrique Pina, Maria João Moreira Soares, João Miguel Couto Duarte
Cinematography: Cristiano Santos
Editor: Carolina Caetano Sound
Recordist: Toninho Neto Original
Music: Ricardo Fialho
Choreography: Vera Mantero
Featuring: Vera Mantero, Vânia Rovisco, Henrique Furtado Vieira, Paulo Quedas Body-Buildings

Bio of artists:

Henrique Pina (1987) studied Film & Screen Practice at the University of Roehampton, London (2005-2008). He returned to Lisbon and worked for two years in Krypton Productions, Portugal. He had his directorial debut in 2011 with the short film Tejo, which premiered at the New York International Film Festival and received an award at Prémios ZON. He was invited to direct a film to be screened at the Lisbon and Estoril Film Festival, which gave birth to the short documentary Passerby. His second fiction short film The World Falls Apart (and still people fall in love), was awarded as Best National Fiction, in Oporto International Short Film Festival. Aires Mateus: Matter in Reverse (2017) was his first feature-length documentary, screened in more than 12 film festivals across three continents. His second feature-length documentary, Body-Buildings (2020), was awarded as Outstanding Achievement at Dance Camera West Los Angeles Film Festival, 2021.

Maria João Moreira Soares (1964) is a Lisbon born Portuguese architect practicing since 1988, an assistant professor at Faculty of Architecture and Arts, Lusíada University of Lisbon [FAA/ULL], and a research fellow at Design, Architecture and Territory Research Centre [CITAD], ULL. Member of CITAD’s Board of Directors, coordinator of Architecture and Urban Planning Research Group and research coordinator of RP “Architecture and Transdisciplinarity” [ArT], and co-coordinator with João Miguel Couto Duarte of RP “Mapping the Architectural Inter-relations Between Portugal and Japan in an International Context” [JAPOm] at CITAD. Member of the Athens Institute for Education & Research [ATINER]. Producer of Aires Mateus: Matter in Reverse (2017), directed by Henrique Pina and Body-Buildings (2020), also directed by Henrique Pina. Maria João holds a degree in Architecture from Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade Técnica de Lisboa [FA/UTL], 1987, and a PhD in Architecture from Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa [ULL], 2004.

João Miguel Couto Duarte (1966) is a Lisbon born Portuguese architect practicing since 1990 and an assistant professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Arts at Lusíada University of Lisbon where he teaches since 1991. The relationship between architectural representation – drawing and models – and design practice has long been his main research field. He is a research fellow at Design, Architecture and Territory Research Centre (CITAD) at Lusíada University of Lisbon. Coordinator of RPs “Drawing Siza” [dS]. Aires Mateus: Matter in Reverse (2017), directed by Henrique Pina, is his debut in film production. Body-Buildings (2020), also directed by Henrique Pina and produced by João, is now completed. João holds a degree in architecture from Faculty of Architecture, Technical University of Lisbon (1990), a MSc in Art Theories from Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Lisbon (2005) and a PhD in Architecture from Faculty of Architecture, University of Lisbon (2016).

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Theatres of Architectural Imagination Frascari Symposium V