FM [featuring mortuum] (2016)

by Cristina Planas Leitão

“Cristina Planas Leitão, created a triangulation between audience, performers and the dead body on stage, that explores the limits of comfort, not only from the performers in a physical level, but also of the observers in an emotional level, with situations that of so unexpected, almost leave us wanting to get off our chair and run to the stage.” Ana Resende/ Ócio

In FM [featuring mortuum] we assist to a return to the romantic conceptualism. The piece, poetic and familiar but uncanny makes us reflect about the presence of death in performance and theater as the place for all possibilities, even making the impossible become possible. In this piece about making believe there are two parallel objects, one live and one dead that becomes the central element. Loaded with multilayers and meaning it disarms us in an accessible but deep way, transcending the present moment to another extracorporeal but almost graspable one.

FM is an exploration of the real on stage; of how to believe in the fake, the faux and which artifacts can be used to induce certain feelings and emotions in the audience. How can death be interpreted in a way to evoke the feelings of the audience when the performer is right there, alive on stage? How can that body betray the memory of the spectator. The illusion of death will be visible constructed in front of the audience but it should have the power, that once installed, should look real. Death is a constant in the piece. The piece insists in the death. Death and repetition. To die several times, to die daily, to die forever, to die forever and again like in yesterday’s performance.

 When the actor plays dead no one’s fooled for a moment. (…) No one thinks this is real. But at the same time there remains a strange charge to this game, a cultural and emotional electricity which crackles and sparks the air around the actor who lives-but-dies, or who lives but plays dead. The death scene. ” (Tim Etchells)


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© Susana Neves 

► FM [featuring mortuum] is a coproduction of Teatro Municipal do Porto (PT) and received the Financial Support from Direção Geral das Artes / Portuguese Ministry of Culture; Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and Fundação GDA.

 Premiere: 12 March 2017 at Centro de Arte de Ovar (PT)

► Performance dates:



teasers © Sofia Arriscado


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Residency Calendar:

  • 9-13 March 2015 | Residency with informal showing (13th March) at Dance Ireland, Dublin (IR) – 16:00
  • 11-13 May 2015 | Conquering the studio: a time for research with Victor Hugo Pontes & guests at Companhia Instável, Porto (PT)
  • 25 May – 14 June 2015 | Residency at Dansateliers Rotterdam (NL) with studio showings on the 12, 13, 14 June 2015
  • 3 July 2015 | Open rehearsal at Mostra desNORTE, Mosteiro S. Bento da Vitória/ TNSJ, Porto (PT)
  • 1-8 November 2015 | Residency at CC Gafanha Nazaré/ Câmara Municipal de Ílhavo with Open Rehearsal
  • 9-13 November 2015 | Residency at TNSJ, Mosteiro S. Bento da Vitória, Porto
  • 11-13 November 2015 | The absent presence of the body – Workshop Porto, Companhia Instável
  • 17-29 November 2015 | Residency at O Espaço do Tempo, Montemor-O-Novo (PT)
  • 27 November 2015 | Presentation at O Espaço do Tempo, Montemor-O-Novo (PT)
  • 1-5 Feb 2015 | Residency at Dance Ireland, Dublin
  • 15 Feb – 4 March 2015 | Residency at Teatro Municipal do Porto (PT)



Concept & Artistic direction Cristina Planas Leitão | Performance and co-creation Cristina Planas Leitão & Valentina Campora + featuringFeaturing on stage & collaboration in the research Catarina Miranda / Daniela Cruz / Jasmina Krizaj | Technical Direction & Light Design Cárin Geada | Technical collaboration João Teixeira | Original Music Creation Flávio Rodrigues | Soundscape Cristina P. Leitão | Sound design advise  Pedro Lima | Production & Diffusion BAC/ Célia Machado, Joana Ferreira  | Dramaturgical support Victor Hugo Pontes, Joana von Mayer Trindade

Production BACtéria / Cristina Planas Leitão

Coproduction Teatro Municipal do Porto (PT)

Co-presenter Centro de Arte de Ovar, Câmara Municipal de Ovar (PT)

Residencies & Support to the creation Dance Ireland (IR)  – International Associate Artist Programme; Dansateliers Rotterdam (NL); Centro Cultural de Ílhavo/ Câmara Municipal de Ílhavo (PT); Teatro Nacional S. João (PT); O Espaço do Tempo (PT); project Conquering the studio: a time for research / Companhia Instável; Universidade do Porto (PT); Instituto Politécnico do Porto (PT)

Financial Support Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Portugal – Program for creation (dance) / Programa de Apoio à Criação em Cinema, Dança, Teatro; Direcção Geral das Artes/ Secretaria de Estado da Cultura; Fundação GDA Direitos dos Artistas.

Previous research at Devir-CAPa (PT) 2012 and Espaço On.Off/ Fábrica Asa – Sweet&Tender Collaborations Guimarães 2012 (PT).

Thanks to: Marlene Vilhena, Mara Andrade, Audrey Apers, Andy Moor, Cláudio Lima, Informática Lda.

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top photo © photo Susana Neves/ TNSJ, graphic editing by Eduardo Ferreira