Under the coordination of João Mota Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II took the initiative of launching a poetry reading marathon within its premises this Sunday, thus freely opening the doors to an audience that initially gathered outside the Theatre to listen to the "Anti-Dantas manifest" by Almada Negreiros before "taking over" the theatre lounge, library, auditorium and the various other Theatre rooms, as well as the lifts and corridors where several actors were reading out the numerous texts, manifestos and letters by a wide range of authors pertaining to the first generation of Modernism in Portugal.
Many city dwellers were taken by surprise as Paula Mora stood in the side veranda of the Theatre reading out the manifest, whilst throwing out its pages as they were being read, which led a passer-by (certainly foreigner taking into account his looks) to collect some of those, I believe, in a rather desperate attempt to work out what was in fact going on.
I would later meet him in one of the noble rooms, as we both took photographs, unaware that those were not allowed.
Fernando Pessoa, Almada Negreiros, Mario de Sa Carneiro and Amadeo de Souza Cardoso are undoubtedly among some of the Portuguese poets I admire, this being one of the reasons as to why I felt I shouldn't miss the opportunity of "revising" some of their texts, though the main reason was the fact that my daughter Mia would be one of the actresses reading out some of Almada Negreiros' prose poems and as always I wanted to be around to "support" her career path.
As I walked into the Theatre and took the lift to one of the upper floors there she was inside it enthusiastically reading one of "assigned" texts completely ignoring who had just walked in.
I continued my "poetry" tour walking around some of the corridors, Sala Estudio, Sala Garret and finally the entrance lounge on my way out.
I don't think I heard them all because without wanting to diminish the importance of rather interesting idea behind this project I am a "slow reader", if I may say so, thus personally felt I needed time to "digest" some of the poems' contents, whether I had heard them before or was listening to them for the first time, which happened twice during the "marathon reading".
I must confess though that it was really worthwhile and I am sure those who "took over" the Theatre must have certainly felt the same ...
Actors, readers and assigned texts:
Paula Mora - "Manifesto Anti-Dantas" by Almada Negreiros
Ricardo Cabaça and Daniela Rosado - "Banqueiro Anarquista" by Fernando Pessoa
Inês Pereira - "Cartas" by Amadeo de Souza Cardoso
Céu Virtuoso - "Intodução" Orpheu
Joana Cotrim "Teatro Arte/ Paris e a Guerra" - interview to Mario de Sa Carneiro and "Tabacaria" by Alvaro Campos
Mirro Pereira - "Violoncelo" by Camilo Pessanha; "Num Bairro moderno" by Cesario Verde, as well as letter from Fernando Pessoa to Camilo Pessanha
Lucia Maria - Fernando Pessoa's expressed ideas; several poems by Ricardo Reis
Maria Amélia Matta - "Afinal a melhor maneira de viajar" and "Ah o crepusculo" by Alvaro Campos
Jorge Albuquerque - "O sencionalista" among others by Bernardo Soares
Margarida Lages - "O suposto Crime de Orpheu" , "Parodias a Orpheu" and "Ha Metafisica bastante" by Alberto Caeiro
José Neves, Manuel Coelho and Simon Frankel - "K4 O Quadrado Azul" by Almada Negreiros
Mia Farr - "Frizos" by Almada Negreiros
Maria Jorge - "Almada falou" by Amadeo de Souza Cardoso and "Olha Daisy" by Alvaro de Campos
Marco Paiva - "Ultimatum Futurista" by Almada Negreiros
Miguel Loureiro - "A cena do Odio" by Almada Negreiros
Sandra Simões - "Sencionalismo (Vida Moderna)" by Fernado Pessoa and "Ultimatum" by Alvaro de Campos
Carla Ruiz - several poems by Mario de Sa Carneiro, as well as letters exchanged between Mario de Sa Carneiro and Fernado Pessoa
Lita Pereira - "Chuva obliqua", "Gato que brincas" and "Autopsicografia", among other - poems by Fernado Pessoa
Vera Azevedo - several poems by Ricardo Reis and Alberto Caeiro
Bernardo Chatillon - interview to Amadeo de Souza Cardoso; letter from Fernando Pessoa to Santa Rita, as well as two poems by Alvaro de Campos
Anaisa Rato - interview to Alberto Caeiro
Albano Jeronimo, Solange Freitas and Miguel Raposo - " A engomadeira" by Almada Negreiros
João Grosso - "Manucure" by Mario de Sa Carneiro
André Pato - " "Aniversario" by Alvaro de Campos; "A criança que ri na rua", "Liberdade" and "Nevoeiro" by Fernando Pessoa