On the occasion of his major solo exhibition at MUDAM Luxembourg, the National Ballet of Portugal will perform Fifteen Dancers and Changeable Tempo at the Grand Théâtre in Luxembourg on 15 September – a ballet created and directed by João Penalva. As an introduction to the performance João Penalva will be in conversation with choreographer Rui Lopes Graça and researcher Carla Montez Fernandes at MUDAM on 12 September.
João Penalva has been living in the UK since his studies at Chelsea School of Art in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Making art is his second career – in his first he was a dancer, working with Pina Bausch and Gerhard Bohner.
Penalva is known for making large-scale installations in various media, as well as more intimate works with video and slide projections, sound, drawing, painting and found materials. He addresses narrative modes and the relationships between images, text, language and sound. His storytelling is often fractured, presenting juxtaposed narrative elements, allowing the viewer a latitude of freedom in their interpretation.