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Marlene Freitas opens Mindelact on return to Cape Verde

Choreographer and dancer Marlene Freitas will open the 24th edition of the Mindelact International Theater Festival in November, on the Cape Verdean island of São Vicente, in her first performance in the country after being distinguished at the Venice Biennale.

Under the slogan ‘Art, Soul and Affection’, Mindelo’s International Theater Festival (Mindelact) will take place from November 2 to 11 and will have 60 shows from 38 groups and artists from 14 countries, including Portugal, was announced today by the organization .

The highlight of the event is the performance of Cape Verdean choreographer and dancer Marlene Monteiro Freitas, who will make her first appearance in Cape Verde, after being distinguished with the ‘Silver Lion’, a career award at the Bienal de Dança of Venice, Italy.

Marlene Freitas will perform the show ‘Ivory and Flesh – Statues Also Suffer’, on November 3, which will inaugurate the main stage of Mindelact.

“It is a great pride to have Marlene for two shows in the year in which she was distinguished,” stressed the president of the Mindelact Association, João Branco, at a press conference, recalling that the artist was born and started dancing in Mindelo and then went to study in Belgium in Portugal, where he has been living for several years.

“Today she is one of the most important and respected choreographers in the world and having her here opening Mindelact is a supreme honor for us,” said João Branco.

In addition to Cape Verde and Portugal, Mindelact will feature artists from Brazil, Angola, Germany, Argentina, Cuba, Spain, USA, France, Ghana, Morocco, the Czech Republic and Uruguay.

In this is the second time that the event will happen in November – after last year – the shows will be staged in nine stages, which also include broad and squares on the island of São Vicente, in a way to decentralize the event.

During the festival there will be several theater workshops, considered as places of exchange and knowledge sharing between Cape Verdean artists and foreigners.

Another prominent presence will be the Brazilian actress Vera Holtz, well known by Cape Verdeans through soap operas, and who will stage her show ‘Dreams for Dressing Up’.

As it has been for two years, the Mindelact festival will have an extension to the city of Praia, where one of the six shows will be from the Portuguese Pedro Lamares, with ‘Poetry is a Charged Weapon of Future’.

Considered to be the largest performing arts event in the country and West Africa, the festival is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Creative Industries, the São Vicente City Council and Portuguese Cooperation.

In an editorial published on the official website, the Mindelact Artistic and Cultural Association advanced that this year the objective is to maintain the level of the festival’s programming, as the public is getting more and more demanding.

The Mindelact Association highlighted the programming with a “strong national presence”, understanding that this “reflects the rich moment that the contemporary creole performing arts are going through.”

“This is the event of hope.” Within a year of completing an unlikely silver wedding anniversary, we are increasingly aware of Mindelact’s importance in the theatrical and cultural panorama of the islands, its influence as the driving force behind theater in Cape Verde and, perhaps more importantly, its potential still to be explored, “said the organization.

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