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by Rafael Alvarez | BODYBUILDERS


On one side and the other, two bodies sail in silence for a fragile dance that is wave and tide of encounters and disagreements. Near and far, the two divers discover themselves in an invisible dialogue of memories and stories that invade our imaginary. A paper choreography drawn from an open dance of senses and dives in other readings - far and near, closer than far, east and west, on either side of the ocean, they bring to the surface a sea of illusions. And in the range of a wave they give place to the encounter (of another wave).

An initial image motivates the creation of this project, remaining invisible but present - "The Great Wave of Kanawaga", iconic work of the Japanese painter Hokusai, created in 1830 and reproduced from the mid-1870s through a series of lithographs using the traditional Japanese print technique known as ukiyo (literally, "floating world").


Tour Dates >


Preview // July 21, 2018, CITEMOR Festival, Teatro de Bolso, COIMBRA

Preview // December 8, 2018, Ryogoku BEAR, TOKYO

Japan Première // February 13 – 14, 2019, TPAM Fringe Festival, Wakabacho Wharf, YOKOHAMA

Portugal Première

4 May, 2019, Ilustração à Vista_23 Milhas – Ílhavo, Laboratório das Artes Teatro Vista Alegre, ÍLHAVO

Tour 2019 ::

24 May, 2019, PLANALTO - Festival das Artes, MOIMENTA da BEIRA

15 June, 2019, Auditório Municipal Augusto Cabrita, BARREIRO

5-7 September, 2019, Carpintarias de São Lázaro, LISBOA

17-18 September, 2019, Cairo International Experimental Theatre Festival, CAIRO/EGYPT

5 October, 2019, A22 / Ginasiano, VILA NOVA DE GAIA

10 November, 2019, Mindelact - Mindelo International Theatre Festival – CAPE VERT



Portuguese choreographer Rafael Alvarez gives continuity to his research and creation project started in Japan in 2017 directing a new piece between Portugal, France and Japan in collaboration with japanese dancer artist Yuta Ishikawa.

Artistic Direction and Choreography: Rafael Alvarez 
Performed by: Rafael Alvarez and Yuta Ishikawa
Technical Direction and Light Design: Nuno Patinho

Set and Costumes: Rafael Alvarez
Production and Admnistration: BODYBUILDERS | Rafael Alvarez
Financial Management: Sara Lamares

Press: Mafalda Simões

Stage Photography: Elisabeth Vieira Alvarez

Stage Video Registration and Edition: Bruno Canas / Hugo Barbosa

Graphic Design: Paulo Guerreiro

Coproduction: 23 Milhas – Ílhavo and BODYBUILDERS | Rafael Alvarez

Residency Support: Le Carreau du Temple (Paris), Ryogoku Bear (Tokyo), Rimbun Dahan (Malaysia), Estúdios Vitor Córdon / CNB (Lisbon), O Espaço do Tempo (Montemor-o-Novo)


Presentation Support: Carpintarias de São Lázaro (Lisboa), Citemor Festival (Coimbra), A22 (Vila Nova de GaiaPorto), Auditório Municipal Augusto Cabrita (Barreiro), 23 Milhas / Teatro Vista Alegre (Ílhavo), Ryogoku Bear (Tokyo), TPAM Peforming Arts Meeting (Yokohama), Wakabacho Wharf (Yokohama)


Partnerships: Superior School of Dance / Lisbon's Polytechnic Institute (Lisbon), School of Arts / Universtity of Évora (Évora), Superior School of Art and Design / Leiria's Polytechnic Institute (Caldas da Rainha), CHAIA – Center for History of Art and Artistic Research, LIGA Foundation, FIAR – Palmela, EIF (E) – Informal School of Photography

Support in Japan: Camões – Portuguese Cultural Center in Tokyo / Embassy of Portugal in Tokyo
Support for Internationalization: Gulbenkian Foundation

Project cofinanced by Portuguese Republic - Culture / Directorate-General for the Arts  (Portugal)

The WAVE Project (Portugal-Japan-France-Malaysia) directed by the choreographer Rafael Alvarez / BODYBUILDERS, gives continuity to his research and choreographic creation started in Japan in 2017. In addition to the presentations in Portugal and Japan of the solo "IN THE RANGE OF A WAVE" (2017) and the duet A WAVE FROM A DISTANCE" (2018-19), the project also includes a set of community dance activities of creation and presentation (residences, performances, laboratories and masterclasses) held in Portugal, France, Japan and Malaysia involving locally professional artists and students of artistic higher education, dancers with functional diversity, 55plus and seniors movers.


Rafael Alvarez

Choreographer and dancer, set and costume designer, researcher and teacher.


His choreographic work has been presented since 1997 in Europe, South America and North America, Middle East, Asia and Africa. In the last 20 years he has investigated and developed a visual dimension of movement and composition, revealing a strong visual component in body-space and choreographic language construction. His shows stand out for the enigmatic, symbolic, poetic and minimalist use of body, dance and space.

His most recent work include the "MIXED FEELINGS” quartet (2016, Culturgest) and the WAVE choreographic research and creation project developed between Japan, France and Portugal, integrating the premiere of the shows "IN THE RANGE OF A WAVE” (Tokyo and Lisbon, 2017) and “A WAVE FROM A DISTANCE” (Tokyo-Yokohama-Lisbon, 2019) and its national and international tour (Portugal, Japan, Egypt, Laos, Cape Vert, Thailand). The WAVE project also includes a series of training activities and creation involving the community, resulting in the premiere of the show “IN THE SILENCE OF THE FIRST WAVE" (São Luiz Municipal Theater, 2019) and "WAVE Lab +55 Paris - Lisbon" (Carpintarias de São Lázaro, 2019).

It has invested in depth, in the relationship of Dance with the Community and in the collaborative dimension of the artistic practice of dialogue and intervention with the world. He has taught since 1998, Contemporary Dance - Improvisation / Composition and Inclusive Dance, developing training projects involving students and dance professionals, people with disabilities, people over 55 and seniors, people with Parkinson's, children and artists in general. Coordinator and teacher in the project Contemporary Dance for 55plus & Seniors that he has been directing since 2001 in Lisbon integrating weekly classes and presentations and monthly laboratories in Paris. Artistic coordinator of Plural_Inclusive Dance Company and professor of inclusive dance at the ONG Fundação LIGA (since 1998). Certified teacher in the “Dance for Parkinson’s - Portugal / Dançar com Pk” weekly class since 2016 (member of the Dance for PD / Mark Morris Dance Group / Brooklyn Parkinson's Group, USA). Improvisation / Composition teacher at FOR Dance Theater / Olga Roriz Company (2017-20).

He collaborated as dancer/performer in shows and projects directed by the choreographers - Francisco Camacho / EIRA (PT), Christian Rizzo (FR), Lynda Gaudreau / Lucky Bastards (CN / FR) and the theatre director Luís Castro / Karnart, among others. He collaborated with visual artist Pedro Valdez Cardoso. And with the film director Cristina Ferreira Gomes who co-directed with Luiz Antunes the documentary series "Portugal que Dança" (2017, RTP2) dedicating one of the episodes to the work of the choreographer Rafael Alvarez. He also collaborated as an interpreter with the mentioned director in the documentary "À Procura de António Botto" (2019, RTP2- National broadcast television).

PhD in Communication, Culture and Art - Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, UALG. Post-graduate in Communication Sciences - Contemporary Culture - Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the New University of Lisbon. Graduated in Stage and Costume Design and in Theater and Education - Superior School of Theater and Cinema, IPL. He was Fellow grant recipient of the National Center of Culture in the area of ​​Dance / Creation (2000-2002). Integrated Researcher CHAIA - Center for History of Art and Artistic Research at the University of Évora.

He was an artist supported by O Rumo do Fumo (2000-04) and associate artist of EIRA - Contemporary Dance and Performance (2005-2016). Co-founder of ANKA Inclusive Dance Company of São Tomé and Príncipe. Artistic director of BODYBUILDERS - Contemporary Dance, structure of creation and artistic diffusion that he founded in 2016.

Yuta Ishikawa

Born in Japan in 1983. Currently lives and works in Paris. Dancer and choreographer of Contemporary Dance. He began his studies in Japan after completing his training in dance in the Advanced Vocational Training Extensions at CDC - Center de Development Chorégraphique of Toulouse in France. Has a degree in Cultural Studies from Obirin University in Tokyo, Japan. Through his company, e.g.MILK choreographed the following pieces: Dust Park 2 and 26.5 presented between 2010 and 2012 in Tokyo and Frankfurt. He was a finalist choreographer competitions - MASDANZA 17 (Canaries) and TOYOTA CHOREOGRAPHY AWARD 2010 (Tokyo). Received the best choreography award at KOREA INT. MORDEN DANCE COMPETITION 2010 (Seoul). As dancer he worked with the choreographers: Fabrice Ramaligom (My petit Pogo 2017, and My Pogo, 2012), Rita Cioffi (Faux Semblants, 2016, LED’s Play, 2014 and Nous Autres?, 2011), Franck Vigroux (Ruines, 2016), Raimund Hoghe (Quartet, 2015 and Cantatas, 2013), Samuel Mathieu (Les Dynamiques des Emotions, 2014 and Generic-X, 2010), Christian Rizzo (Erwartung, 2010), Chie Ito / Strange Kinoko Dance Company (2008-09), Jo Kanamori / Noism Dance Company (2006-08).

©Elisabeth Vieira Alvarez

©Susana Paiva

©Susana Paiva

©Elisabeth Vieira Alvarez

©Susana Paiva

©Susana Paiva