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© Laurent-Paillier


In direct resonance with Onironauta, Madmud literally immerses the audience in choreographer Tânia Carvalho’s musical and poetic sphere. Through song and piano, she distils captivating fluidity that imparts waves of melancholy and saturnine tumult.

Madmud; “crazy mud”, then. Where does this title come from?
It comes from a sensation I have when I start to sing on the piano, which makes me think of elements that come from afar, something that would come from the earth and, at the same time, from my own body. The image of the mud speaks to me about this sensation. As for mad, I like the alliteration it creates with mud.

We know you above all as a choreographer. Your relationship to music is more recent; or, at least, it’s more recently that you started performing it in public… What gave birth to Madmud?
I started dancing early on, at the age of five. The piano came later. But music has always been very present in my family, especially on my father’s side. When I was little, it often happened that someone would play music (guitar, mandolin, flute…) and my older sister and I would sing. […] When I was fourteen, I wanted to learn the piano. I started lessons, but I quickly stopped: I didn’t have a piano at home – there were many instruments, but no piano… It was only years later, around 2006, that I started lessons again, more intensively.

And why the piano?
There is something very choreographic, I think, in the relationship with this instrument: you don’t have to be “at one with it” to play it. And that’s precisely why I took piano lessons again in 2006: to write a choreography. I took lessons to learn how to play a Mozart sonata. From the movements necessary to interpret this piece on the piano, I developed a choreographic score [the solo Uma lentidão que parece uma velocidade (A slowness that resembles a speed), 2007]. It was also at this time that I began improvising on the piano and composing music, starting from the body, from a choreographic impulse, so to speak.

The voice is also very present in your concerts. It is often compared to personalities like Nina Hagen, Diamanda Galás or Yma Sumac. Does this speak to you?
People who have seen my concerts have often talked to me about them, it’s true. But it’s not a “choice” on my part. I didn’t know Diamanda Galás, for example. Nina Hagen I know well, and it is true that she has marked me. Yma Sumac too, as well as Meredith Monk [American singer-songwriter and choreographer whose debut dates to the 1960s]. There is a strength in their voices. They sing with their whole body too, and even more: they sing with the energy of the world, or something like that… I wouldn’t dare say that I resemble them, but they inspire me. […] When I sing, I feel something coming towards me, emotions that go through me. Some artists say that they are a vehicle. When I sing and play the piano, I have a feeling that goes in that direction.

Interview by Olivier Hespel for the festival Uzès Danse 2021

Artistic and Technical Information


interpretation (voice, piano): Tânia Carvalho
dound technician: Juan Mesquita
production: Tânia Carvalho, agência 25