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PACAP - Performing Arts Advanced Programme

PACAP is a training/creation programme geared towards students and professionals in artistic areas, who intend to invest in a period of advanced experimentation, harmonizing it with a theoretical investigation and the exercise of body and movement practices.
The participants will have the opportunity to develop a project, working for a certain time on a potential space of content condensation that will promote investigation, creation, and public presentation.
The programme will combine body practice classes, theoretical seminars led by artists and academics, and coaching, aiming to activate the participant’s resources, feed their processes, and allow an opportunity to test methods and discover paradigms, forms of collaboration and presentation, that configure a sketch of personal practice in the field of performing arts.
Each edition of the programme will have a duration of 4 to 6 months and will have the curatorship of an artist of the performative field. In this model, the exercise of maturity, of autonomy, and of a sense of self questioning, will be the values that will allow to guide an enlightened personal journey, based on a leveling and sharing relationship.

Previous editions

PACAP 4, curated by João dos Santos Martins


Thinking a study programme is always a battle between the ideal and the possible, between a certain imposition of a way of seeing and being in the world, and the creation of conditions to engender other worlds. In the words of Rabindranath Tagore, education serves no other purpose than to respond and get rid of the "suicidal aggressiveness of collective selfishness". This programme is no more than that. Focused on experimentation, it will seek to challenge the paradigms of contemporary dance and choreography through the activation of critical and discursive frames. With a commitment to process oriented research, this programme is understood as a protected time and space to encourage all participants to develop and analyse their artistic practice in an intellectually and artistically stimulating collective environment.

In this programme, classes are not distinguished between 'technical', 'research' or other such category. We assume that there can be no distinction between practical and theoretical knowledge and that it is this very division that induces alienation in the work itself. The programme is based solely on the proposals of the artists and speakers who will spend time with the participants, fostering common experiences through questioning and transformation. The invited guests share the desire to demystify the dichotomies of body/head, action/thought, practice/theory, and seek to articulate discourse and practice as integral ways of doing and thinking, and not as opposite poles.

We believe in choreography as a medium for artistic practice that is in permanent dialogue with other media and with the genealogies of the history of art at large. We will seek a dialogue with these media and their agents through visits to local artists’ studios and partnerships with surrounding structures and institutions, which will serve to establish bridges with the local artistic scene. And as art making is always in dialogue with its ways of apprehension, this programme will be complemented with exhibition visits,film screenings, as well as attending shows and conferences from various other domains.
We trust that part of artistic labour is necessarily self-taught. In that spirit, we will privilege the cultivation of a space for sharing, collaboration, and group work in order to build common knowledge and experiences that encourage participants to deepen their practices, individually or collectively.

Throughout the duration of the programme, studios will be made available so that the participants can develop and share their work and processes. At the end of the cycle all participants should publicly present their work, articulating thus, as Rancière points out, "the ways of doing, their corresponding forms of visibility and possible ways of thinking about their relationships".

João dos Santos Martins

Confirmed guest artists and scholars

*In the frame of Expanded Practices All Over 2019-2020.

Application and selection


From January 6 to July 5, 2020.


Forum Dança
Espaço da Penha
Tv. Calado 26B,
1170-070 Lisbon


+ 21 years old
Artists with dance experience and/or choreographic practice in progress that seek time and space to deepen their work through collective dialogue and experimentation.
The schedule of the study programme is intensive. Candidates must be fully available during the entire time of the programme, including availability for night activities, weekends, and holidays.
The official language of PACAP is English. Candidates must speak, write and understand English.

Number of participants



1. Enrolment

2. Payment (two options)

Selection process

1. Application

Deadline FIRST PHASE: July 21, 2019
Deadline SECOND PHASE: September 9, 2019

Applications must be written in English and sent by e-mail to, including:

  • Motivation letter (1 page A4. pdf)
  • CV with mini-biography included (1 page A4. pdf)
  • Portfolio documenting works of the candidate including text, images, and links to video recordings(max. 10 pages A4. pdf)

Pre-selected candidates will be invited by e-mail before July 30, 2019 for a collective workshop meeting in Lisbon, in order to select the participants for the programme.

2. Meeting

FIRST PHASE: September 11 to 15, 2019
SECOND PHASE: September 28 and 29, 2019

Forum Dança, Espaço da Penha, Lisbon, Portugal

  • Workshop and collective conversation;
  • Individual presentations and interviews.


João dos Santos Martins (Santarém, 1989) is an artist working through dance and choreography. He began his dance studies at the Higher School of Dance, in Lisbon, and at P.A.R.T.S., in Brussels, and completed his choreographic studies between exerce, in Montpellier, and the Institute for Applied Theater Studies, in Giessen.

Since 2008, he articulates his practice between producing work and collaborating as a dancer with other artists such as Ana Rita Teodoro, Eszter Salamon, Moriah Evans and Xavier Le Roy. His work is characterized by a diversity of apparatuses that invest in the production of conflicts between the subject who dances and the danced object. His pieces are usually developed in collaboration with other artists such as in Anthroposcenes (2017) with Rita Natálio and Pedro Neves Marques, and Where is the Coat? (2018) with Cyriaque Villemaux and Ana Jotta.

Since 2017 he has expanded his practice to other parallel formats. He curated the cycle New—Old Dance in Santarém, with performances, workshops, conversations and exhibitions; created alongside Ana Bigotte Vieira a device for a collective historicity of dance in Portugal – For a Timeline to Be — and founded a journal — Coreia — dedicated to the discourse produced by works and artists, in close relationship to dance.


PACAP 4 has the support of: