act:on | Tiago Manquinho

Tiago Manquinho seeks to integrate the socially relevant issues present in his productions into the creative process and the relationship with the audience. For this, he seeks a coherent and consistent relationship between the values embodied on stage and the working conditions, actively confronting all forms of discrimination and exploitation, questioning privileges and the status quo.

He is currently researching processes of inclusion, empowerment, and transformation. He also develops outreach projects with a particular focus on sparsely populated landscapes. The collaborative approach present in his creative process is reflected in his networking and cultural-political activities.

After his dance education at the Escola de Dança Conservatório Nacional in Lisbon, he became a company member at the Companhia Nacional de Bailado before joining the Semperoper Ballett Dresden in 2000. With a focus on a contemporary movement language and a more progressive artistic vision, Manquinho moved on to join the Staatstheater Braunschweig and later the Städtische Bühnen Osnabrück and the Theater Bielefeld.

Throughout his 20-year dance career, he has danced a wide range of classical and contemporary repertoire, including works by Vaslav Nijinski, John Neumeier, Uwe Scholz, John Cranko, Robert North, Tom Schilling, Mary Wigman, Reinhild Hoffmann and Guilherme Botelho, Jo Strømgren, Guy Weizman/Roni Haver, Simone Sandroni, André Gingras, Gregor Zöllig, Henrietta Horn, Rainer Behr, Lionel Hoche and Shlomi Bitton.

The collaboration and co-creation of numerous contemporary works have had a strong influence on his artistic signature. More importantly, it allowed him to develop the confidence to engage in horizontal-hierarchical workflows, to consciously move away from traditional methods, and to seek respectful and empathetic forms of creative collaboration.

From 2015 to 2017 he was resident choreographer at the Staatstheater Braunschweig.

Working as a freelance choreographer since 2017, Manquinho has since collaborated with Theater Gießen, Theater Münster, Theater Vorpommern, Badisches Staatstheater, Theater Lüneburg and Staatstheater Braunschweig, among others. He regularly presents his own productions in Germany and Portugal. 

In search of concealed beauty, Manquinho creates movement atmospheres through visual and contextual contrasts. His detailed and multi-layered movement vocabulary, as well as collaborative work with the performers, allows access to the ambivalence of a character or situation and allows the complexity of socially relevant issues to be portrayed with great emotional depth. In doing so, his goal is to bring only the essential and existential to the stage.

As part of various, intergenerational participative dance projects, he regularly collaborates with a wide variety of communities. In 2019 and 2020 he was the artistic director of the community dance project "tanzwärts!" at Theater Hameln.

Since 2014, he has been a lecturer of dance (contact-improvisation) at Bielefeld University. Manquinho is curator and co-artistic director of the newly founded TANZKOOP as well as a board member of LaFT Niedersachsen.


"Manquinho and the highly motivated company have created an impressive picture. Finding different possibilities of encounter and approach so many unusual and still quite unused sequences of movements, that it would have been enough for three more pieces. Tiago Manquinho is there of fascinating creativity. [...] He has developed an exciting evening, in dark blue light with often exotic natural sounds, with mystic range and yet concrete recognition. The more than the one-hour plot is well-timed. Manquinho has a very singular movement language, its detailed twist can be compared to that of an established colleague like Marco Goecke. Rightly rambling applause.”

Critic on "Nice to meet you? - Andreas Berger, Braunschweiger Zeitung




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