I asked a group of artists with whom I worked during the beginning of my career in the performing arts field (and who were somewhat important) to choose a text for me to perform. The chosen texts should have “my face” in it; or I should be mirrored in each and every word of them. The invited artists should also choose a challenging text, able to put me in a confrontational situation with the stage and the underlying idea of being on stage and saying those words on stage and reflecting upon the image of myself on stage through those words and through those texts. When I received the texts, I immediately realised that I was stepping on a very fragile ground, the one who would relentlessly drive me towards a self-reflection, towards a performance “about” my face (not necessarily my “self”). If the chosen texts are like images of my face, then this performance is going to be a portrait. A catalogue of images. A performance not about me, but also not about the texts or the people who chose them; a performance about a performer who interprets his own image reflected in splinters of words. Those images forced me to lay down in the regression divan, so to better acknowledge the place where I’m from, where I am, where I’m going to. I miss the times when I used to make theatre without bothering about it. I miss that 90s decade who stopped in order to THINK, whilst I was stopping just to have some rest from the moving moments. I miss those times when I didn’t stop and I didn’t think. I miss the tunes my parents used to listen to in 1978. I miss the times when I didn’t know how to read and have to ask. I miss the times when I didn’t know to walk, how to fall. I miss the times when I used to make theatre and theatre didn’t serve me any purpose. And I also miss the day I was born. Through this performance, and through my body inserted in it, and through a set of texts forcibly inserted in a performance and my body in it, I want to stop again, not to think, just stop. I want to avoid missing things again and recite those texts as if for the first time. To observe all those sentences tearing me in semiotic sections of meaning.
“Saudades Do Tempo Em Que Se Dizia Texto” [I Miss The Times When I Used To Play With Texts] is a solo theatre performance written and performed by Rogério Nuno Costa, inspired by texts chosen by 9 Portuguese theatre/performance/dance artists and directors: Marina Nabais, Mónica Calle, João Garcia Miguel, João Cabral, Rosa Coutinho Cabral, Paula Sá Nogueira, Lúcia Sigalho, Sofia Neuparth and Regina Guimarães. It premiered in Teatro Taborda (Lisbon, Portugal) in November 2003.