João Fiadeiro

Winlab Festival 2010

Real Time Composition – João Fiadeiro
A 6 day workshop which includes additional evening events (see website for more detail of structure)

The method of Real Time Composition (RTC) – developed and systematised by choreographer João Fiadeiro since 1995 – suggests that the quality of the decisions we take, individually or in group, can be substantially optimised if we manage to get round the 'interference' of free will in the moment of decision. This strategy, counter-intuitive for it radically questions our habits and patterns of behaviour, enables the relevance and coherence of our actions to get closer to those we find within emergent and self-organised biological or physical systems.
Instead of focusing on what we expect or wish to get, the RTC proposes that we focus on the removal of the 'noise' that prevents us from reading a situation as it presents itself, as well as on the reduction of the 'friction' inherent to communication processes, which creates resistances to the fluidity and the lucidity of reasoning.

The training of this method consists in providing the practitioner with the tools for him or her to accept 'giving up' her condition of 'creator', assuming a position of 'mediator' and 'facilitator' of what happens. His or her only 'creative act', in the frame of this method, is the mastery with which (s)he manages tension, the balance and potential of the material (s)he is working with, letting things happen by themselves, when they really have to.

'João Fiadeiro works exactly with the matter of the ‘in-between’ and his method is based upon the challenge to produce, by cultivating molecular clarity, a re-assessment of what freedom in improvisation might be, as well as of what the creativity of the artist might be.' Fernanda Eugénio artist/anthropologist

'Creativity', as it is understood within this method, is not a property of some enlightened few. 'Creativity' requires training. And the way we approach that training, that practice, is turning our focus away from the very decision, to direct it to the 'noise' settled in our bodies, namely under the form of 'habits', 'convictions', and 'expectations'. When that 'noise' is excessive, it works as friction and makes us waste time. It deactivates the capacity to read a new situation, becoming the main obstacle to implementing creativity as the operative system of our decisions.
Excerpt from João Fiadeiro’s blog:

' exactly with the matter of the ‘in-between’ and his method is based upon the challenge to produce, by cultivating molecular clarity, a re-assessment of what freedom in improvisation might be, as well as of what the creativity of the artist might be. João has, so to say, woven a whole philosophy of the event applied to dance. His method, encompassed by the dense-light delicacy of simple things, does not deal with anything other than life; it is just a clarification of vital functioning, of the operative dynamics of human relations, of cohabitation. (…) The protagonist-artist is no longer to be seen; the only protagonist is the event itself.' Fernanda Eugénio artist/anthropologist

'In Real Time Composition there are two things going on: on the one hand there is the technique, which is rooted in the idea of 'unpacking decisions' and on the other hand there is what is guiding our decisions. And for that you have different norms to be follow: the norm of 'leaving things open for the next person'; the norm of 'not getting obsessed and drag things into loops'; the norm of 'being part of the community'; the norm of 'leaving as much ego behind as possible'; the norm of 'not getting attached to any particular narrative, past history'; etc.
By engaging in an exploration of decision and moral judgment, through the work of Real Time Composition, you are trying to be fully human.' 
João in conversation with American philosopher John Symons

The Division of work during the week: 
Days run from 11-5pm except where additional evening events:

- Block 1 - 'Sensitivity to Initial Conditions': Mon

- Block 2 - 'Anatomy of a Decision': Tues, Wed plus Tues 7-8.30pm 'Anatomy of a Decision' Lecture performance by João

- Block 3 - 'How to Live Together': Thur, Fri plus Thur 5-7pm internal talk with visiting expert from another discipline, ‘under the influence’ of the experience of the workshop’

- Sat 11-5 Open day – the public are invited to spend all or part of the day witnessing the workshop (free)
- Sat 6pm - Participation in a public presentation of Real Time Composition 'How to Live Together'


João Fiadeiro (1965) belongs to the generation of choreographers that emerged towards the end of the 1980s and who gave rise, in the sequence of the American post-modern movement as well as the movements of the French and Belgian Nouvelle Danse, to the Nova Dança Portuguesa [New Portuguese Dance]. A large part of his formation was carried out between Lisbon, New York and Berlin, after which he joined the Dance Company of Lisbon (86-88) and the Gulbenkian Ballet (89-90).

In 1990 he founded RE.AL, a centre for research and artistic residencies, which not only constitutes the basis for the creation and diffusion of his work but also hosts transdisciplinary events and supports emergent artists by organizing laboratories and artistic residencies.

He regularly teaches and present is works across Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and South America. His research and know-how, accumulated both as a dancer and as a choreographer – namely through composition and improvisation techniques – is taking him closer to the kind of research pursued within science (specially some of the research carried out in cognitive and complex systems science), as well as to the kind of work we can find in fields like economics or design. In the past years, he has been invited to give talks, master classes, and act as a coach in various institutions connected with those fields.

João Fiadeiro