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Guest post: Instant Dissidence | First rehearsal of 10-minute solo at the PATS building

14th September 2018




Rita’s thoughts

“I wasn’t expecting to feel so emotional during the rehearsal, but once I was there (at the very place where I danced in the UK for the very first time), this wave of emotion washed over me. It was the memory of an arrival in the context of a leaving. I now need to find a way to use this emotion to craft the solo”.

Juliet’s thoughts (film-maker)

“I want to write about how it felt when Rita did her first ‘welcome’ dance in the empty room in her former University in Guildford, but I’m not sure yet how it felt.

She was facing the empty grey seats which were divided with stairs in the middle. It looked like the two halves of the population who’d voted, except everyone was absent and only one person was there, Rita, an EU citizen who’d lived in the U.K. For exactly half of her life when the referendum happened. Like her future had been split in two by this vote, having made the U.K. her home but feeling she couldn’t stay.

I’ve only been in the U.K. for 5 years, I didn’t leave art school that long ago, and I don’t really know what I’m going to do, so I felt a little bit like Rita’s younger self except I don’t know if I’ll be able to live here for 22 years like she did before the referendum.

I hope this walk and all the people we meet along the way, British, European or non-European, will give me a clearer sense of why I’m here and what to do next”.

performingborders is a ONE LAST DANCE – AN CHÉAD DAMHSA partner. The online platform will follow Rita Marcalo’s journey from Guildford (UK) to Cloughjordan (Ireland) through the publication of Rita’s reflections during the unfolding of her journey, and two interviews with the artist – one at the beginning and one at the end of the project – by Alessandra Cianetti. More information will be available soon on

Read Rita’s interview with performingborders in May 2018 

Featured image credits: Rita Marcalo. Photo by Juliet Davis

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