The association Danças na Cidade (‘Dances in the City’) focused its efforts on the promotion of contemporary dance and the work of young Portuguese choreographers. Highlights from this period include the collaborative projects Dançar o que é Nosso (‘Dancing What is Ours’, begun in 1998) and the Danças na Cidade festival (1993-2004), an internationally relevant platform for the distribution of dance, recognized for its focus on new creators and spirit of artistic and cultural dialogue.
Mónica Lapa (1965 – 2001)
Too soon, Mónica Lapa has left us. She died on the 3rd of August of 2001. In all our grief and disbelieve, we also feel a warm sense of gratitude for having had the chance to know her, work with her, share moments of happiness and sadness. She truly was an exceptional person, who dedicated herself with all her strength and energy to whatever project she was working on.
The people who knew her will undoubtedly remember her as a talented dancers in various pieces of Clara Andermatt. Her choreography career had only just re-started (after some early works in tap dance, the solo Despe-te e Nada and the duet Bimarginário with Francisco Camacho) with Miss Liberty, that was premiered in 1999.
It was also as founder and director of Danças na Cidade that Mónica Lapa has left marks. Since 1993, when she organised the first small Danças na Cidade festival, she has managed to turn it into one of the main contemporary dance events not only of Portugal, but also on an international level.
After an inspiring contact with the Cape Verdian dance community in 1994 and 1995, she embarked on a new project, Dançar o Que é Nosso, once again impregnated by her tireless force, generosity and deep felt wish to try to change things for the better. With Dançar o Que é Nosso she worked on stimulating artistic exchange and collaboration between organisations and artist from Europe, Africa and Brazil.
Mónica is no longer around, but her work and her spirit live on. Mónica had been very ill for a while, but maintained her radiant and generous presence at all times. The serenity with which she prepared for her death, was an inspiration for all those who came across her path in the last months of her life.