Duda Paiva

The Brazilian Duda Paiva came to the Netherlands as a dancer in 1996 and worked with such companies and choreographers as RAZ, Rogie & Company, Itzik Galili, Paul Selwyn Norton and Ron Bunzl. He soon displayed an affection and talent for objects and puppetry and decided to combine these forms in his own work.

Even when I was a dancer, I was always trying to get in contact with the audience, to find a click with them. I’ve worked with all sorts of choreographers, and I’ve always tried to tear down the ‘fourth wall’ between the performer and the audience

To be able to break through that annoying 'fourth wall’, Duda searched for a new form. He found this new form in foam rubber objects, in the cross over with modern dance.

These objects come to life through the audience’s imagination. That gives me precisely the sort of intimacy with the audience I was looking for as a dancer.”

It all began with Loot, a performance he made in 1998 for the CaDance festival. The challenge he discovered in this exploration marked his transition from performing dancer to theatre maker. From then on he worked together many times with choreographers such as Mischa van Dullemen, Shintaro Oue, and with theatre maker Ulrike Quade, with whom he created and presented successful productions such as Dead Orange Walk en Two Old Ladies under the name Quade & Paiva. He has his own company since 2004: DUDAPAIVA COMPANY.

Duda Paiva’s art is centered on the intensity of the isolated puppeteer on stage. Paiva developed a dance technique through which a lifeless foam rubber object can transform into a fully-fledged dance partner. He has the ability to create a magical reality that touches audiences all over the world with the extraordinary objects that he cuts himself. The selection of Angel for the Nederlands Dansdagen in October 2005 is evidence that his work has ben noticed within the world of the dance.

I realize that the significance of an object and the abstraction of the dance are completely different. Yet this is the combination that I wish to give life to, to give air to grow. It is the dance that breaks through the straightforward and romantic aspects of the object. With this, I create and destroy at the same time; I feed surprise and wonderment, I reveal unexpected associations – right before the eyes of the audience.”

In addition to his own productions, Duda Paiva also makes performances in partnership with theatre groups from Eastern Europe, and he regularly gives workshops and master classes.

Bastard! will premiere at the 2011 CaDance festival.

Duda Paiva is one of Korzo’s public’s favourites. This unusually talented artist creates performances intersecting dance, puppetry, and multimedia, which create magical and intangible worlds. These worlds are inhabited by puppets carved out of foam rubber, and confront the audience with a deliciously disruptive chaos. His latest performance is a personal solo about a period in Paiva’s youth when he was temporarily blind. In BLIND, we follow a man in the different stages of his struggle with the psychological, social, and physical consequences of blindness.

"Art, as part of our insane capacity for hope, makes it possible for us to cope with our permanent madness and our boundless brutality.”
(Gerhard Richter)

The living kitchen is the warm beating heart of Korzo theatre. People eat, cook, and drink here; dancers, actors, and technical staff have meals together before the start of the performance. Preceding Angel on Friday 17 January, you can join De Keuken van Duda, a theatrical dinner full of surprises and interesting encounters.

Greece is not doing so well. So it’s high time for the gods to descend and get involved. In another unique mix of modern dance and object theatre, Duda Paiva blows a fresh breeze through the world of mythology. Your host is Cupid, perhaps a little the worse for wear but still the God of Love. Unfortunately, nothing goes as planned; his fellow gods don’t take their existence seriously and Zeus endlessly repeats his philosophical advice. All things become possible, failure lurks. And in the meanwhile they celebrate the reconsideration of their immortality with you, the still very mortal audience. A hilarious and exciting encounter between, man, gods, and object.

Fan of Duda Paiva? Buy a combi-ticket for a whole evening of Duda and also visit Angel at 19.00 hrs.

20:00 introduction

workshop for advanced amateur dancers and (semi)professionals

Duda Paiva, the maker behind DPC, pioneers new movement concept that animate and extend the performers body language, blending it with contemporary dance and classical puppet manipulation to create a poetic and fluid illusion that provoques as much as it entertains. The technique suits the dancer or physical actor to establish a deeper connection between object and manipulator, using movement and voice as narrative tools in a specific form of choreography for two bodies that function under the direction of one mind.

Teacher Duda Paiva
Duda Paiva is artistic director from from DPC, DudaPaiva Company, a theater dance-theater company based in The Netherlands. Born and educated as actor and dancer in Brasil, Duda worked as dancer at Quasar Dance Company among joining other projects and companies as dancer and as a maker. In 1996 moved to The Netherlands where worked with choreographers such as Itzik Galili, Paul Selwyn Norton (also collaborator of DPC), RAZ, Piet Rogie, Ron Bunzl, Mischa van Dullemen among others. Created since 2004 DPC develops a unique blend between contemporary dance and object-theater and performs over 25 countries and is awarded with multiple prizes for its fresh, virtuosic and unconventional take on cross-art-form.

"Screaming Object brings a poetic gaze upon the human condition.”

Screaming Object is an expressive performance of dance and object theatre. Paiva, a popular theatre maker in the Netherlands, has designed the masks that cover the dancer’s body. The shapes are continually changing during the movements, and the masks are a metaphor for the different images people have of themselves. Like a screaming magnification of the subconscious, they are brought to the surface by the dancers. Oliveira’s ingenious dancing really brings Paiva’s sculptures to life, so that audience relate to them. The perfect symbiosis between acting and dance gives a confrontational, but also poetic view of the tangle of emotions in modern life.

Duda Paiva and Mauricio de Oliveira have known each other since their childhood in Brazil, where they took their first decisive steps together in dance. In the nineties, they both left Brazil for Europe. Some years later, their paths crossed again and they worked together on the project Screaming Object, in which the strength of their combined talents reached new heights. In 2011, Duda Paiva received the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Theater Stipendium for his unique voice in the theatre landscape.   

Oyster Boy shows two scary, but nonetheless sympathetic characters. Two misunderstood outcasts who try to fit in and find love in a cruel world. The performance is inspired by two poems by Tim Burton, “The melancholy death of oyster boy” en “The girl with many eyes”. Oyster Boy premiered in December 2001 and was a coproduction with Dansateliers.

What, in heaven’s name, do you do when the basement you find yourself in turns out to be a breeding place for demons? Do you try to exterminate them? Or do you choose the role of evil master and try to cultivate evil?
In a sparkling combination of dance, puppetry and theatrical power, Duda Paiva de Souza presents a performance about the origins of evil. So bad, it’s devilishly good…

In 2000 Marvin premiered by Mischa van Dullemen en Eduardo de Paiva Souza in Theater aan het Spui in The Hague. Marvin is the portrait of a child who creates a magical world through his firm belief in his own fantasies. The objects in his room are his only company and they constantly take him away to a different world. The humoristic duet Marvin by Mischa van Dullemen en Eduardo de Paiva Souza is based on a story by the British writer Saki, and is about the bizarre relationship between a mother and her son.

Malediction / malə´diksh(ə)n/ noun literary a curse: He whispered to himself a malediction.
Maledictory / ´dikt(ə)ri/ adj. [Middle English malediccioun via late Latin from Latin maledicere to speak evil of, from male badly + dicere to speak, say]

During the CaDance Festival 2008, Duda Paiva Puppetry and Dance premiered with the performance Malediction (a coproduction with Korzo Productions) at Korzo5HOOG.

Malediction is a poetic nightmare for adults in dance, puppetry, and video. In this third DPPD performance, Duda Paiva and Paul Selwyn Norton are inspired by the Wicked Witch of the West. With this green witch on the dissecting table, they follow a dark path full of images and associations. Her head proves to be a Pandora’s Box that, once opened, spits out and exposes the filth and chaos of the past. Her limbs grope for what is past; her body waits for what is to come. Outside, it rains… Malediction is a portrait of a destructive force…

Duda Paiva’s greatest talent lies in truly bringing his puppets to life. He manages to take the audience into a theatrical illusion by giving his puppets character traits that are more than human. He finds finer nuances within puppetry by employing his dance technique. Each movement, by himself or his puppet, is choreographed. This innovative crossover appeals to the imagination of audiences all over the world.

In 2006 Duda de Paiva/ Duda Paiva Puppetry and Dance (DPPD) presented at the Cadance Festival the DPPD Experience in the former swimming pool ‘De Regentes’. The choreography <i>Hamlet cannot sleep</i> - one piece of the DPPD Experience -   has been performed at various times and places at the festival.

Hamlet cannot sleep was made and performed by Eduardo de Paiva Souza on an invitation by the Noorderzon Festival Groningen. For the CaDance festival, De Paiva Souza rehearsed the work with dancers Junior Linhares and Jim Barnard and two students of the Rotterdam Dance Academy (Codarts).

A man, a bed and luck enough to sleep are the ingredients of Hamlet Cannot Sleep. In the depths of his slumber the man finds himself in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. He is plagued by his plays, characters and tragedy. Dream and reality battle with one another. The bed changes into a stage for unexpected and unreal duets between a man and a puppet.

Click to view a registration of 'Hamlet cannot sleep' by Spektakel TV.

For three days, during the Frida Kahlo festival, Korzo was dedicated to the work of this famous artist. Theatre makers Quade & Paiva premiered the production Dead Orange Walk at this festival. In this piece, Quade & Paiva move freely through Kahlo’s paintings. Fragments from her diary and scenes from her life are represented in dance, puppetry and video. Dead Orange Walk is a painful and at the same time humorous portrait of this sensational artist.

The Mexican painter Frida Kahlo suffered two great misfortunes. One was a bus accident in which she broke her spine; the other was Diego Rivera, the love of her life. Neither her physical limitations, nor her internal pain kept her from embracing life. She became of the most significant artists of the last century. She shows herself courageously to life, but she does not look away from death.


Duda Paiva puppetery and dance (DPPD) and the Bialystok Teatr Lalek (BTL) from Polen present Façade: a mixture of puppetry, dance, and music for adults. Façade is a contemporary black comedy about jealousy, greed, and the necessity of paying the rent on time. The production had its world premiere in Bialystok and will premiere for the Netherlands in Korzo.

Façade is situated in a boarding house kept by a vengeful old landlady who was left on the stairs of the house as a baby. Her cries brought the house to life, and since then the two have been inseparable. They have grown old together and now glut and greed have reached a fever pitch. Those who read the fine print of the contract will know that this boarding house often swallows the tenants whole.

We meet tenants ‘a la carte’ such as the frustrated alcoholic music teacher who is doomed to teach failed talents. The middle-aged lady who lives with her over-weight cousin, and the young couple with their skinny son. In the street in front of the house lives the blind beggar, a deranged prophet of doom whom everyone ignores. Façade brings all these characters together into a licentious collection of lust, fantasy, and passion.

Starting in 1999, Duda Paiva has developed an unusual dramatic idiom in which puppetry and modern dance play a central role. The cradle of his artistic development lies in Korzo, where he began his explorations of the combination of puppetry and dance with Loot (CaDance 1998). In 2005, he established his own company, the DPPD. The prizes, such as those for best animation and best performer (Torun, Poland 2006) that the company has won with these productions emphasize the importance of their work.

Click here for the website of the Bialystok Teatr Lalek:

Experience new works by two successful choreographers in one evening; Duda Paiva and Paul Selwyn Norton. With a dinner and a party afterwards, they will give you a Saturday night dance experience you won’t soon forget. 

 program at Theater aan het Spui and Korzo theater

18:00 – 19:00 dinner
Theater aan het Spui - foyer
19:30 – 20:30 Dudapaiva Company - Bastard!
Theater aan het Spui - kleine zaal
20:30 – 21:00 walk to Korzo theater + drinks
21:00 – 22:00 Paul Selwyn Norton - Rite We Are
Korzo theater - zaal
22:00  after talk and party

Public’s favourite Duda Paiva is a dancer and theatre maker who manages to combine dance and puppeteering in a way that is enchanting. He brings his mature puppets to life like no one else can: they become people who dance, dream, fear, and love. Bastard! was inspired by the novel L’arrache Coeur (The Heart Snatcher) by the French author Boris Vian. In a light-hearted and humoristic manner, Vian describes the cruelty of man. In a village ruled by mysterious laws, an outsider tries to come to terms with the dark environment and the bizarre occurrences that take place there. Vian’s absurdism is translated by Paiva into a titillating and poetic performance.


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