Fernando Duarte was awarded the ‘Anna Mascolo’ Prize for Dance, winning the Mirpuri Foundation Dance Award 2018.


Fernando Duarte – Winner of the 2018 Mirpuri Foundations’s Anna Mascolo Award for Dance

The winner of the Mirpuri Foundation’s inaugural Anna Mascolo award for Dance, presented last night at the São Carlos Opera House, in Lisbon, has been a dancer and choreographer for 22 years.

He receives his award tonight for his work: “The Murmurs of Pedro and Inês,” which the Foundation judges called: “An outstanding piece of work, that depicts the best of Portuguese culture and seamlessly blends elements of the traditional with the contemporary.”

Accepting his award last night Fernando Duarte expressed his gratitude and hopes for the future of Portuguese Dance:

“I am honoured to receive this award from the Mirpuri Foundation.

I would like to thank, the judges and the Foundation go this great honour.“We live in a time where memory fades quickly and the future is uncertain.

But by naming this award after Anna Mascolo, one of Portugal’s greatest dance icons we are able to remember her and look back at the work she did and its influence on society.

But this award also allows us to look forward, as it will undoubtedly serve as a launch pad for many new ventures.

I am also honoured that the Foundation has chosen to recognise this particular project – as this was my first independent choreography project developed in partnership with my wife, ballerina, Solange Melo.

We decided to submit our project to the Foundation in the hope of inspiring others not to give up on their dreams because of any lack of resources or financial support.

The Murmurs of Pedro and Inês” is a dance performance which aims to depict contemporary Portuguese culture in a way that extends beyond dance.

It is based on the history of Pedro and Inês, a heritage that belongs to all of us.  Throughout time many artists have depicted their often turbulent love story.

We opted to adapt it because we feel it identifies us. We worked with Portuguese composers, opted for a text by Afonso Cruz and costume design by Jose António Clemente.

We further opted to incorporate a contemporary installation by Pedro Crisóstomo into the stage design.

In this way, ‘The Murmurs of Pedro and Inês’ uses a neoclassical aesthetic language but also a contemporary one which is rarely used, or seen, on Portuguese stages. We further hope to remind the public that this dance format exists, and may be used to explore numerous themes on stages around the world. 

I greatly believe in this project, I strongly believe in the work I have developed with Solange, as well as other artists, and I am profoundly grateful and honoured to accept this award from the Mirpuri Foundation.

This award is incredibly important. It will help me greatly, but undoubtedly inspire fellow artists in the future.

It also serves to further motivate the public to experience culture.

Art is very much like a tree with numerous branches. This award from the Mirpuri Foundation serves to fertilize the roots of the tree, which represents art.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all.”