If you are a kizomba and Semba lover, you might know Carlos Tabanka. Carlos is a teacher and an ambassador for the dances from his country, Angola. He is that person who includes everyone- young or old, no matter your background or ability. Through Carlos, I met Ines, his talented partner, and we shared a few moments of fun in Lisbon.
I first noticed Ines in an Angolan nightclub in Lisbon. She is not only a dancer, but an engineer who keeps many of Lisbon's old buildings standing. I was excited to photograph her several weeks later at the Jardim das Amoreiras, located next to the Fundacao Arpad Szenes-Vieira da Silva and the Mae de Agua aqueduct. Ines had her own ideas and wanted a collaboration. She jumped into trees and changed from one outfit into another as the sun was setting. Ines expressed herself in a poetic way, so I am pairing my photos with poems by the Portuguese poet Florbela Espanca, whose work I discovered during my trip. Florbela died at the age of thirty-six and nearly one hundred years ago, she wrote verses full of passion and complexity.
E do meu corpo os leves arabescos
Vao-te envolvendo em circulos dantescos
Felinamente, em voluptuosas dancas
From "Os Versos Que Te Fiz"
Que a boca da mulher e sempre linda
Se dentro guarda um verso que nao diz
Valentine's Day, Mexico City
With Semba/Kizomba teacher, Dasmara, we met a young girl and shared a few first steps.
Wistfully I remember
a kind and gentle companion
which in the entirety of my life I've never seen...but yet remember
her mouth so gilded,
her body in ebb,
a breath that is lost
in that afternoon, so gilded.
Mário de Sá-Carneiro
Basque immigrant (1964). Gardener. Animal Lover. Singer. Comedian. Friend
In the city of heteronyms and pseudonyms,
of Maria José and Cecilia, of all the Pessoas,
in the adjacent places, between tiles and leaves, I awakened my senses.
Dasmara is a Semba/Kizomba teacher from Angola.
Shot with 35 mm silver gelatin negative film.