Contemporary circus / visual arts

ON CREATION - Premieres on Feb-Mar 2018

“You see it’s like a portmanteau – there are two meanings packed up into one word.”


A Portmanteau is a linguistic blend of words, in which a part of multiple words or their phones (sounds), and their meanings are combined into a new word.


Exploring the use of abstract images projected on the space and on moving bodies, the Finnish dancer / circus artist Mira Ravald and the Brazilian visual / circus artist Luis Sartori do Vale investigate how different colors, shapes and soundscapes may influence the way physical movement can be interpreted and experienced.


Researching psychological concepts such as apophenia, Portmanteau plays with the human tendency to look for meaning and patterns in random data and situations, combining circus, dance, music and live images.


Rorschach and Apophenia


Portmanteau is a performance in which the audience is invited to make their own interpretations, based on their own personal experiences. By making use of suggestions and metaphors, Luis & Mira combine their physical skills with other visual and sound elements to create ambiguous images and situations, inspired by the principle of Hermann Rorschach’s famous inkblot tests.
Abstract and random at first, these situations can offer multiple possibilities of interpretation.


The Rorschach is what psychologists call a projective test. The basic idea of this is that when a person is shown an ambiguous, meaningless image (i.e. an inkblot) the mind will work hard at imposing meaning on the image. It’s a psychological principle known as apophenia, which describes the universal human tendency to seek meaningful patterns within random data.


By asking the person to tell you what they see in the inkblot, they are actually telling you about themselves, and how they project meaning on to the real world.








17-29 January 2017
Artistic residence – Cirko Center for New Circus – Helsinki, Finland


6-17 February 2017
Artistic residence – Cirkör Lab – Stockholm, Sweden


10-23 April 2017
Artistic residence – Subtopia – Stockholm, Sweden


29 May – 6 June 2017
Artistic residence – Hiljaisuus Festival – Kittilä, Finland


7 June 2017
Work-in-progress presentation – Hiljaisuus Festival – Kittilä, Finland


3-16 July 2017
Artistic residence – Saaren kartano – Mietoinen, Finland


24 Jul – 6 Aug 2017
Artistic residence – Dieselverkstaden – Stockholm, Sweden


23 Oct – 3 Nov 2017
Artistic residence – La Grainerie – Toulouse, France


21 Nov – 3 Dec 2017
Artistic residence – Cirko – Helsinki, Finland


03, 04 February 2018
Finnish Premiere – Flow Circus – Valve – Oulu, Finland


March 2018
International Premiere – Festival UP! – Brussels, Belgium

Concept / performance
Luis Sartori do Vale
Mira Ravald


Light design
Jere Mönkkönen


Music / sound design
Antonio Alemanno


Costume design
Julia Valle




Flow Productions / Flow Circus (FI)


Arts Promotion Centre Finland (FI)
Samuel Huberin Taidesäätiö (FI)
Kone Foundation (FI)
CIRKO – Center for New Circus (FI)
Malmitalo (FI)
Hiljaisuus Festival (FI)
La Central del Circ (ES)
La Grainerie (FR)
Dieselverkstaden (SE)
Cirkör LAB (SE)
Subtopia (SE)

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