O Melhor do Mundo

2021 • Dance Performance | A story about animals and community for children aged 4-8 and their families.

O Melhor do Mundo

O Melhor do Mundo ("the best in the world") is a dance performance by Ballet Contemporâneo do Norte for children aged 4 to 8 and their families. The show tells about one day in the life of a rare animal — an animal that has never been seen before. It is joined by other rare animals, each belonging to a species with only one representative. The concept of species is no longer helpful: absolute rarities, no science, just experience. A wise collective of animals is busy on the performance stage, helping, caring and repairing, living, doing, and offering, without asking for anything in return! One for all and all for one, they almost say. O Melhor do Mundo is a story about animals who are people — or people who could be a little more like animals.

O Melhor do Mundo poster. Design: Jani Nummela

Inspired by Fernando Pessoa's poem Liberdade, the title of the performance comments on the urgent modern world. The show is a reaction to the complex political, social, and health crises affecting the world today: the uncontrolled development of (dis)information technology, the disturbing emergence of totalitarian ideologies, and eco-catastrophes. The show's creators want to consider how art can be a driving force in building fairer, more empathetic, and inclusive relationship systems. In this framework, the animal — or non-human — is not a metaphor but a model of friendship, interdependence, and caring. This is an excellent lesson for children today and tomorrow: we are nothing aloneO Melhor do Mundo, as a participatory performance, proposes a didactic attitude based on ecology that puts the Animal at the center of the eternal debate about humanity.

The show premiered on June 1 at Cineteatro António Lamoso.

I designed and illustrated a double-sided poster for the show O Melhor do Mundo, which will be distributed to the audience to take home. On the reverse side of the poster, there are drawings and descriptions of the animal characters of the show, as well as the working team - as animals.
Photo: Cineteatro António Lamoso

O Melhor do Mundo

Choreography Susana Otero
Dramaturgy and texts Rogério Nuno Costa
Artistic collaboration and dance Daniel Oliveira, Filipa Duarte, Henrique Fernandes, Jorge Gonçalves and Vinicius Massucato
Music composed and performed by Henrique Fernandes (Sonoscopia)
Lighting design Daniel Oliveira
Costumes Jordann Santos
Process photography Miguel Refresco
Stage photography Nelson d'Aires
Graphic design and illustration Jani Nummela
Production BCN in collaboration with Sonoscopia, Patricia Craveiro

Ballet Contemporâneo do Norte's activities are funded by the Portuguese government and the Secretary of State for Culture (Direção-Geral das Artes) and supported by the Santa Maria da Feira Municipal Council.