(2018 - 2022)
The UniVersus Ensemble is a musical group created by José Manuel Freire after the publishing of the "UniVersus" project. This literary and musical work, which was presented to the public in 2012, has several influences and languages. The concerts feature original repertoire that appear as sound illustrations of the subjects addressed in the book.
The Ensemble's performances are intended to inspire the public into connecting to the sacred dimension of Life, the Being and the Universe. In these troubled times, let us look for those moments of intimacy, allowing us to experience true rapture and introspection.
(2003 - 2022)
Salamantras was created in 2003 in Portugal after musician Roby Lakatos asked Myriam Szabo to join him on stage with other dancers. They would only dance with his ensemble 10 years later, but in the meantime the group performed with several bands and musicians in different European festivals. Originally called SALAMANTRAS - Gipsy Duende Company, the group is a fruit of the Danza Duende vision: an intense investigation, not only on Gipsy dances and music from all over the world, but also on the very core of the human being, through the heart of arts as a path for education.
Poetry Show. Premiere at the Teatro Meridional (Lisbon, 2018)
Two brothers meet to celebrate the texts and songs of Pedro Branco's work. A dancer appears and "enters" into the warmth of the words, the voice, the guitar and the red wine. In the room are the hearts and are the souls...
Pedro Branco: songs and poems / José Santos: poetry recitation
Lamento / Almento ...
(2017 - 2018)
Three part show in Danza Duende about conflict and war. Is it possible to work ourselves through pain and suffering? An alchemical performance where three artists put the artistic gesture at the sevice of a quest. Through the expression of the skin, the blood, the heart, Carolina Fonseca, Cristina Manrique and Mónica Roncon take us on journey where transcending pain and suffering becomes a never ending love story. Premiere at Sazz-n Jazz (Brussels, May 2017).
Daqui Pra Cá
InPulsar, an association for community development based in Leiria, with the support of the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, through the PARTIS programme, developed a social inclusion project involving two groups of children and teenargers. One of the them was of Romani origin and the other was Gadjè. The latter were preparing themselves to become professional dancers.
Pálinka - Romani Dances Company
(2008 - 2017)
Pálinka was a company consisting of five professional dancers who were passionate for Romani music and dance. Inspired by the tradition of Romani dances from different regions of Europe, the company created its own original repertoire in an atmosphere of humor, drama, elegance and poetry. The audience could appreciate dances ranging from the Transylvanian csingeralas, to the fierce Russian and Central European ones, the Turkish Roman Havasi and even the flamenco expression, among many others. They still give shows from time to time (www.palinkaperformances.blogspot.pt).
Gadjè - Live Music and Dance
Ten Gadjè artists (a term designating the 'non-Romani population) created an exceptional show with tradition, fantasy, humour and poetry combined. Gadjé featured Romani musical repertoire and dances from Central European and Eastern European regions, but also from the Iberian Peninsula's Gitanos, as well as some Klezmer pieces.
Êxtase was a performance created and produced by Carolina Fonseca. It was inspired by "Spectrum of Ectasy," a book by Ngakpa Chogyan and Khandro Dechen which addresses the five wisdom energies of the Vajrayana Buddhism. Mónica was a guest dancer, along with Bharata-Natyam artists Tarikavalli and Tatiana Bonança, and Kung Fu master Guilherme Luz (extasexperience.wordpress.com).
Vinayaka - Journey on the Back of My Elephant
(Dance-theatre show for children - 2008-2014)
Tarikavalli and Mónica took the children on a journey to meet the ancient art of Bharata Natyam as well as the Silk Road. This mythical route, a symbol of the East and West interchanges along history, was the scene for this adventure. Following the footsteps of Vinayaka, a curious and amusing elephant, the little ones would discover through music and dance the soul of those magical and distant lands, while learning about Ganesha, in a plot full of magic and grace ...
"Traversées" is first and foremost the story of a journey. Women cross the sea, dreaming of love and glory. On arrival, these dreams are shattered by violence and death. Then begins another crossing, that of the desert... This performance was born at the Pauline Roland residence, a Parisian home for women in difficulty, and developed from creative workshops. It was produced by Lebanese dancer Nada Chouaib in 2007 from the Compagnie Adelante, based in Paris. The premiere took place at the Théâtre de Ménilmontant, but the company also performed at the well-known Institut du Monde Arabe. Mónica collaborated with the Compagnie Adelante while living in Normandy.
Mónica was also a guest dancer of the Portuguese Gipsy Band "Ciganos d'Ouro" on several occasions, such as the Festival Noites na Nora 2007 (Serpa, Portugal) and the XIV Festival de Artes de Macau (China). Other guest artists were Myriam Szabo, Carolina Fonseca, Tânia Luís and Joana Saahirah.
Quejío del Desierto
A contemporary approach to flamenco, fado and Arabic dance. Produced by Rosario Peinado, dancer and choreographer from Seville, director of the Luna Flamenca Co. The show featured Rosario Peinado, Carolina Fonseca and Mónica, and was accompanied with live music. The première took place at Chiclana de La Frontera.
World Music (2002-2003)
Mónica collaborated with Dazkarieh, a band that played traditional Portuguese music, alternative rock and neofolk, as a percussionist and soloist dancer. The band, which ended in 2014, stood out for its original sounds, inspired by inumerous cultures, real or fictitious, and used a wide variety of musical instruments.
Middle-eastern fusion dance (2001-2007)
'Zambra' (from the Arabic samra) was the name that designated the Moorish festivities of the Hispanic peninsula, which were characterized by great fanfare, rejoicing and jubilation. Zambra was born in 2001 in Lisbon, at a time where Middle-eastern dance was almost unknown to the Portuguese public. By introducing elements of African, Indian, Thai, Turkish, Moroccan, Romani, Flamenco and many other dance expressions in their shows, the five artists that formed this pioneer adventurous Company printed their own stories, legends and myths in their creations. Graceful and elegant, their very specific "fusion" was the result of much research and dedication, sharing and enthusiasm.
Escola de Ballet
Clássico Espanhol Celia Neves
Mónica began her dance studies with Flamenco and Spanish Classical Ballet (Escuela Bolera) in Lisbon in 1991, at the Escola de Ballet Clássico Espanhol Celia Neves. Within its corps de ballet, she performed in several venues, such as the Maria Matos, the Trindade and the Luisa Todi theaters, as well as in different events and television programs.