A high-risk experimental dance and performance project.


"Mistakes are the portals of discovery". James Joyce, Ulisses, 1922.


Self-Mistake is a curatorial project that supports and promotes artistic freedom and experimentation within the framework of independent contemporary dance and performance in Portugal. It centres on the artist and its provocative approach embodies a statement. The project is aimed at risk-taking practices and going ahead with situations that have no foreseeable solutions.

Self-Mistake wants to stimulate and provide conditions so that an artist can enjoy the freedom of space in which to develop a project idea in activities free from the constraints that present-day programming imposes while simultaneously encouraging empowerment and independence of artistic creators and Art.


Self-Mistake allows experimentation and collaboration to flow and thereby contribute towards restructuring today’s prevailing paradigm in which creators are increasingly contaminated with bureaucratic processes, by rigid organisation of programming and its thematically-related requirements thereby restricting free creativeness.


There are progressively scarcer places, contexts and funding for the more experimental and emerging dance to develop and be shown.  This project intends to start a movement and a framework to address this need, this emergency.  A change is vital seeing that development in any area of the arts depends on increasing experimental work, testing it and failing in order to be successful.


Art and Dance

Although art can also emerge from the effort of adapting to the eventualities and demands of the outside world, it must also remain true to its own creative impulse and artistic commitment.   Subsequently, it is vital that interaction between creativity and power should maintain a horizontal dialogue and transform unequal relations. Questions must be asked and answers sought even if they are contradictory and unexpected.


Any change, particularly in the artistic domain, has the power to transform society, which more than ever needs to be free and escape normative and conventional demands.



Self-Mistake is a global project to support experimental and innovative work in contemporary dance and performance through an annual programme that provides continuity in different areas: experimental work, creativeness, presentations and production consultancy services.


Target participants

Self-Mistake is aimed at emerging and independent artists, whether Portuguese or residents in Portugal, who want to carry out research and experimental artistic work in dance and performance without programming obligations.




Self-Mistake has set up various partnerships in response to artists’ needs with respect to space for rehearsals, presentations, communications, relationship with audiences, access to funding, production management advice, etc. – and its aims to continue and create more.


 Vila Nova de Gaia:

Armazém 22


Cal/Primeiros Sintomas
Armazém da Dança/CPBC
Gaivotas 6



Apoios: ORG.I.A/Câmara Municipal de Lisboa




Artists supported in 2019


Experimental work grants:
Henrique Furtado // Diego Bagagal // Tita Maravilha // Carlota Lagido // Catarina Vieira // Bárbara Carlos // David Marques // Joana Verona e Eduardo Breda // Apneia // Margarida Correia // Sofia Dinger


Production consultancy support:
Telma Santos // Pablo Alvez // Isadora Alves


Creative work grants:
Tiago Vieira // Diana de Sousa // Maurícia | Neves