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The Permanent Seminar of the research group Historical and Cultural Studies in Music of INET-md intends to be a forum where all its members (integrated and collaborators), as well as other invited researchers from the academic, cultural and artistic circles, may present their work and discuss ongoing projects and research.
23-05-2024 | 6 pm | NOVA FCSH, Colégio Almada Negreiros (Campolide) | Room 209
Free access, in person and online:
Zoom Room
Meeting ID: 980 9814 8761
Password: 490140

Music and exile: the case of Fernando Lopes-Graça’s ballet La fièvre du temps (1938)


Manuel Deniz Silva | INET-md / NOVA-FCSH


In May 1937, escaping the political repression of the Estado Novo dictatorship, Fernando Lopes-Graça moved to Paris, where he remained until the outbreak of the Second World War. In the French capital, Lopes-Graça participated in the creation of an ephemeral and cosmopolitan Compagnie des ballets internationaux, which brought together a group of artists of different nationalities then exiled in Paris. A detailed history of this Company is yet to be done, but its main promoters were Jean Weinfeld (1905-1992), an artist born in Warsaw into a Jewish family and an important figure of the French “agit-prop” theater in the early 1930s, and the German dancer Julia Marcus (1906-2002), who studied with Rudolph von Laban and Mary Wigman, before being expelled from the Berlin City Opera Ballet in 1933, for being Jewish and a member of the German Communist Party. The Compagnie des ballets internationaux received a subsidy from the “Maison de la Culture”, a network of cultural institutions promoted by the Association of Revolutionary Writers and Artists, and put on a single show, the «ballet revue» La fièvre du temps, presented on May 28, 1938, at the Teatro Pigalle, in a general rehearsal open to the Parisian public and critics. In the following years, Lopes-Graça would disseminate several sections of the music he wrote for this ballet in other works, namely História Trágico-Marítima (1943), Promessa (1944), Nove danças breves (1948), Cinco estelas funerárias (para companheiros mortos) (1948) e Paris 1937 (1968). In this seminar, we will seek to explore the impact of the experience of exile on the creation of the Compagnie des ballets internationaux, and present a preliminary study of the score for two pianos that Lopes-Graça wrote for ballet, preserved in his personal archives deposited at the Portuguese Music Museum – Casa Verdades de Faria.



Manuel Deniz SilvaAssistant Professor in the Department of Musical Sciences at NOVA FCSH and President of the INET-md (Instituto de Etnomusicologia – Centro de Estudos em Música e Dança). He received his PhD in 2005 from the University of Paris 8 (St. Denis), with the thesis “'La musique a besoin d'une dictature': musique et politique dans les premières années de l'État Nouveau Portugais (1926-1945)”. At INET-md, he was coordinator of the Research Group “Cultural Studies in Western Classical Music” and the Thematic Line “Music and Media”. He participated in several projects funded by the FCT, having been PI, between 2010 and 2013, of the project “Listening to moving images: new interdisciplinary methodologies for the study of sound and music in cinema and media in Portugal”. He is currently the PI of the project ““We must warn everyone”: Music and Portuguese exile in France during the Estado Novo regime (1933-1974)”, at INET-md - NOVA FCSH. Among other publications, he is co-author of Fernando Lopes-Graça (1906-1994): Uma fotobiografia (with António de Sousa, CMC, 2018) and co-editor of Composing for the State: Music in 20th-Century Dictatorships (with Esteban Buch and Igor Contreras, Ashgate, 2016) and Indústrias de Música e Arquivos Sonoros em Portugal no Século XX: práticas, contextos, patrimónios (with Maria do Rosário Pestana, CMC, 2014). He was vice-president of the Sociedade Portuguesa de Investigação em Música (2010-2013) and general co-editor of the Revista Portuguesa de Musicologia (2014-2021).