Born in Rio de Janeiro, Christiane Jatahy is an author, theater director and filmmaker. She graduated in theater and journalism, and she holds a postgraduate in Art and Philosophy.
Since 2003, she has been developing a body of work that explores border zones, between artistic disciplines, between reality and fiction, actor and character, theater and cinema. Some of the first performances are Conjugado and The lack that moves us and Corte Seco (Straight Cut).
In 2010 she launched her first feature film, The lack that moves us, starting from the play with the same name. Despite its radically experimental set up (the film was shot in one continuous session of 13 hours, on a Christmas Eve, in one single location), it gained a wide acclaim, remaining on the billboard of Brazilian movie theaters for over 12 weeks and participating in various international film festivals.
In 2011 she premiered Julia, based on Strindberg’s Miss Julie (rewarded the Shell Award 2012 for Best theatrical direction in Brazil). Deepening Christiane’s research into the tension fields between theater and cinema, Julia has been presented by major theaters and festivals in Europe and the US. After over 300 presentations worldwide, Julia continues touring.
In 2012, part of the cultural program of the 2012 Olympics, she created, directed and coordinated In the comfort of your home, a series of interventions, documentary work, performances and video installations by 30 Brazilian artists in the privacy of households in London.
In 2013, she developed the audiovisual and documentary installation project Utopia.doc, her first research into questions of home, exile and refugees. It was presented in Paris, Frankfurt and São Paulo.
In 2014, she premiered What if they went to Moscow? based on Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters. Splitting the audience between a cinema and a theater (they switch places at the break), What if… was recognised with the Shell Award, the Questão de Crítica Award and the APTR Award.
In 2015, concluding the memory trilogy (including Julia and What if they went to Moscow?), she created The Walking Forest, loosely based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, combining live performance with a video installation and live cinema.
In 2016 Christiane Jatahy directed for the first time an opera, staging Beethoven’s Fidelio at the Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro, mixing the live performance with filmic elements and positioning the choir
In 2017, invited by the Comédie Française, she created La règle du Jeu (The Rule of the Game), based on Jean Renoir’s masterpiece.
In the same year, at the invitation of the Theater der Welt Festival and the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, she premiered the installation/performance Moving People, again focusing on the question of refugees, and an adaptation of Bernard-Marie Koltès’ In the Solitude of the Cotton Fields.
In 2018 she was invited as Artista na Cidade (artist of the city) by the city of Lisbon, presenting throughout the year her oeuvre in the main theaters, cinemas and festivals of the city.
In the same year, deepening her research into the question of refugees, she started to develop the diptych Our Odyssey, inspired by Homer’s Odyssey. The first part, Ithaca, premiered at the Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe in Paris, confronting Homer’s epic and the reality of today’s refugees crossing the Mediterranean.
The second part, The Lingering Now, based on Homer’s epic as well as on documentary material filmed in Palestine, Lebanon, South Africa, Greece and the Amazon, is a dialogue between theater and film, mixing Greek fiction with real stories from refugee artists. The Lingering now premiered in 2019 in São Paulo and at the Festival d’Avignon. It continues touring.
Soon, in July 2021, Christiane will premier her new creation Entre chien et loup (“between dog and wolf”) as opening performance of the Avignon Festival. Based on Lars Von Trier’s Dogville, the performance continues touring.
Entre chien et loup is the first part of a Trilogy of Horror, addressing questions of the mechanisms of fascism (Entre chien et loup); of toxic machismo in Before the sky falls in October 2021 (again based on Macbeth); and of slavery and its consequences for structural racism in After the silence.
Before The Sky Falls, a German spoken creation at the Schauspielhaus Zürich with actors of the ensemble of the house, digs into Shakespeare’s Macbeth to lay bare the toxic patriarchy that is devouring the planet, confronted by a Yanomami indigenous resistance in the words of Davi Kopenawa and Bruce Albert’s The falling Sky.
Closing the trilogy, Depois do Silêncio (After the silence) speaks of the questions of race, of denial of history, of territory and resistance, of revolution. Based on Itamar Vieira Junior’s novel Torto Arado, it marks Christiane Jatahy’s return to create in Brazil, with Brazilian actresses, in Portuguese. Depois do Silêncio opening at the Wiener Festwochen in Vienna in June 2022.
Currently, Christiane Jatahy is an associate artist of the Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe, CENTQUATRE-Paris, Schauspielhaus Zürich, Arts Emerson Boston and Piccolo Teatro de Milano – Teatro d’Europa. Her company, Vertice – Axis Productions is supported by Direction régionale des affaires culturelles d’Île-de-France – Ministère de la Culture France.
In January 2022, she was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale for her artistic career and was also decorated by the French Ministry of Culture as “chevalière de l’orde des Arts et des Lettres”.
THOMAS WALGRAVE – Artistic Collaborator, Scenographer and Lighting Designer
HENRIQUE MARIANO – Production Director, tour manager and collaborator
JULIA BERNAT – Actress and collaborator
STELLA RABELLO – Actress and collaborator
PAULO CAMACHO – Director of photography
MARCELO LIPIANI – Scenographer
JULIO PARENTE – Video System
VITOR ARAUJO – Musical Composer
CLAUDIA PETAGNA – Administrator