'Portugal's choreography takes the dancers to the very limits of physical possibility and often incprorates the 'beat' of Bach in entirely startling ways.' DisTanz - Sarah Batschelet, Bachtrack, 2017
'The triple bill begins with Echo of Elements - a neo-classical piece from Filipe Portugal. It's the most accomplished work of the evening, highlighting a beautiful quality of movement from the ensemble of 14. Elegant, unobtrusive costumes, simple staging and a tumultuous score is all that's required to showcase the maturity of the talent on stage.' Vikki Jane Vile, Broadway World UK, June, 2019
'The strongest work was the opening item, Echo of Elements by Filipe Portugal, perhaps reflecting a closer knowledge of the dancers, as it was well tailored to their youth and energy... The music here was by John Adams, and it was eminently danceable and propelled the movement effectively... Portugal seemed to have the measure of his dancers and made the most of their youthful exuberance and energy in a fluent and lively work.' Lynette Halewood, Dance Tabs, June 21, 2019
'The focal work of the evening engaging the full company was “Tauwetter” by Portugal. He is a choreographic voice to get seriously excited about. The work is tooled with craftsman care in every detail. The movement is twenty-first century ballet: light, fluid pointe work, the extensions high but not overblown exploiting torsos that bend and arch freely. The structure is complex, the stage sectioned by gauzes that draw areas into shadow or silently part to reveal the dancers by degrees. In this constantly shifting landscape Portugal weaves his dancers with assured ease to create an intricate fabric of quality design.' Maggie Foyer, Dance Europe, 2014
'...it again shows his mastery of structure as themese are linked and echoed and the space skilfully used. The heart of the ballet is the pas de deux... The work is full of delightful and surprising moments. He husestheir stonrg ballet technique to confidently take it into innovative territory.' - Dialogos. Maggie Foyer, Dance Europe, 2015
Filipe's video links can be viewed here.
Filipe Portugal was born in 1978 in Lisbon where he studied ballet at the National Conservatory of Portugal. After finishing his studies he was invited by the director Jorge Salavisa to join the National Ballet of Portugal as a member of the Corps de Ballet. After 6 years, he left the company as a soloist to join Ballett Zürich under the direction of Heinz Spoerli where he danced for seven years. He left Ballett Zürich as a principal dancer to return to the National Ballet of Portugal but his stay was only for a short period of time. A year and a half later he returned to Zürich where he is still dancing as a principal dancer under the direction of Christian Spuck.
Filipe made his debut as a choreographer in Portugal for a choreographic workshop with the piece Anfractus (2001), which was chosen to enter the company’s repertoire. He later choreographed Alleged Dances (2007) for the Junior Ballet Zürich, Road B (2007) for Zürich Ballett and Sonata (2008) again for the Junior Ballet, all under the direction of Heinz Spoerli.
Under the direction of Christian Spuck he has created for the Young Choreographers, Silk Road (2013) and was invited to create a duet for the Sylvester Gala 2013, Liebestod. The following year, he created another piece for the Young Choreographers Different Trains (2014), and was later invited to create Tauwetter (2014) for the Junior Ballet Zürich. He was later invited to make his first creation for Ballet Zürich under Spuck’s direction, Dialogos.
In 2017 he created a duet for the Junior Ballet Zürich Behind the Mirror and for Ballett Zürich disTANZ.
Filipe has also created Masquerade (2015) for the Zürich Opera Ball and two pieces for the Dance Academy Zurich (TAZ) under the direction of Oliver Mats and Steffi Scherzer Uncontrolled (2015) and Piazzola (2015).
In 2018, Filipe made his North American debut with his creation of Stepping Over for Charlotte Ballet. He also created Heavy Lightness for the evening of Noverre-Young Choreographers 2018 at the Stuttgart Ballet. That same year, he created O não efémero for young Portuguese talents and recently completed his latest creation for the Junior Ballet Zürich with Echo of Elements which opened the Young Talent Festival at the Linbury Theatre in London in June, 2019.
In 2019, Filipe created new works for the Ballet School of the Opera House Zürich, Under Duress and Thoughts of a Silent Night for the Shanghai International Arts Festival. He also created a new work for the Cannes Junior Ballet presented at the Dance Festival of Cannes 2019.
In 2020, Filipe returned to his native Portugal to create Teu Corpo Meu Eco for the National Ballet of Portugal which premiered in Faro in November. For 2021 new projects include staging Stepping Over, for Ballet Ireland and a new creation for Delattre Dance Company in Germany. In June, Filipe will premiere a new piece created for the BA Contemporary Dance of Zürich.