top of page



Corpo-gambiarra: dance, costume and politics of the body

PhD project

Promoters: Kathleen Coessens (KCA) and Pascal Gielen (UA)

External advisor: Karla Girotto (PUC SP, BR)

Image: Julia Naidin

(Residency at Casa Duna- Atafona, BR 2017)

This research investigates the relation between performer and costume and acts on approximating both crafts, mediating the relation of body with matter. Approaching costume as a sensorial-relational entity with an agency, could the entanglement of costume and body propose new ways of perceiving matter through a sensorial-relational method? Moreover, if this experience displaces the body into a provisional state, how could it create a political body? This project will pre-define this political body as corpo-gambiarra, inspired in the Brazilian concept of Gambiarra, that in everyday use refers to “improvised solutions to problems”[1], and in Tupi-Guarani language “names a provisional camp in an unknown territory”[2].

Corpo-gambiarra will be the fuel of the research, embodied in different outcomes: starting from the educational practice by disseminating my costume-led methodology in a workshop for dancers (RCA, Performact); following to the theoretical rooting where Brazilian authors and artists take a central place in the investigation; performative readings will ground the concepts and an essay will elaborate the first skeleton of the corpo-gambiarra method. As performer, I will create an installation-performance followed by the publication of a book. Supported by an international and transdisciplinary sounding board, this research aims to expand the notions of dance and costume and the territories they are installed from a critical-sustainable practice, using corpo-gambiarra as a (political) tool to achieve it.


[1] Sedlmayer, 2017.

[2] Xico Sá in Sedlmayer, 2017.

Renata Lamenza Epifanio



Renata Lamenza Epifanio (BR/IT) navigates between visual arts, performance, dance, costume, research , motherhood and education. Concluded her Ba in Dance at Faculdade Angel Vianna, a Ba in Costume Design at Senai Cetiqt and a MA in Costume Design at RAFA. Her project Talk to me is on its 7th collaboration and has been performed at De Studio, Fountain Fest Festival and Queer Arts Festival, Antwerp among others. As a performer, has collaborated with Khadija El Kharraz Alami and Merel Servers.


Concerned with expanding notions such as costume and dance, her works use costume as a sensorial trigger, proposing it as an agent of movement, and as a tool for activating a political body. In her installations/performances, she plays with the relation between object-audience and audience-performer. Here she invites the public for an immediate corporeal-sensorial dialogue with the object and the performer, relocating the protagonism from the work itself to the relation that is created between it and the viewer. Since 2018 Epifanio acts as a researcher in the Schools of Arts in Antwerp (Academy and Conservatoire) and has realized the following projects: Talk to mePhysicallity in the performing arts and TACTICS for a COLLECTIVE BODY with Stefani Assandri. Since 2021 she acts as the artistic coordinator of the Master in Dance at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp.

Image: Wannes Cré

bottom of page