Sara Manente

Christophe Albertijn
Trajectory collaboration


°1978, born near Venice, based in Brussels.

Sara Manente works as a choreographer, dancer, researcher and mentor. Her work focuses on aesthetics and ethics at the intersection between live arts and live cultures, namely fermentation technology, chimerization and (auto)immunity.

“In my work there is often the concern of expanding the moment before naming or categorizing. A sort of suspension in a state of affects, paradoxes and possibilities. In this suspension something happens to the body.”

Sara studied ballet since her childhood and, later on, contemporary dance in Italy and abroad. In 2003, she graduated in Communication Sciences at the University of Bologna with an interdisciplinary thesis of Semiotics and History of Dance. After a year as independent researcher at the University of Antwerp, she focused on her own artistic work.

In 2008, she attended a.pass (formerly APT) for a post master degree in performing arts, and 10 years later she was part of the a.pass Research Center/Cycle 1. Interested in the idea of “performative publishing” and in the dynamic relation between performer, work and spectator, her projects are developed throughout hybrid research and unfold in different formats: choreographic pieces, films, texts, interviews, curated events, workshops, telepathic experiences, and more.

Sara’s two early dance pieces are Lawaai means Hawaai (2009) and Faire un four (2011), followed by a longer research project focused on “ekphrasis” and the critical relationship between dance and language: Spectacles (2016-18, interviews, books and a 3D film in collaboration with Christophe Albertijn). From 2012 to 2019, she has been working with Marcos Simoes. Together they question notions of collaboration and the relation with the audience by making performances, videos and workshops inspired by paranormal practices. This place, x: I liked B better/ y: I am 29 too, Tele Visions and Lava.

In 2019 she received a research grant from the Flemish Authorities for Wicked technology/Wild fermentation: a research on art practices, eco-feminist theories and fermentation. Drawing on the imagery and matter of living cultures and mycelium brought into relation with live arts, her more recent projects reflect on the possibility of contamination between pedagogy, research, performance and publication: from the choreographic and sculptural work of MOLD, in which organic and inorganic materials perform together a larger idea of bodies, to the editorial and curatorial practice of ROT, magazines and Gardens presented in BUDA, Kaaitheater and Far Nyon. Since 2023, together with Sébastien Tripod and Deborah Robbiano, she is working on RUINED, a mycological building and degrading process that iterates in different architectures at Kunstmuseum Bochum and Pilar, VUB. The situations she promotes are highly collaborative.

Sara Manente has been working with and performing for Juan Dominguez, Kate McIntosh, Aitana Cordero Vico, Marcos Simoes, Jaime Llopis, Nada Gambier, Gaëtan Bulourde, Andrea Maurer, Begüm Erciyas and Beatrice Balcou.

She’s been teaching at a.pass, KASK, ISAC, ZUYD, DOCH and EXERCE.

She was artist in residence at WIELS in 2021.