Rui Horta

(born 1957)

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Born in Lisbon, Rui Horta began dancing at age 17 at the Ballet Gulbenkian. After abandoning a degree in Physical Education he moved to New York where he studied, taught and worked as a performer for several years before returning to Portugal. Upon his return he directed the Lisbon Dance Company, becoming a major force in developing a new generation of Portuguese dance. Later, with the support of the Service Acarte he created the works ‘Line’ and ‘Interiors’. With these two pieces he began touring in Europe. It was with these works he came to the attention of Dieter Buroch and was invited to start SOAP in Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt.

From 1998 to 2000, Rui Horta worked in Munich, as resident choreographer at Muffathalle. For this new project created, Bones and Oceans, and two new group works, ‘Blindspot’ ‘Zeitraum’. During that period he was also an associate artist with the Maison de la Culture de Bourges.
In August 2000 he returned to Portugal (Montemor-o-Novo), where he established a multidisciplinary center for research and creation, ‘o espaço do tempo’ (‘the space of time’) which has given the liberty of time to create for numerous artists, both Portuguese and international.
He was a visiting professor at some of the most important dance schools, such as the Laban Dance Centre, the Conservatoire National de Paris, the Conservatoire National de Lyon, London School of Contemporary Dance, Steps and Perridance in New York.

In May 2011 the French Ministry of Culture awarded him the rank of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in honour of ‘the brilliant and exemplary career of one of the pioneers of Portuguese contemporary dance’.