Director of Porto Municipal Theatre is appointed Chevalier of The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

  • Article


Tiago Guedes, Director of the TMP, was presented with the highest civilian distinction in France and was appointed Chevalier of The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters), for his significant contributions to the arts and literature and the exchange of these fields between Portugal and France. The ceremony took place yesterday, at the French Embassy in Portugal, located at the Palácio de Santos, in Lisbon. The Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira attended the ceremony.

Tiago Guedes, who was born in Minde, a village in the parish of Alcanena Municipality in Portugal, was invested Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters, one of the highest civilian distinction awarded by the French Government, by his professional path and his contribution to the French culture. The “Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" was presented by the French Ambassador in Portugal, who described Tiago Guedes as “a Portuguese man of culture, for many years, who devotes all his energy and passion to both artists and audiences”. “Watching Tiago Guedes’ professional path, conducted through an open-minded approach to the world, one is quite impressed with his faultless fidelity to the French artists”, affirmed Florence Mangin, French Ambassador in Portugal, during the award ceremony.

This was a restricted ceremony, attended by the Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, the Minister for Culture, Graça Fonseca, the Secretary of State of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, André Moz Caldas, and the socialist Member of Parliament Rosário Gamboa.

“The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, one of the highest honours granted by the French Republic, is not reserved to French citizens only. It is meant to award personalities, whatever their nationality, who have stood out in their work, in the artistic and literary areas, or by their commitment to culture, in general, and the culture of our country in particular”, enhanced Florence Mangin during the award speech ceremony.

The French Ambassador also highlighted Tiago Guedes’ professional path, “conducted in an open mind spirit towards the world”, noting his “flawless fidelity to French artists”, and his character of “a man of conviction, clearly undertaken and declared”. “In fact, we sometimes think of him as being French, as his convictions perfectly embody the motto of our Republic – Liberté, Égalité, Faternité”, the Ambassador concluded.

Tiago Guedes professional path

The relationship of TMP’s Director with French culture has always been present throughout his professional activity as a choreographer and a programmer. Between 2004 and 2006, he was the resident artist at LE VIVAT – Scène conventionnée d'intérêt national art et création (Armentières, France), taking his choreographic work, which was co-produced by several French institutions, to numerous theatres and cultural venues and French festivals.

In 2011, the Centre Pompidou-Metz, in Paris, devoted him a monography, alongside a publication on his decade long artistic activity.

As a Director at the Porto Municipal theatre, a role Tiago Guedes embraces since July 2014, he has established several partnerships with some of the most important cultural institutions in France, such as the Centre National de la Danse, in Paris, and the Maison de la Danse, in Lyon.

The close collaborations between Portuguese and French choreographic and theatrical work led to the joint production between Portuguese and French artists, with performances in both countries; for instance, the programming projects at the Scène National de Brest, the regular collaboration with the Biennale de La Danse de Lyon/Maison de la Danse and the collaboration with the Palais de Tokyo, in Paris, presented in 2019, an immersive installation by Jonathan Uliel Saldanha, current artist associated with the TMP.

Tiago Guedes has always included French artists in Porto Municipal Theatre’s programming, namely Philippe Quesne, Boris Charmatz, Maguy Marin, Christian Rizzo, Mohamed El Khatib, François Chaignaud, Ballet de Lorraine or the Ballet de Lyon. In turn, he also promotes the participation of Portuguese artists in the French cultural scene.

Currently, Tiago Guedes is working on exchange artistic programmes, in partnership with the Centre Pompidou and the Théâtre de La Ville, in Paris; La Manufacture, in Bordeaux; or the Maison and Biennale de la Danse de Lyon, involving both Portuguese and French creators, in the framework of the “Saison Croisée France-Portugal” which will be held, simultaneously, in Portugal and in France, between February and October 2022.

Other personalities that have received The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres include such names as António Victorino d’Almeida, Amália Rodrigues, Catarina Vaz Pinto, Dulce Maria Cardoso, Joaquim Benite, Leonor Silveira, Lídia Jorge, Luís Miguel Cintra, Maria João Seixas, Tiago Rodrigues or Paulo Cunha e Silva.