IBT’s Artistic Director/CEO takes Breathe to Brazil

A sound and light installation of bodies pushed to the limit

This weekend Helen Cole, IBT’s Artistic Director/CEO travels to Rio de Janeiro to present her work Breathe at Junta – Festival Internacional de Dança in Teresina and Festival Panorama in Rio, Brazil.

In Breathe Helen has gathered the sounds of the bodies of 76 people from across the world each dancing a dance of resistance.

These echoes will be joined by the sounds of new people in Brazil. Dancing as hard and as fast as they can as Brazil is poised at a moment of fear and political upheaval.

“Throw your body into the fight. Burn brightly, fade strongly, resist to the end.”

Made from the breath of these many dancers, Breathe is a sound and light installation of bodies pushed to the limit. An impossible, communal dance; a collective echo of empathy and resistance.

In 2016, Breathe gathered 76 private dances. Instructed to ‘move from exuberance to exhaustion’ each dance is captured as audio and experienced as an installation of echoes in theatres, galleries and found spaces suffused with shadow and hot white light. These anonymous ‘ghost dances’ come together as an act of mass resistance emitting the tangible, poignant traces of bodies pushed to their limits.

‘My artistic work is built upon encounters with strangers. As we struggle to meet and understand each other, the material of our encounters accumulates, reaching out beyond ourselves to help us make sense of the world’ Helen Cole

In 2009, Helen created We See Fireworks in which the voices of strangers gently unfold in the darkness to reveal haunting, vivid memories of incredible performances.

Helen’s work has been recognised and presented numerous times across the UK and internationally from Australia to Brazil, Europe and the US. Her work has been commissioned by Barbican, Spill Festival, Venice Performance Art Festival, Performance Space Sydney, Panorama Festival (Rio de Janeiro) and PS122 (New York).


Breathe has been shown at the Venice International Performance Art Week, Gibney Dance Studios, NYC and Colston Hall at IBT17 Bristol International Festival, UK. Breathe is funded by Arts Council England. Created by Helen Cole. Produced by Alex Bradley at Arnolfini (UK), Arup Acoustics Soundlab (NYC), Realworld (UK).

Breathe, Helen Cole © Paul Blakemore