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Marcus Borja

  • Japon
From 28 December 2020 to 28 December 2021
Marcus Borja is a Villa Kujoyama 2020 residency programme laureate (residency postponed due to the health context).


In addition to becoming a doctor twice – Sorbonne Nouvelle (2015) and PSL SACRe (2017) – Marcus Borja is an actor, author, director, musician and choirmaster.

He was 24 when he left Brazil, his home country, to live in France. He followed the curriculum at the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq (International Theatre School) before enrolling in the École supérieure d'art dramatique de Paris (National public school of dramatic arts), and later the Conservatoire national supérieur d’art dramatique (National Academy of Dramatic Arts).

He is also a graduate in art history and museology (École du Louvre), and has worked in particular with Sophie Loucachevsky, Yoshi Oida, Christiane Jatahy, Meredith Monk, Éric Ruf, Christophe Rauck and Robert Wilson.

The many studies he has undertaken are seen in the polyphonic and multiform character of his creations. Le Chant des Signes, commissioned by the festival des Francophonies in Limousin (2015), Théâtre, a choral show for 50 singers in 38 languages (2015, 2016), Intranquillité, after Fernando Pessoa (2016, 2017), Bacchantes, after the tragedy of Euripides which he translated himself from Ancient Greek (2017), or Zones en Travaux, commissioned by the Théâtre de la Ville with forty young artists from various countries aged between 18 and 21, direct relate to his multidisciplinary path rich in relations. Marcus Borja speaks five languages fluently and considers himself an artist-researcher-educator. These three perspectives express and nourish each other reciprocally in his path and creations. He teaches particularly at the IESAD, the École du Nord (Lille), Cours Florent (private drama school) and the Sorbonne Nouvelle and Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis universities, in addition to various courses and masterclasses he gives in France and abroad.

In 2021 he created Captives / Αιχμάλωτες at the Milos International Theatre Festival (Greece), as well as Note di Notte, a show commissioned by Villa Medici, in Rome, where he will be artist-in-resident next Spring.


Residency Project

My project is centred on the conception of hybrid and transcultural performances in the urban space highlighting the relation between the arts and the vocal heritage of a community of artists and amateurs of all ages and from all backgrounds. It is a question of examining the underlying theatrics of the public space (museum, art centre, historic site, square, station) in order to extract a dramaturgy that is translated into performance. In a space-time where the ordinary and extraordinary, the ephemeral and enduring are connected and clash, one re-signifies the other and, all while blurring visible frontiers, this connection opens the way to potential new observations of the city and deterritorialisation of the artist experience by sharing ephemeral poetic spaces. As much as the acting bodies give movement to matters set with those they interact with, they compel and stimulate the bodies of the first at the heart of composition that’s complex and constantly crossed by the city and its inhabitants.

Conceiving creation as a network of signs, a knowledgeable contrast where each line must be heard at the same time that it is unavoidably recorded in a harmony. This summarises the whole without crushing the parts, it assembles the dissimilar without necessarily making them similar and transforms the urban cacophony into a human symphony.