Under the stars, 630 years ago, Carmo Church was born. Resistant to time and testimony of an immense history, that turned it into one of the most beautiful landscapes of Lisbon. In contemporary Lisbon, under the same stars, its powerful story full of adventures was revealed.

Lisbon Under Stars was an immersive multidisciplinary light art event, aimed to enhance the culture and heritage of Lisbon, with innovative positioning between heritage, light art, culture and entertainment. Proven to be the ideal stage for Lisbon Under Stars, Carmo Church provided a new way of experiencing the city’s history. Created and produced by OCUBO, in an institutional partnership with the Carmo Archaeological Museum, Lisbon Under Stars was a multidisciplinary experience that brought together multimedia projections, virtual dancers and visual effects, to the sound of great Portuguese music.

The year 2018 has been marked as European Year of Cultural Heritage. With this in mind, OCUBO felt the urge to create Lisbon Under Stars, a historical virtual journey through 600 years of Portuguese history.

Research Background
In collaboration with the team of historians of the Carmo Archaeological Museum a dramaturgy has been elaborated. A journey through the history of the monument, from its foundation to the present, finding interconnections with the most important chapters in the history of the city and Portugal. The choice of the protagonist was very interesting, as the creators decided to be the church itself to tell the story in the first person.

The Immersive Experience
Lisbon Under Stars was an inspiring audiovisual and sensorial experience, whose creative idea was to breathe life into the church and assume that the church became the principal character of the show. The creators worked with a renowned dance school and choreographer to create an engaging show led by the dancers. The show has been enriched with a special participation of Portuguese artists from diverse fields of arts, and music, which gave the show a special sensibility.

Carmo Church has been transformed into three dimensional screens. They became a home for dancers, signers, painters and multimedia artists, which have been filmed in studio, and transformed into coherent multimedia work, that told the story about over more than 600 years of the city and Portugal. Historical landmarks as the Battle of Aljubarrota, the Age of Discovery, the big Lisbon earthquake of 1755 or the Carnation Revolution were just a few moments that made up this immersive show.

The spectator was involved in this inspiring audiovisual and sensorial experience, which always has up in the sky, the stars to remind us of the Universe’s true dimension and our human conditions in space and time. At the centre of the event, the public could move freely through space, see, hear and appreciate different perspectives of this time travel, in this emblematic cultural landscape in the centre of Lisbon.

Lisbon Under Stars has been on view from 3 May-30 June 2018 and 3 May-20 July 2019.

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