Coimbra is one of those cities that is impossible to forget, both for its historical Portuguese references and also for the masterful architecture classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site. I had the opportunity to develop two sessions in this city with the teacher and dancer Ana Baltazar and, also, with the student of the Higher Dance Course in Lisbon, Estela Santos, both from Coimbra. Although we have visited quite different places, it is certainly still far to reflect all the beauty of this city.

Coimbra is the capital of the district of Coimbra, located in the province of Beira Litoral, Centro Region. With 105.842 inhabitants (2011) in its urban perimeter, it is a reference center and the largest city in the Center of Portugal region, which gathers around 2.3 million inhabitants (2013). Coimbra is a historically university city, because of the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in Europe and the largest in Portugal, founded in 1290. It is considered one of the most important Portuguese cities, due to infrastructures, organizations and companies installed in it beyond its historical importance and privileged geographical position in the center of Portugal, between the cities of Lisbon and Porto. Coimbra’s fado is closely linked to academic traditions and is characterized by a guitar with its own structure, configuration and tuning. Names like Adriano Correia de Oliveira and Zeca Afonso, singers and poets of resistance to the dictatorship, revolutionized traditional Portuguese music. On June 22, 2013 the University of Coimbra, Alta and Sofia, were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Date of the sessions: January and February of 2020

Dancers: Estela Santos & Ana Baltazar