Denise Stoklos is the foremost solo performance artist from Latin America. She started working in theatre as a child, and moved into professional theatre in 1968. She left for England in the late 1970s to get away from the tyranny of Brazil’s military dictatorship, and trained with various European and U.S. performance practitioners. Stoklos was in voluntary exile in England when she composed her first solo piece. She found English offered her “lightness,” one more means for transporting herself from the “vision and vicinity of torture and dictatorship” of the Brazilian military regime. She continues to perform her works in Spanish, English, French, Ukrainian, Russian, German and Portuguese. Brazilian performer, Eleonora Fabião, writes that Denise Stoklos’ “compositions are based on extreme physicality. Even the verbal word achieves a material quality. The text is not declaimed, far from it; the words grow in her mouth to be cut by her untamed tongue, chewed by her teeth, and modeled by her lips. The words she pronounces are parts of her body. Meaning acquires a physical sense, thinking become matter. Her intimacy with verbal language and her capacity to incorporate words and phrases is so overwhelming that she shifts idiom according to the place where she is performing."
Since her early training in mime, solo performance, and other corporeal techniques, Stoklos has developed the capacity to work in multiple languages, linguistic as well as aesthetic. In the last thirty years Stoklos has developed many major pieces, including Mary Stuart (1987), Des-Medéia (1989), Casa (1990, included here), 500 Years—A Fax from Denise Stoklos to Christopher Columbus (1992), Civil Disobedience (1997), I Do, I Undo, I Redo: Louise Bourgeoise (2000), and Calendario de piedra (2001). She has won a number of prestigious national and international awards, including many for best actress in Brazil and a Guggenheim in the U.S.