Adventure is part of my life, tomorrow my girlfriend and I are travelling to Morocco without knowing where exactly we are going, and in March I am going with my 13 year-old son to Thailand, which was my Christmas gift to him. I want to transmit to him a passion for travelling. Life is beautiful, every day is a gift, but it passes very quickly, the best school is travelling.
After I finished my social work studies in Seville, I gathered statistics about the difficulties and problems confronting gypsy kids and their families. But it was all about bureaucracy, there were no solutions, and I always wanted to be like Ernesto “Che” Guevara, able to solve the problems. I decided I needed a change, otherwise I was going to go crazy, so I told my parents that I was going hitchhiking on Monday, and that they couldn’t stop me. The first vehicle which stopped was a huge truck on its way to Évora, Portugal. I didn’t know anything about Portugal, there was no internet at that time, I only knew Benfica. But when I arrived my jaw dropped at how beautiful Évora was. I was juggling to earn money to live on and one day I saw an advertisement about a circus festival in town. It was a sign which led me to a community I enjoyed so much that I moved to Lisbon to study in Chapitô Circus School: I learnt juggling, dancing, body movements and acrobatics. My girlfriend at the time decided to move to Troviscais, Alentejo, which was an unknown area 15-20 years ago. I stayed in Lisbon, because I needed the big city, although most weekends I spent with her in Troviscais, and once I stayed here not just for the weekend but for 5 days. Little by little I started to like this place, I could feel the contrast between the two, the rhythm of Lisbon is ‘pak-pak-pak’, and of here is ‘paaaaak-paaaaaak-paaaaak’.
When I moved to Troviscais, I started work in Odemira Library as a children’s animator, organizing plays, reading sessions and historical activities to fill the library with culture. After 2 years I felt I needed to do something else, the work was too repetitive. I travelled around the world taking part in different street theatre festivals and performing solo in 43 countries, winning various awards as Enano the clown. In the summer I perform on the streets of Porto Covo, Zambujeira do Mar, and Vila Nova de Milfontes. I also work as a clown doctor in hospitals, and I perform in „Lavrar O Mar”, an event organized by a team which works in a collaboration with Rota Vicentina. For me respecting nature is fundamental, and how this association facilitates, renovates, and creates new ideas in this region is very special.
I was born in Cadíz, therefore the sun is essential in my life. There is a man in Troviscais, just sitting in front of the cafe and looking around all day long – the calmness of this place is magical. Generally I am a very nervous kind of person, and the Alentejo has brought me equilibrium and an understanding of the importance of observation and valuing all aspects of life. I found my most important role and also my ideal profession here: I became a father and a clown. While I am working, I’m accepting everything that happens in the moment: the positive and the negative things as well. It is a form of therapy for me, I wouldn’t know what to do without it: when I perform, I don’t think and it makes me entirely free.
Jose ‘Enano’ Torres
The photos were taken on ‘Troviscais to Mira’ Circular Route in Rota Vicentina.