Monday, November 8, 2010

A night out with the Niterói Ballet Company

Last night we enjoyed a beautiful evening out watching the Niterói Ballet Company perform a delightful and quirky tribute performance to Brazilian Master instrumentalist, composer, arranger, conductor Pixinguinha. This playful musical context had the dancers bouncing off one another and kicking in every direction. It was very fun to watch.

According to the program (roughly translated): “The show uses the songs of the Master Pixinguinha to reveal emotions, feelings, time alone and the intimacy of each. The choreography builds a body of movement/gestures with delicate nuances of great physical vigor, with a strong theatrical language and unusual interpretation.”

Not your momma’s ballet. (There were 14 male dancers and 10 female ones. That’s different!)

What blew me away about this night at the ballet is that the City made the usual R$20 tickets available to Niterói residents for just R$5. We presented proof of residency and poof – admission was practically free!

Also amazing is the historic Theatro Municipal building, recently restored to its earlier glory. First built in 1827 (a whopping 183 years ago), the building has gone through a series of expansions, modifications, restorations, etc. over the years until apparently it became nearly unrecognizable.

After being named a Cultural Heritage Site in 1990, City officials, historians and philanthropists set about a restoration process to peel off some of the whacky additions and changes and return the theater to its earlier glory.

Key to its historic importance is that after the theater opened it was then occupied by the newly formed National Dramatic Company led by João Caetano. This is now considered the birth of Brazilian theater. Niterói’s Theatro Municipal was the first theater in Brazil with a resident theater company.

It is a beautiful theater with theater-style seating on the main floor and small box seating with cane chairs across three balconies. There are literally no bad seats in the house. We have sat in many different locations over time for dance and musical performances and have never been frustrated.

Photos have been taken from the official Theatro Municipal website.


Nancy said...

Wow, what a beautiful theater. I am really interested in checking that out, is the dance performance still going on?

Rachel said...

Great night out! Very romantic

Jim said...

Unfortunately Nancy this was the last of just three performances. But follow the link to the Theater's website to learn of other worthwhile events/performances.

In about a week the little café adjacent to the theater (part of the theater complex) will have a photo exhibit of Niterói through history. You can make it a double headder.

Jim said...

Rachel - very romantic. Ballet always put Luiz in a good mood. ;-)

Fiona said...

wow, that looks totally wonderful! I'm glad you got to enjoy that-- I know I would have if I were there!

Danielle said...

How fantastic!! I can't wait to be in a big city :D :D

GingerV said...

However did I miss this post and visiting this theater- i think we tended to sell Niteroi short for having things worth seeing. Love the photos.

Jim said...

Ginger - we love this little theater and the small town feel of our little city.