Living in Brazil I am enjoying the culture, commenting on the differences, celebrating local expressions and inviting others to enjoy all Brazil has to offer.
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.
We arrived in Brazil in January, 2008 to start up a new chapter in our life together. Luiz has returned to his hometown and I've jumped into the deep end of the pool ready for anything. Let the fun begin!