South America | Brazil | Rio de Janeiro – pics of wall art, noite de dança, & my liberty theory
It´s Saturday morning. I had a ball last night. First Martin and I went to this dance show called ‘Nó’ choreographed by a woman named Deborah Colker. It was so outstanding. It was like a Pilobolus- Streb love child. I´m all reinspired to dance. THEY WERE so good. And I think that they have a studio here so that´s swell too.
(Please excuse the lack of expressive adjectives here. I´m not totally awake yet.)
Then we met some of the other cronies in Lapa, which is this neighborhood that just has mad street parties on Friday and Saturday nights. Normally, tons of inebriated crowds kind of skeeve me out, but I gave it a go, and it was well worth it. It was just a bunch of people dancing and talking in the streets, but people are, dare I say, well behaved. It´s just a couple of blocks, colonial houses of course. The Lapa arches are the central meeting place. The bonde (tram) goes over the arches in a MOST precarious fashion. The tracks look even smaller from below…
You walk along and the streets are full of people. Bars and clubs all along, but small – more like pubs almost. We watched a capoiera roda (?) that just blew me away. About forty people in a big circle, chanting and clapping and singing. 2 birimbaus (?? again), drums, and of course fierce play in the middle of the circle. It was great – there were all these little kids, maybe 7 or 8 yrs old, and they´d constantly jump into the circle with the full intent of kicking the super mestre´s ass. They had some skills too. 🙂
We met some magicians on the street; they kept Maxine and Josee and Marisol diverted for hours. I was like, LET´S GO!! But they were just so pleased with the Brasilian magic! We never even made it in to a club to dance, because the streets were so entertaining. Ah well, I am pretty confident that there might possibly be another festa here in Rio…
What else? I was walking along and kept being like, ‘ I have to remember this! And this!’ It was just so much fun.
As we were walking from the theater to Lapa, I was trying to explain to Martin how this calma, this relaxed whatever-ness, here in Rio is totally messing with my worldview. People dance and sing and they enjoy themselves.
It seems to me that in San Diego, and the US in general, there´s this deep seated fear of chaos … okay, wait, let me back up.
I asked Martin whether the street vendors had to get permits, or licenses, or anything… or did they just work it out among themselves? He said that, as far as he knows, street space is pretty much up for grabs.
Which totally blows my mind. FIRST of all, I´m sure there are complicated unstated rules and power struggles between, you know, the old school vendor on Rua das Laranjeiras and the uppity young pipsqueak who is trying to muscle in on his corner.
And they go on and it seems that it resolves itself. No government involvement on the most basic level.
But SECOND, just the fact that people dance on the sidewalks (not in the streets: no one wants to get run over by a speeding bus) and that people drink WHATEVER they want as they wander around really amazes me.
We were walking around and there was a cop car; instinctively I was like, ‘shit!’ and I tucked my beer under my arm. But it´s NOT ILLEGAL! They were probably drunk themselves. But that´s another story for another cabin time…
I´ve only been here a week or so, I don´t know whether this system truly works. But it just highlighted the culture of fear in which we live in the US. And because of it, people don´t know how to behave when they find themselves in foreign (less restrictive) situations. Cause we haven´t been allowed to relax & we don´t know how.
We think it´s wrong to dance in the street, and that we´ll get in trouble, which we will. So when we are given freedom, we totally go overboard, and act like drunken boors. É muito mál.
OKAY I have to eat breakfast now. I will take capoeira and also an Israeli folk dance class today. Maybe go to Ipanema, but when, when? Oh, and Jonathan is helping to run a clinic up in Prazeres, the community up the road. He says it´s great and all the kids are having shows and singing and all. I want to go to that too. So many activities, so little time. There are about seventy thousand music festivals this wknd.
This is very fun.