Note from BW of Brazil: It’s been a while since actress Dandara Mariana appeared on this little blog, but I knew I recognized her face when the fam ordered a pizza on one Saturday night back in May. When I saw her I thought, “I’m familiar with her”, but at the time I couldn’t recall her name. As I’ve mentioned several times, I’m not a fan of novelas (soap operas) but I will sparingly pay attention when I see a black face come across the screen. So, as we chowed down on four cheese and pepperoni pizzas, I went online to find the list of actors and actresses featured on one of Globo TV’s productions.
Of course I was familiar with Ícaro Silva, but I needed to know who this lovely was with the, dare I say, Beyoncé-esque presence. Ahhhh, it’s Dandara, the daughter of veteran actor Romeu Evaristo. Well, Dandara may be pretty and commands a certain presence whenever she is on-screen but she still understands what it means to be a black woman in Brazil. In the piece below, she discusses this a bit.
Dandara Mariana: “Being black in Brazil is to go through absurd situations”
By Raquel Pinheiro
The actress of Verão 90 novela recalls that racism affects self-esteem and recalls a situation in a mall
Dandara, the character of Dandara Mariana in Verão 90, is in a complicated phase in the 7 o’clock drama, facing issues that more than two decades after the generation of the 1990s, remain common to black women. In the relationship with Quinzinho (Caio Paduan), the male chauvinist businessman is bothered with the success of the woman and so much so that she left her career as a VJ aside, having to give in when fans of the lambada teacher asked for her return. And if the color of Dandara’s skin was never a problem for the couple, for his mother, Mercedes (Totia Meirelles), it’s so much that she went to the lambada dancer to straighten her hair.
“Dandara is very dignified, has strong principles. Quinzinho being white was not an issue, but the fact of being a playboy, a spoiled boy is what bothered her,” says the 30-year-old actress who is single in real life. She notes that the mother-in-law’s attitudes have a greater purpose in the plot.
“It’s the hook to start talking about racism. In the era of the novela denouncing this was not so common, but good that today we don’t tolerate this type of behavior,” says Dandara. “We are more empowered, blacks are more united in this sense, putting their mouths on the world. We are denouncing it because we want to experience more of what we have already experienced,” she explains.
Experiences like that of the character, Dandara had in real life. “I have been through situations of racism because being black in Brazil is going through various absurd situations. I experienced it inside a restaurant, inside a mall,” says Dandara, remembering one occasion when she was 13, when she was in a computer store with her brother, Noah, now 28, and they were approached by security. “It happened because they were two black kids. That day my father was there to protect us, because you suffer some things so young and end up not knowing how to deal with it, keeping it (the racist act) with you. It affects your self-esteem,” says Dandara.
She often exchanges ideas with her father, actor Romeo Evaristo, about the work and has already discussed scenes of the novela (soap opera) with him. “Sometimes he guides me,” says the actress, who began to take architecture and left the course for the deaprtment of dance, an experience that helped her in Verão 90. The lambada is a dance in which the hip regulates the movement and that uses the hair a lot. I had some ease because of the classes, so I didn’t take long to get the hang of it, although I didn’t have this memory of the lambada fever,” she explains.
Dandara says that what marked her in the 90’s was the music group É o Tchan! and other groups of Axé music, having watched many videos on YouTube to better see and understand the customs of the time for the novela. She loves the fashion of that generation. “It’s all very colorful. The decades of the 60s, 70s and 80s had very characteristic styles and then came the 1990s, freer, with a mixture of references, prints, all together,” approves the actress, who became known to the public as Marilda in the novela A Força do Querer.
With the novela at the halfway point, Dandara won’t be away from the fans when the plot ends in the second half. She’ll be seen in the movie theater in Cidade do Medo, tentative title of the film with Marcos Palmeira and Bianca Comparato, directed by Caio Cobra with a screenplay by Rodrigo Pimentel and Gustavo de Almeida, on the implementation of the Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora (Pacifying Police Units or UPPs), in Rio de Janeiro.
“I play a social worker, and the film will portray the beginning of the pacification attempt of the Rio favelas (slums) with the entrance of the UPPs. It’s wonderful to be able, with art, to contribute to a political reflection,” she says. “I hope the film generates a lot of debate, because it is extremely important to re-evaluate public policies and police action in the communities,” says the actress.
Source: Revista Quem