Note from BW of Brazil: Well needless to say, this “Black November”, better known as the Month of Black Consciousness, has been a memorable one here on the blog! Simply put, this month has presented some of the best reasons for the very existence of the Black Women of Brazil site. And even with only three days remaining in the month, the previous 26 posts have already been enough to provide anyone who may have never previously visited this blog reason enough to visit us again!
On November 11th, we had already presented an exciting theater piece that focused on the acceptance of natural black hair and black female identity and as the last few days of the month wind down, we present yet another theatrical presentation that will surely entertain as well as provoke reflections on Brazilian society. Of course, most of us won’t be lucky enough to see this piece live, but check the report below as well as the great photos and video clips and get a feel for this show that certainly appears to be entertaining!
Musical spectacular “Aini-Ará” puts in focus black space and Afro-Brazilian culture in society. Piece also touches on racism, genocide and the role of black women in Brazil
by Jorge Amancio; additional information from Raquel Martins Ribeiro
The body, dance, theater, songs in Yoruba and music are used in the spectacular of the Grupo Cultural Obará to talk about black space and Afro-Brazilian culture in society.
To what extent does Afro-Brazilian culture contribute to the culture of Brasília and Brazil? This question led to the staging of the musical show spectacular Aini-Ará, a word of Yoruba origin meaning “no body”. The show is part of the Esferas Musicais (Musical Spheres) trilogy, directed musician George Ângelo and choreographer José Calixto (CAE), both trained in Salvador, Bahia, and working for years in the Brasília DF (Federal District).
The musical returned to the stages of Plínio Marcos Theater, of the Complexo Cultural Funarte, in its second season, on November 18th and 19th. The performances are free and take place at 3pm for schools and guests, and 8pm for the general public. Aini-Ará debuted in late October in Brasília.
The show is full of latent themes of the reality of the black population in Brazil such as racism, the extermination of young people and discrimination against women. The piece also touches on the role of black women in the society, discusses the controversial idea of lowering the legal age of criminal responsibility and the contribution of black culture to artistic expressions in the capital city. While presenting these challenges, the action on stage exalts Afro-Brazilian culture, its ancestry and strength, the deities of Candomblé and religions of African origin, dance, traditional songs and rhythms. All these elements reach the public in universal themes of life and death, origin of the universe, love, violence and childhood.
“Brasília doesn’t possess a cultural body. It’s, in truth, a cultural stew. And a great part of the arts, (are) influenced by Afro-Brazilian traditions,” explains director George Ângelo. George says that the script written by four hands in partnership with Alexandre Adas, has been ready for at least 10 years. “The highlight is that we managed to bring all these elements, being cultural or religious, such as the Tuaregs, among others, to our current cultural context,” he reveals.
In front of a scenario of human and environmental degradation, the character Bá, a wise old woman, calls the deities to illuminate humanity in her path through the earth. Oxum, Iemanjá, Iansã, Exu, Omolu, Oxossi and Olodumaré (African deities) are invoked to guide the paths of life, death and resurrection covered by some of the characters of the plot. The show unifies ancestral knowledge to a contemporary reading that combines traditional religious rites to Afro-Brazilian dance.
“This work is produced by black people. Drums and dance enchant the public, but we also want to generate debate about our role in society. Why are we only remembered during the week of Black Consciousness? Our struggle is a struggle that concerns all Brazilians every day of the year,” questions George Ângelo, director of Grupo Cultural Obará.
In partnership with the Department of Education, the show will be presented to high school students and young and adult education, in the afternoon. Participants of the March of Black Women, held on November 18th in the Federal District were also invited, bringing together activists from the black and feminist movement throughout Brazil.
Who is Grupo Cultural Obará
Grupo Cultural Obará has been present in the DF since 2009, in order to keep alive Afro-Brazilian culture in all its aspects, not only in the axis of art, but ensuring the democratization of cultural property in the country. Since then it has held continuing education and free dance, percussion, capoeira and singing workshops for more than 5,000 people in various cities such as Plano Piloto, Cruzeiro, Estructural, Ceilândia (P North) and Varjão, among others. The workshops take place in cultural centers or in schools through agreements with the Secretary of Culture and the Secretary of Education. This show is one of the results of the workshops held since the beginning of 2015.
The Aini-Ará spectacular was selected by the Fundo de Apoio à Cultura do DF (Support Fund for Culture of the DF), through the Dulcina de Moraes Dulcina award, and received the first selection in performing arts projects last year. Grupo Cultural Obará has continued rehearsing since the beginning of the year and called in the last month, award-winning dancers who came from Salvador to be a part of the show.
Aini-Ará is part of a trilogy about the afro-Brazilian culture, entitled Esferas Musicais. The first show was presented in the Federal District in 2013. The musical piece has the general direction of George Ângelo, choreography of José Calixto (Caé) and contributions from Naná Viana, in production, Alexander Adas, in the script, and Tuanny Araújo in theatrical direction.