Sunday, October 19, 2008

Music, dance, poetry, clowning, puppets--and even a little storytelling!

What a nice day yesterday was. I sat in a coffee shop and wrote while I waited for my laundry to be finished, wandered around a bit, had a big lunch (wishing I'd remembered to take a picture of the buffet), and eventually met Pati at SESC where we watched a show for children called As Aventuras de Bambolina, based on the book by Michele Iaccoca. It's put on by the group Pia Fraus, which from their website I see means "a lie told with good intentions." 

It's a combination of live actors with puppets and dolls, with no words. Bambolina herself is a big floppy doll (manipulated by the actors as a puppet) who gets thrown away by a child but who continues to live on, taken in by various people. She finds her own true life in the end. It's a lovely show. The audience was packed, mostly families with small children. Some of the tinies got alarmed at a scary police siren and a couple of other tense scenes, but they calmed down and thoroughly enjoyed the show. As did Pati and I.

From there we wandered back to the neighborhood where my hotel is and had a snack at a temaki place. Yum.

Then we stopped off at my hotel so I could change clothes. We met Pati's sister Cris and her partner Fernando, and off we went to an evening of music, dance, poetry, clowning, puppets and even a little storytelling at the house of Regina Machado, probably Brazil's most-honored and respected storyteller. It was wonderful to meet her--I wish I had more time so we could sit down and talk story. Next visit, I guess.

Regina has a lovely studio on a hill behind her house, with a covered outdoor performance space underneath it. I was deeply jealous! It was all well-organized, with candles, flowers, plenty of seats, and food and drinks for sale. Old friends greeted each other in an atmosphere of pleasant anticipation.

I really wish I'd brought my camera to the sarau. There must have been over 100 people there, happy to be enjoying the arts together. I knew there was a chance I would be asked to tell a story, but I wasn't sure until Regina sat me and Cris down to discuss it a little beforehand.

I was in the second half of the show. In the first, there was poetry, dance, and puppets. Chita the clown was emcee for the second half, so when it was my turn, we played a little first. Then I told The Great Sharp Scissors by Philippa Pearce, and Pati translated. I don't think I've ever had a translator before, other than sign language. I did step on Pati's lines a few times, but she did a stellar job. Just as I began, it started to rain, so the people in the back weren't able to hear as well, but those close in were listening attentively, laughing at all the right parts, even joining in the small bit of participation I build into the story.

When I was done, there was more music, poetry, clowning, and of course dance. The evening ended with a big dance, and everybody was invited to join in. That was a tremendous end to the evening.

This was also the night to turn the clocks forward, so when I turned out my light in the hotel, the new time was 2:45. I fell right asleep, content.

1 comment:

David said...

Priscilla,

Would love for you to check out http://heekya.com a social storytelling platform that is trying to change the way people create, share, and discover stories.

Feel free to e-mail me, david at the company-name.com