By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Beginning today, Saturday November 1st, the Panorama Festival returns to Rio de Janeiro for its 23rd edition. Celebrating contemporary dance and the body as art, the festival will run through November 16th, and will feature eighteen performances in ten theaters and cultural spaces spread throughout the city.
Additionally the festival which, has become one of the most popular contemporary dance events in Latin America, will host seminars, workshops, and conferences during its two-week duration.
“The festival was created twenty-three years ago by choreographer Lia Rodrigues, with the intention of giving visibility and support to contemporary dance in Rio,” Catarina Saraiva, artistic director of the Panorama Festival, told The Rio Times when speaking of the festival that held its first edition in 1992.
“From the beginning until today, much has changed,” Saraiva continued. “The festival is still directed by Lia Rodrigues but it has grown and became international, inviting several choreographers who are internationally recognized in the world of dance.”
The current edition of the festival will include the participation of eight Brazilian companies and nine foreign companies.
For opening night, New York City-based choreographer and dancer, Trajal Harrell will present his work entitled “Antigone Sr. / Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (L)” at the Teatro Municipal in Centro at 8PM.
The piece takes “voguing,” a style dance that originated in Harlem, New York and was made popular in America in the 80s, and combines it with “Antigone,” a greek tragedy by Sophocles.
On Sunday, another international performer, Swiss choreographer Gilles Jobin will present his work, “Quantum” at the Teatro Carlos Gomes in Centro at 9PM. Additionally on Tuesday, November 4th, French choreographer Jérôme Bel and company will present, “Disable theater,” a work that confronts mental disabilities without fear or prejudice to expose, through dance, the limitations of the illnesses.
Brazilian performers during the festival, include choreographer Michelle Moura, who will present her work entitled “Fole” at the Espaço Cultural Municipal Sergio Porto in Humaitá on Monday, November 3rd at 8PM.
“Today, [the festival] continues with the same principles it began with, those of promoting artistic research and the visualization of contemporary dance in scenic settings,” said Saraiva, “but the festival has also evolved to open up to other artistic disciplines.”
During the weekend of November 8th and 9th those other disciplines will be on display as the festival moves to Rio’s beautiful public park, Parque Lage in Jardim Botânico. On the site, the festival will host talks, workshops, picnics and parties and the “Rasha Show,” an act with audience participation. Workshops will also be held at Oi Futuro in Flamengo on the 6th and 7th.
Additionally at Oi Futuro Flamengo, there will be a day of workshops/lectures entitled “Laboratório Universitário.” Open public and held on November 11th, the session will investigate the relationship between art and academia.
In addition to the growth through other activities, Saraiva states that, “The festival has grown in size, now taking place in various areas in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Today the festival stretches from the South Zone, to Centro (Central/Downtown), to the North and West Zones in an attempt to cover several neighborhoods and explore Rio’s various open spaces.”
One example is The Centro de Artes da Maré in Nova Holanda, part of the Complexo da Maré, located in Rio’s North Zone. The venue will host several performances during the festival, including the presentation of Brazilian choreographer Cristian Duarte’s work “BioMashup” on both Thurday, November 13th and Friday Novevmber 14th.
To close the festival this year, the Cidade das Artes, located in Barra da Tijuca (Rio’s West Zone) will host three co-productions of the festival featuring three choreographers from Rio. They will present works that celebrate the dances of passinho, funk, charm and hip-hop.
What: Panorama Festival 2014
When: November 1st-16th
Where: Opening night will take place at Teatro Municipal, Praça Floriano S/N, Centro and additional events will take place in other theaters and spaces throughout the city.
Entrance: R$30 (some events are free).