By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – “Do lado de dentro, do lado de fora” (Inside, Outside) an exhibition of works by Dutch photographer Sammi Landweer will open to the public in the Centro de Artes da Maré on August 10th, following an inauguration event for guests on Saturday, August 8th. Continuing through September 25th, the exhibition contains works that showcase the beauty of the Maré dance company, Lia Rodrigues Companhia de Danças, and of the lives and activities of the community’s residents just outside the company’s doors.
“I’ve been to Rio de Janeiro and the Centro de Artes da Maré on many occasions. Over the years during my visits, I took thousands of photos of the dancers and the choreography of Lia Rodrigues Companhia de Danças,” Landweer, who worked daily at the site at times, wrote in a statement about the exhibition. ” I was always in search of the perfect shot not in terms of its sharpness, color or composition, but as something that could be called the heart of this work. I felt that each choreography and each dancer had their own secret, and my challenge was to discover it and expose it without violating their privacy. With that same approach and the same care, I scoured the favela, armed with my camera in search of images, expressions, portraits.”
The exhibition was first shown in the Théâtre Jean Vilar in Vitry-sur-Seine, France in 2013 and features a total of twenty-two black and white images, all size 40cm x 60cm. They include portraits of Maré residents and members of Lia Rodrigues Companhia de Danças performing.
Currently consisting of ten dancers and two trainees, the Lia Rodrigues Companhia de Danças was founded in 1990 by choreographer Lia Rodrigues and has toured Brazil and performed as part of events and festivals around the world. The dance company has been based at the Centro de Artes da Maré, also a school, training space, and cultural center in Maré, since 2003.
During his time photographing the beautiful movements of the company in Complexo da Maré, one of Rio de Janeiro’s larger complexes of favelas, Landweer increasingly saw the connections between the site and its surroundings.
“It was as if every movement emanating from the favela found its echo in the movement of the dancers,” he wrote. “This perfect intimacy created its own tune and a convergence between seemingly distant lives, as if they formed one.”
The images he captured both inside and outside of the company’s site will be on display from August 10th through September 25th on Mondays through Fridays, 12PM – 6PM. Entrance to the exhibition will be free.
What: “Do lado de dentro, do lado de fora” (Inside, Outside)
When: August 10th through September 25th. Hours of operation are 12PM – 6PM, Mondays through Fridays.
Where: Centro de Artes da Maré, Rua Bittencourt Sampaio, 181, Nova Holanda, Maré