By Felicity Clarke, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Like a magical urban playground set around palm trees and flanked by the Lapa Arches, Circo Voador is a venue that lends itself to the spectacular. Hosting international and national artists all year round, this week the Circo presents Mostra Livre de Artes (MoLA), its annual showcase of new artists in an eclectic multi channel extravaganza of art, performance, video and music.

This week Circo Voador presents MoLA, its annual showcase of new arts, photo courtesy of Circo Voador website.

From Wednesday October 27th to Saturday October 30th Circo Voador will bring together more than 400 artists in an explosion of new creativity in the sixth edition of Mostra Livre de Artes (which translates as Free Show of Arts) with free entrance every day before 9PM.

The event, which is organized within Circo Voador itself, started as the venue looked to find a way to support new artists. As MoLA producer Gaby Morenah explains, “Ever since Circo Voador opened, we wanted to have a project to provide exposure for new bands and we knew it would be something big.”

MoLA started as a new arts showcase every Thursday during October before becoming a four day festival in 2005. Every year the event has grown and gathered momentum with a sell out last year and almost double the inscriptions from bands this year with over 500 compared to 240 in 2009.

Theatre group Organismo will perform on Friday night, photo by Bruno Mtiazzo.

Featuring sixteen bands, 100 artists, eighty performers and fifty films over four nights, MoLA 2010 has a densely packed program of exciting new cultural offerings from Rio and beyond. On the musical side, ones to watch include Rubinho Jacobina & A Força Bruta who kick off the band program on Wednesday at 10PM with their intelligent philosophical lyrics and diverse musical influences incorporating jazz, rock n roll and Afro-Brazilian rhythms.

On Thursday, MPB favorites from previous editions, Los Porongos will be followed by São Paulo group Pedra Branca who mix traditional ethnic and electronic instruments in a vibrant jam session performance. Friday night, new band Graveola e o Lixo from Belo Horizonte mix it up with their polyphonic rock n roll sound which is a little bit punk, hippy, indie and sexy all at once. Abayamo Afrobeat Orquestra close the festival on Saturday night with their energetic African dance beats.

With film, visual art and performance as well, MoLA is very much a multi disciplinary experience though. “MoLA is an artistic immersion. You can’t expect anything because you never know what’s going to happen. You could be in the middle of a show and suddenly a crazy performance can start around you” enthuses Gaby.

The artistic program is certainly cause for excitement with artist collectives contributing new works including Grupo Imaginário Periférico who have invited ninety artists are making works in ninety boxes with a tongue in cheek theme of boxing contemporary art. There are also street art collectives, individual installation works and video art plus short and feature films rolling on two big screens.

With all this happening simultaneously from 7PM every night, MoLA promises to be a full sensory stimulation of the new and unexpected.

Entrance is free before 9PM, R$15 for students or if you bring a book or 1 kg of non-perishable foods, otherwise is R$30. For more information visit


  1. Thanks for mentioning this and other such cultural events taking place in Rio – these kinds of creative and artistic scenes deserve attention.


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