Friday, December 3, 2010


December 2010
Since 1998

Maybe you heard about the war against drug dealers at Complexo do Alemão in Rio de Janeiro.  Most of my hometown friends agree with the Army’s intervention to help Rio’s police force.  The 400,000.00 neighborhood of Complexo do Alemão (German’s Complex) includes traditional areas like Penha, Inhaúma and Bonsucesso.  At the end of World War II, a Polish immigrant bought the whole area and was mistaken as a German guy because of his accent (they called him the “twisted tongue guy.”) With the Soccer World Cup and Olympics coming to Rio in few years, the federal and state government decided to clean the area. Good move! It’s now or never!
(Photo of a boy at Complexo do Alemão by Felipe Dana)

Coincidently, Brazilians are celebrating 100 Years of composer Noel Rosa who lived in Penha and wrote one of the most beautiful slow sambas called “Meu Barracão” (in homage of his shack in Penha). In 1934 he met the big love of his life. What was her last name? Moraes. : )

Saturday, Dec. 4 at 2pm Samba Society
Celebrating The Day of Samba (December 2nd) and 100 Years of Noel Rosa!
Art Bazaar, music and Brazilian Food. All ages welcome.
Bakari Art House. 1951 Hillcrest Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90016.

NEW YEAR’S EVE with Sambaguru at South Coast Winery in Temecula!

MEU BARRACÃO (My Shack) by Noel Rosa

My great friend and Capoeira master Amen Santo is the head of Capoeira Batuque and Brasil Brasil Cultural Center in Culver City. Check it out.

Went to see Paulo at the Broad Theatre in Santa Monica last November. He won the Tony Award in 2008 for his work at “South Pacific.” Next January he’ll be Escamillo on a production of “Carmen” at the Metropolitan Opera.
From left: Paulo Szot, me, Marcia Argolo (Festival of Sacred Music) and photographer Jorge Vismara

In 2005 I participated on a project called “Danço-Te” by artist Bia Gayotto from São Paulo. Now she has a new project called Trading Places. It is inspired by Czech media philosopher and cultural theorist Villem Flusser's article that stated: “immigration is a creative activity that involves a certain double-consciousness, where the immigrant is always negotiating between home and the world.” The video provides an exchange between voice and body, generating an unsettling sense of dislocation. From physical, cultural and emotional perspectives Trading Places reflects on issues of immigration,
identity, culture and geographic interconnectivity. The exhibition is scheduled for February at Kristie Engle Gallery.
Photo below by Bia Gayotto when we were filming for "Trading Places"

“(…) What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.” (Quote from “The Witch of Portobello” by Paulo Coelho)

Merry Christmas (Feliz Natal) & Happy New Year (Feliz Ano Novo)
The photo below was taken in front of the San Francisco City Hall. Choreographer Rosangela Silvestre and I happily posing in front of the beautiful Shiva sculpture!

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