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political  machinations

May Day

Posted in: by Kathryn Macdonald on 2 May 2013
Tagged with: Brazil 2013 1

It's a public holiday so there was plenty of action on the street until the early hours so sleep was patchy and full of the strangest dreams.

Confusion with the workshop schedule meant that the session didn't happen so we quickly changed our plans and our clothes and went for a trip on the river. Our boatman, Elvis, ( a very popular name in these parts ) carried us across the Tocatins to the point where two rivers meet and round the river bend. Rios de encontro. It was a gentle trip; the sun was hidden behind clouds protecting us from the heat. The trees and the river- bank, so green and lush and from a distance not very Amazonian, were more like the banks of the Thames, near Oxford apart from the bright flowers and darting yellow birds.

Pete is finding the fluctuations in the timetable confusing and distressing. I think he feels he's under used and finds the very different way people work here frustrating; things don't happen when expected, sessions are happening, then they're not, there is a school holiday but a session is scheduled anyway and of course the children don't show up.

Happily, this evening the horn section arrive en masse for a workshop that may or may not have been planned and they sound great, learning the familiar tunes that Baybeat have been playing for years (as well as one new ones - see the player for one !)

So we spent the evening at the launch of the painted boat exhibition, which sadly we missed because the cars that were supposed to pick us up didn't come in time, and one of the people coming for us didn't bother, the performance times for the young people were changed, etc. etc. By the time we arrived the boats had sailed away !

Apparently this is symptomatic of life here; there is political maneuvering and manipulation on a scale unknown to us. It is bizarre and not very apparent to the casual observer but clearly Dan and Mano are constantly and deftly weaving their way through extremely tangled and complex relationships at all kinds of levels. The event itself however, was lovely, with many familiar and friendly faces in the crowd.A small group of the Lathinas played a few songs; Camilla and Loren performed a beautiful complex dance routine, combining contemporary forms with capoeira, on a most unsuitable surface. It just wouldn't be allowed at home!

When the rain came we took shelter and ate sweet corn and popcorn, and when it stopped we went for dinner. A large disparate and fascinating group of people, including the leader of the boatmen and the Tom Conti artist came with us to eat at a restaurant nearer to Cabelo Seco.

We drank beer and ate wonderful shrimp lasagne and had lots of lively conversations tried to speak Portuguese, listened to the glorious music and watched the diners dance!

This was a great fun night. Really nice working with Rick Middleton as cellar and Pete Moser singing and calling too. Next one coming up in January I'll keep you posted

14/07/2013 15:20:00 by Papito


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