While the World Finds Its Way, We Double Down on Cultural Exchange and The Right To Love & Happiness
Can you feel that heat? it's not just the weather. And that smoke isn't just another reminder of the trouble the drought has brought us here in Southern California. No, you are feeling and seeing Viver Brasil hard at work, being about the business of cultural exchange and development.
With late night runs to the airport to pick up bespoke fabric drop shipped from Brazil, to early morning rises to get a visiting artist across town to teach a workshop, Artists Directors Linda Yudin and Luiz Badaro are making all the moves to have a very successful and full August.
If you are following our calendar, you know we have four shows at the Music Center and two at the Hollywood Bowl scheduled for mid-August. Plus we have two esteemed visiting artists from Bahia, each giving personal appearances and workshops in her own style. How are we pulling it off? By going deep into our community holdings, bringing gems and bridging generational gaps.
We are happy to have both Mainha and Vera Passos in residence with us. These artists are community builders and healers. With their presence, we are able to extend opportunities for deep learning about Black Bahian culture and alternative means of building strong economies and social networks to our community in Los Angeles.
Their presence is fortifying our artistic work as well.
Mainha has joined our seamstress team, stitching the most beautiful costumes you have ever seen for not one, but TWO shows! We are fortunate to have a very skilled team of designers and fabricators: our faithful Angelica Flores is assisting with accessories for Hollywood Bowl costumes while Laura Howe of Matrushka Construction is doing some of the designing for the Moves After Dark. This year Rosalba Gama joins the team and is working with Mainha sewing for our samba reggae extravaganza with Sergio Mendez as well as new orixa costumes for Moves After Dark. Mainha's expertise is absolutely critical as well create these costumes that communicate both everyday life and divine inspiration.
Vera is training our newest members and has set a new samba reggae choreography on the company. She will perform with us at both the Hollywood Bowl and Music Center. We are working with 53 artists in total, counting dancers, singers, and musicians. Vera is assisting us with training 15 new dance associates. This would not be possible with Luiz Badaro's weekly community class.
For over 12 years this class has been a training ground for numerous dancers in Los Angeles. His dedication has paid off as we are able to "call up" dancers who perform in community events directed by our company associates to serve as apprentices. This gives Vera ample movement vocabulary to work with as she refines her choreography for the Hollywood Bowl. Rehearsals are sizzling with excitement.
To give you a clearer idea of the scope of our preparations for August, here's how the casts are stacking up:
Hollywood Bowl Artistic Team
- Vera Passos, Choreographer
- Rachel Hernandez, Rehearsal Director
- Nagode Simpson, Dance Captain
- Simon Carroll and Kahlil Music, Musical Directors
- Exclusive fabric design, J. Cunha
- Costume designers, Maria de Lourdes Silvestre dos Santos and Rosalba Gamma
- Costume construction assistance, Angelica Flores
- Paula Santos, Project Manager for fabric construction with Alberto Pitta
- Dancers: Laila Abdullah, Adebola Afolabi, Anita Akhavan, Ashley Blanchard, Chandra Chase, Samantha Goodman, Samad Raheem Guerra, Analecia Guthrie, Myeshia Hall, Rachel Hernandez, Marina Magalhães, Julie Malinksy, Sarah Marsh, Laura McMillan, Natali Micciche, Bianca Medina, Ajah Muhammad, Vera Passos, Nicolea Pettis, Joseph Reynolds, Jade Schuster, Emeka Simmons, Nagode Simpson, Haniyyah Tahirah, Rosalie Tucker, Jordyn Wheeler, Shelby Williams-Gonzalez, Rachael Wong
- Musicians: Luiz Badaró, Simon Carroll, Kahlil Cummings, Bobby Easton, Bryant Evangelista, Drew Love, Marco “Gibi” dos Santos, Fabio Santana de Souza
- Singers: Katia Moraes and Kana Shimanuki
Moves After Dark Artistic Team
- Choreography by Shelby Williams-Gonzalez
- Music Composer, Kahlil Cummings
- Costume designers, Maria de Lourdes Silvestre dos Santos, Laura Howe of Matrushka Construction and Rosalba Gamma
- Dancers: Laila Abdullah, Ashley Blanchard, Rachel Hernandez, Natali Micciche, Ajah Muhammad, Haniyyah Tahirah, Vera Passos, Nagode Simpson, Shelby Williams-Gonzalez
- Musicians: Luiz Badaró, Simon Carroll, Kahlil Cummings, Fabio Santana de Souza
- Singers: Katia Moraes and Kana Shimanuki
It's truly a heart-opening experience, one that is made possible by our administrative team and community. Peter J. Harris, Executive Director is working tirelessly to put together teammates that help him get the word out about our fabulous company. Natalie Marrero, Arts Management Consultant, and Anna B. Scott, Designer/Social Media Consultant have been working with us for several weeks now charting, designing and strategizing our moves to get you in the house with us this August. Please join us. We are planning shows that will give you pleasant dreams for years to come.