Passaporte Dança, Everlasting Impressions

By Eluza Maria Santos

After 2-3 years of hard work – fundraising, figuring out the logistics, analyzing several schedules, etc – I was finally able to produce Passaporte: Dança and what follows are some of the wonderful memories I have of the event. It happened from May 22 through June 6, 2011, in three different locations (Vila Velha, Vitória, and Viana) in my home state of Espírito Santo, Brazil. My goal was to bring together the Latina Dance Theater Project (LDTP, based in the USA) and EluzArtes (EA, based in Espírito Santo, Brazil) to perform and conduct workshops/lecture demonstrations. As a co-founding member of LDTP and founder/director of EA, I like to call these two groups “sister companies.” Living now in Brazil, I understand the challenges involved in being an active artist with companies in two different countries; however, something like Passaporte: Dança presents wonderful rewards, making its excitement and richness of artistic exchange last.

The performances by LDTP and EA made a strong impression on audience members. Some of the remarks they made to me include “it’s a complete show, all the arts were included”; ‘this is the kind of performance everyone should see”; “moving, singing, and speaking were done masterfully.” This is very rewarding to us, the artists. Licia Perea, Juanita Suarez, Eva Tessler (also co-founders of LDTP), Jose Garcia Davis, Gabriela Nugent, and I were in the LDTP’s performances. The concerts included “Slumber of Reason” and excerpts from “Coyolxauhqui ReMembers.” Maria Helena Braga, Sandra Motta, Aline Pamplona, and I were the artists in EA, performing an excerpt from “Moments for the Self” and being part of the improvisation by the two ensembles, which closed the concert. This improvisation, called “Interweaving,” was not only fun, but also fulfilled the purpose of mixing/blending the performers onstage. Personally, I am truly thankful for the strong performances that were part of Passaporte: Dança. Actually, members of EA were forever affected by these performances. As Maria Helena said, it was “memorable” to witness “a trip through all the arts” in “Slumber of Reason.” And Aline has told me that she wants to watch the video of “New Moon over Juarez” (a section from “Coyolxauhqui ReMembers”) several times because of its beauty. Yes, I’m thankful.

As for the workshops/lecture demonstrations, I’m sure that all of us in Passaporte: Dança felt very satisfied. I was delighted to have stayed for some extra 40-45 minutes answering student questions (in addition to the ten minutes already done during class time) after the first workshop, co-taught by Juanita and myself. These students were so interested in what we had to give and tell them!

It was great! The last workshop of the event, taught by members of LDTP and EA, was completely packed, had very high engagement and energy, stirred a lot of creativity in everyone, and culminated with the participants improvising in interesting ways. In addition, I thought this workshop was seamless. Strong and seamless . . . this is hard to do when team teaching, but it happened in Passaporte: Dança.

As I finish writing these impressions, I can say that my goal was beautifully realized. So, where do I go from here? The way I see it, it has to be towards more “interweaving” between the two “sister companies.” I see this already happening since I have invited Eva to set a work on EA. She stayed in Brazil for a few days after Passaporte: Dança to begin this process before returning to the USA. The artists in EA are very excited about this. They find Eva’s ideas very creative and can’t wait to have her back to conclude the work, premiere it here, and take it to the USA to be performed as part of LDTP’s 10th anniversary celebration in 2012. And, of course, plans for Passaporte: Dança 2, also in 2012, are already in the making!

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About latinadanceproject

The Latina Dance Project, a collaborative ensemble of multidisciplinary artists, explores through performances--physical, musical and visual--controversial issues impacting the global community. The company's "projects" create experiences that form a new aesthetic in dance theater reflective of the diverse Latina culture of today, shedding light and provoking reflections that can bring about changes tomorrow.
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