To reach 21, in life and in a festival, means to come of age. The learning process that paves the way is a long one, but the horizon of what remains to be done is even greater. Reinventing models, rethinking ways to act upon the world and finding connections is what makes an encounter such as Festival Panorama necessary, as it has been since 1992. This year, in a social and urban context of extreme changes in Rio de Janeiro, we want to think along two guidelines that seem urgent for art – and life – in Rio. One is the meaning of the word community. The other is how our memory can activate the present. Beyond these outlines, the Festival widens its field of action, incorporating music and audio-visual as growing parts of its landscape.
Being together, understanding that the common ground is made of multiplicity. Few artistic areas have been so preoccupied with issues regarding collectivism and decisions made jointly as dance and the arts of the body. This year, in over 12 venues occupied by the festival from November 2nd to 18th in several neighborhoods, the issue resurfaces in many perspectives. From the micro-community of 100 cariocas with different occupations in Atlas, to the upside-down resistance of 50 cariocas who will spread over Parque Lage for Plantação/Árvores, or the 40 men who will occupy Campo de Santana in Melt Down. The popular circles as society’s engines appear in Cribles/Live, while the collective power is the starting point of De repente tudo fica preto de gente. Many other communities are intertwined in the program. The 50 Latin-American creators in the Still_Móvil exhibition or those who whisper amidst the trees in World of Interiors at Parque Lage, among many others.
A second possible path for Panorama 2012 crosses time and memory to discuss what can be documented. The touching installation We See Fireworks surrounds us with memories of other scenes and infinite possibilities. Histoire(s) makes dramaturgic archeology to revive Roland Petit’s iconic ballet, about which there are no records but the recollections of those who watched it live. Trajal Harrell mixes the notions of authenticity and the world of pop in a series of studies that create a hypothetical bridge between the voguing scene in Harlem and post-modern dance in New York City in the 60’s and 70’s. From the suburbs of Rio, the emotional and familiar memories of the Portuguese and their folkloric ranches fill the stage of Panorama in A Viagem. The music of an old ballet, conceived for other movements today, irradiates questions in the powerful choreography of A Ballet Story.
In a bridge across the Atlantic that started in 2000 between Panorama and the festival then called Danças na Cidade (now called Alkantara), this year, the Portuguese are the highlights, within the Year of Portugal in Brazil ‘s official program. In another bridge over the ocean, connecting Panorama and the British experimental scene since 2002, a selection of artists based in the United Kingdom lands in Rio with the project Transform. For the third time, Panorama occupies the border between the arts of the body and the visual arts; spreading over the beautiful Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage, this time, with the premiere of four pieces co-produced by the Festival with the support of Funarte and Funarj – Rio de Janeiro Culture Office.
In a year of clear expansion of boundaries, Panorama asserts itself as the largest contemporary art festival in the city and welcomes within the program its loud and innovative cousin, the Happenings, curated by Batman Zavareze. Sound installations, musical performances and many surprises occupy Centro Municipal de Arte Hélio Oiticica.
Panorama reaches 2012 as world-renowned international festival, with Rio de Janeiro as backdrop and inspiration. A great interdisciplinary journey that lasts 17 days for the audience and 12 months of bridges and stitches between artists, public administrators, sponsors and a huge crew and network of partners who are our daily and closest community.
We are together. Working together.
Nayse López, Eduardo Bonito and Catarina Saraiva