February 06, 2018
This last week I watched dozens of parades from the past and present. There are lots of changes in two decades, but what I miss about the parades from the past is the context of the show, the history behind the presentation, the drama, the tension and even the imperfections. The show' was exciting for its culture, happiness and beauty, but also because of the mistakes, accidents and challenges. It's a championship, after all!
But there are no surprises in samba schools championship anymore. Watching the parades nowadays is a boring experience and the biggest responsible is the TV broadcasting. Reporters don't cover well the moments of stress and the challenges with costumes or parade cars. Journalists don't give time for people answer their questions. Narrators speak non stop about celebrities or soccer players. There is no research about the school, no depth, no secrets.
On other hand, the schools today are very professional and less experimental. Some art directors and choreographers are hired at very high cost, sambas are created to pay tribute for sponsors. There is much more pressure to make a perfect presentation and looks great on TV. To receive bigger parade cars, the old and original TV tower was demolished and replaced with a temporary bigger one. This is one of the saddest news for me. Every year there was tension and expectation about that critical moment, symbolic like a crossing line. Some cars were smaller than the tower (9,5 meters) but some were higher and included mechanisms to pass under the obstacle. Not anymore. The tower was demolished in 2015 and the parade doesn't' have a critical moment anymore.
The schools can bring larger cars today and for sure they will look great. But the parade is not just visual, it's storytelling. It's emotions and performance the whole way, from the beginning to the end. For me, as an artist, I take a few lessons.
Show tension, emotion and challenge in my work. Show the history behind my pieces, my hardships, my inspiration.
What makes it special, how I was able to achieve that result. For sure I want my pieces to speak for themselves and have a strong visual identity. But the history behind each piece creates depth and interest. Creates context, makes you more curious about the details, meanings and references behind the work. I guess that's it for today. Back to work!