Viva! London 2012 Festival to Showcase the very best of Contemporary Brazilian Culture

26 Mar 2012

The Brazilian programme as part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, has been announced in Rio de Janeiro.

The Brazilian elements will be integrated into the 12 week cultural celebration that will run from 21 June until 9 September, bringing together leading artists from around the world in events across the whole of the UK.

The announcement was made in a press conference that took place on Tuesday 20 March in the Grand Hall of the Visual Arts School of Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro, by LOCOG Chair Seb Coe; the Director of the Cultural Olympiad & London 2012 Festival, Ruth Mackenzie; the Secretary of State for Culture of Rio de Janeiro, Adriana Rattes; the Municipal Culture Secretary, Emilio Kalil; and the British Ambassador, Alan Charlton. There were also representatives from the Brazilian Olympic authorities and the Federal Ministry of Culture.

The London 2012 Festival will present the best of contemporary Brazilian culture and creativity. In addition, it will create opportunities for Brazilian artists to collaborate and create relationships with established and emerging British artists.

Seb Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: “The brilliance of these artists’ work for the London 2012 Festival illustrates the depth of the shared vision of London 2012 and Rio 2016 to build strong relationships through culture. People around the UK, in Brazil and right across the world will be able to enjoy the results of this vision during the London 2012 Festival, in the build up to Rio 2016 and beyond. ”

Ruth Mackenzie, Director of Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival said: “Thanks to Adriana Rattes and Emilio Kalil and our partners in the UK, the London 2012 Festival provides a great platform to showcase Brazil’s cultural and creative talent, delighting and inspiring audiences in London, across the UK and around the world. These commissions start collaborations between artists from the Brazil and the UK which will grow over the years to 2016.”

Adriana Rattes, the Secretary of State for Culture of Rio de Janeiro, said: "The London 2012 Festival and Rio Occupation London - which the State Culture Secretariat has programmed in partnership with LOCOG - will strengthen Rio de Janeiro's international cultural relations, promote a dynamic, attractive and contemporary image of the State of Rio, and create a platform on the world stage for the best work of artists emerging in Rio, bringing to life the Olympic spirit through our artists and creating a legacy for Rio 2016."

Emilio Kalil, Municipal Secretary of State, said "The City of Rio de Janeiro will be taking part in the London 2012 festival, represented by an incredibly wide range of performances and events such as the Bispo do Rosario exhibition, the play "Two Roses for Richard III", the Back2Black Festival and the Big Dance. It's an excellent opportunity to present four different projects covering dance, theatre, music and the visual arts, extending our cultural ties and promoting an intense artistic exchange between Brazil and the UK that will continue to 2016."

The British Ambassador, Alan Charlton said "For two countries who share such a sporting passion, equally fundamental to our sense of identity, of ourselves, are our rich cultures. I am very excited by the creative partnerships which 2012 and 2016 are inspiring. It is the duty of all of us to keep this momentum going after September, and I personally hope some of these initiatives will run naturally into the UKBrasil season, a 6 month celebration of UK business, science, education, innovation, culture and sport which starts in Brazil in September."

The Brazil programme for the London 2012 Festival:

Rio Occupation London - 30 artists from Rio de Janeiro will collaborate with London artists in the Rio Occupation London, a cultural occupation by Rio in London, an initiative of the Secretary of State for Culture of Rio de Janeiro, in partnership with the London 2012 Festival. The Occupation‘s advisors include: Batman Zavareze, Beatriz Caiado, Cesar Augusto, Eva Doris Rosenthal, Luisa Marciern Marcio Botner, Nayse Lopes, Pedro Seiler and Tatiana Leite. The Artistic Directors of the Occupation will be Christiane Jatahy and Gringo Cardia with Executive Production by Paul Heritage and People's Palace Projects.

The list of artists already confirmed includes musicians, visual artists, playwrights, choreographers, graffiti artists, film makers, poets, photographers, DJs and actors.

They will all live at Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), a leading arts centre, with expertise in artistic residencies and the infrastructure for cultural production, together with a thousand-seat theatre, studios and workshop spaces.

The British artists will collaborate with the Rio artists in the residency and will be selected by important institutions, already partners in the project, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, Serious, the Roundhouse, the Southbank Centre), Somerset House), the Barbican and the British Council. In these same spaces the collaborative works by the artists will be presented.

Also on show during the Occupation will be a "panorama" giving an insight into the work of Rio artists who have influenced the Occupation artists, and information on Rio culture and the Occupation events will be made available widely. Furthermore, there will be a Film Festival with both feature and short films representative of contemporary Rio cinema and individual and group performances at the BAC and other locations throughout the city.

Finally there will be a Closing Festival in a 42,000 square metre space near the Olympic Park, a 3-day celebration of the best of what has been created and presented in the city throughout the project, a grand celebration of Rio de Janeiro.

Carnival collaborations – A Rio-style float made in collaboration with Rio and featuring performers drawn from Rio, Hackney and London carnival groups will take part in the One Hackney Festival’s street parade to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic Flame in the London 2012 Host Borough on 21 July. One Hackney Festival will also feature collaborative performances by Hackney groups and artists from Fundiçao Progresso in Lapa and by Rio’s leading disabled carnival group Embaixadores da Alegria and the UK’s only accessible carnival project, Blue Touch Paper Carnival. The Isle of Wight’s Arts Parade (30 June) and Sparks in the Park Carnival in Horsham (15 July) will also feature collaborations from disabled and non-disabled artists as part of the Blue Touch Paper Carnival’s creative exchange between Embaixadores da Alegria and Bloco do Sul, one of the oldest blocos in England.

The Blue of the Winds – an exhibition of the work of Arthur Bispo do Rosario at the V+A will reunite 83 of the artist’s works from the archive of the Contemporary Art Museum of Bispo do Rosario, chosen by curator Wilson Lazaro and modelled around the themes of sport, action and movement. According to Lazaro the artist was himself a sportsman because he broke through all the barriers to create this vast body of work within a psychiatric institution. Among the works is a piece of clothing created by Bispo that has never before been exhibited. With written contributions by Paulo Herkenhoff, Ricardo de Aquino and Emanoel Araujo and a preface by Louise Bourgeois, the exhibition reunites the 208 images of the 804 catalogued works by Bispo do Rosario brought to life and reassembled with a new eye.

Casa Brasil - Casa Brasil, which is the space for the promotion of the country, the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the activity of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, will be installed in the neoclassical Somerset House. Casa Brasil will include an exhibition of contemporary Brazilian art and design, curated by Rafael Cardoso and Daniela Thomas and designed by Felipe Tassara.

Gilberto Gil and Back2Black - the festival, which began in 2009, is approaching its 4th edition and its first international edition by bringing together over 30 Brazilian and international events over 3 days, presenting Brazilian black culture on 4 stages in Old Billingsgate market, on the banks of the Thames. Led by Gilberto Gil and produced by the Barbican, Zoocom Events and Serious, the Back2Black festival will include art direction by Bia Lessa and will have debates curated by Angolan writer Jose Eduardo Agualusa, as well as exhibitions bringing together artists, thinkers and leaders from Brazil and the rest of the world. Among the artists participating are Luiz Melodia, Marcelo D2, Criolo, Mart'nalia, Emicida, Arnaldo Antunes, Virginia Rodrigues, Femi Kuti, Roots Manuva and Fatoumata Diawara.

Marcos Saboya – will create aMAZEme, an installation on the Southbank Centre’s Clore Ballroom featuring a maze made up of thousands of books, taking particular inspiration from writer Jorge Luis Borges and gems of English literature and poetry. Installation will be open from Tuesday 31st July to Friday 24th August 2012.

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival - professional samba musicians from Rio will be invited to take part in a 2-3 week residency in Edinburgh, as part of its annual jazz and blues festival, conducting workshops for samba groups across the whole city. A leading musician from Brazil will also join counterparts from at least 15 other countries in a one-off Edinburgh Jazz Festival World Orchestra. The programme will feature a rare performance of Duke Ellington’s ‘Black, Brown and Beige’ directed by Scotland’s Joe Temperley.

Peace One Day – A spectacular Peace One Day concert featuring international artists will take place in London on 21 September 2012, marking the day of Global Truce. Peace One Day has been invited to Rio de Janeiro in 2013. An act from Rio will be announced shortly and at the end of the event Rio will receive the baton of peace. There are plans to bring the same event to Rio in 2013.

Big Dance Rio - on 7 July Tiradentes square in the heart of Rio will be the stage for a mega presentation of dance bringing together around a thousand young dancers and students of dance from various Rio schools. The choreography, created especially for the occasion by Random Dance, will be filmed and shown throughout London 2012 on a screen in Trafalgar Square together with a similar film from Beijing after the last Olympic Games. This event will mark the official start of the London-Rio partnership to create the Rio Big Dance, a programme to spread dance across different spaces spread throughout the city.

Companhia BufoMecânica – Two Roses for Richard III at Royal Shakespeare Company’s Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon and London’s Roundhouse will see leading directors Claudio Baltar and Fabio Ferreira interpret Shakespeare's history plays through circus, multimedia, visual metaphor and aerial choreography as part of the World Shakespeare Festival

Grupo Galpão – acclaimed carnivalesque production of Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe, will mix circus, music, dance and Brazilian folk culture. Production will be part of Globe to Globe, the unprecedented multilingual programme of Shakespeare productions that is part of the World Shakespeare Festival

Breathe – a breath-taking outdoor performance of circus, dance and cabaret where people who cannot walk will fly, wheelchairs will float, those without voices will speak and all will soar high above Weymouth and Portland in the South West of England, the venue for the London 2012 Sailing competitions. Breathe is created by four leading disabled artists – Jamie Beddard, Alex Bulmer, Dave Toole and Mat Fraser – and features local theatre groups The Remix and Double Act joining together with two Brazilian companies APAE Floripa and Estacao Duncar, Florianopolis, to create a spectacle before an audience of 15,000 on Weymouth beach.

Boomba Down the Tyne – music and dance from Brazil will be woven into a large-scale theatrical show performed by artists from the North East of Brazil and the North East of England that will bring together the spirit of the English Blaydon Races with the Brazilian Boi Bumba. Performance is part of Unlimited, the ground-breaking Cultural Olympiad programme that celebrates arts and culture by disabled and deaf artists on an unprecedented scale.

Details on the London 2012 Festival programme can be found at

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