Special blog post by Kristyn Gelfand
Last fall, when we were approached by Laura Nanni, Artistic and Managing Director of SummerWorks Performance Festival, about curating a performance as part of the 2019 edition of Progress, we knew right away that we wanted to work with Bruno Capinan. This was in November 2018, in the time right after the right-wing extremist Jair Bolsonaro was elected as president of Brazil. Capinan had just published a widely distributed OpEd in The Globe & Mail titled “In Jair Bolsonaro, we are seeing a truer reflection of what Brazil really is”. The piece is gut wrenching and eye opening, detailing some of his story as a young, gay, Afro-Brazilian growing up without acceptance and eventually fleeing to Canada as a refugee.Now… we’ve known Bruno both personally and professionally for many years. In fact, Uma Nota has worked with him a number of times in the past, in both his solo project and during his time as lead singer of Mar Aberto Soundsystem. Most recently we booked him as the opening act for our sold out concert with Liniker e os Caramelows last July. His unique voice and style have been intriguing to us both on and off stage. But this article, with it’s glimpse into his personal history and politics made us want to delve deeper into his performance as an act of creative resistance in the face of rising populism, both in Brazil and here in Canada.As it happens, Capinan was in the final stages of recording his upcoming album ‘real’, and was eager to give Toronto audiences a first listen, so our presentation of ‘real real’ was born. We teamed up with VJ Notivago (currently on tour in Brazil doing video for Anitta!), to create original video for the show tying in some of the themes that he explores in his music and through his own narrative.Bruno will be performing with João Leão (synth and guitar) and a three piece string section featuring Tanya Charles (violin), Mariel Gonzalez (cello), and Brielle Goheen (viola). The show plays one night only, Saturday February 16th at The Theatre Centre as part of the fourth edition of Progress, an international festival of performance and ideas that brings together progressive performance work from across the globe and expands the conversation around possibilities for performance and form. A bit more about Progress...Innovative in its programming model, Progress is collectively curated. Abandoning the traditional notion of singular, top-down artistic direction, the Festival brings together a different collection of curatorial partner organizations each year, enabling a diversity of perspective and representation that reflects the complexity and diversity of contemporary society. 2019 curatorial partners partners include the red light district, Native Earth Performing Arts, Uma Nota Culture, The Power Plant, FADO Performance Art Centre, SummerWorks Performance Festival, The Theatre Centre, and Why Not Theatre.Uma Nota will also be partnering with Progress on the festival’s closing party. The party starts at 10 (right after real real), at The Theatre Centre and features DJ Hadara (formerly J.Lai), and a live performance from Toronto’s best hidden secret, Nego Mozambique. We’ve been wanting to hear some new music from Nego Mozambique for a while now!! This party is free and not-to-be-missed. Stay tuned here for more on the party later this week!Tickets: $25To learn more.. Check out this interview in yohomo with Zymbul Fkara.