Brazilian Lace in Ann Hamilton’s “habitus” Exhibition (translation)

Lace making is a very old art that was brought to Brazil by the Portuguese. Portugal is still known for its lace. In this tradition it is made with needles and with bobbins. Particularly in the Northeast of Brazil and in Santa Catarina, in the south, the lace-making tradition has been maintained.An example of bobbin lace making by Rosilândia Melo from Ilha Grande:


You can imagine my surprise when I saw lace samples from Brazil in Ann Hamilton’s habitus, a current exhibition in Philadelphia. The lace samples were located on the 8th floor of the Fabric Workshop and Museum with some other common objects made of texiles, like dolls, blankets and samplers.

Also in the exhibition are “commonplace books,” photos of textiles, and other cloth objects.  These books also originated in Europe. People would collect sentences from books they had read, recipes, newspapers and magazine articles and put them in the commonplace books. Quite unique to the habitus exhibition, was the public participation. The public was invited to contribute their “common sentences” by internet. Anybody could submit a text about clothing or textiles (figurative or literal) . They selected some of the submissions and these were reprinted and made available on sheets of paper on the 2nd and 8th floors. The public is able to read them in the museum and take them home.

The exhibition links text and textile in the Fabric Workshop and Museum, but there is another part of it on the Delaware waterfront at Municipal Pier 9. There is a huge installation that is so creative and fun. Ann hung several large cloths in the warehouse. The public can make the cloths move by pulling on ropes. The ropes go through pulleys which are also connected to some apararatus that produce sound. In addition, there is other performance art in the space that includes spinning thread and unraveling a sweater. Lastly, the text is again joined with cloth by way of a large poem that is projected in the space. The poem is also exhibited in the Fabric Workshop and Museum in another format.

The artist, Ann Hamilton, always has been interested in spinning, weaving and textiles. With enthusiasm she speaks about these arts, that some have referred to as “crafts” throughout her career. Nevertheless, the artist has exhibited many important works: she represented the United States in the São Paulo Bienal in 1991 and in Venice in 1999. She has won various national art prizes and she teaches art at Ohio State University.

The exhibit, habitus, is a the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia from September 17, 2016 to January 8, 2017. The Municipal Pier 9 installation is from September 6, 2016 to October 10, 2016. For more information,



Rio de Janeiro: Cidade maravilhosa das Olimpiadas 2016!

I painted this in July 2016, thinking about one of the cities that I love, and that means a lot to  me. Congrats on mounting the Olympics in such a turbulent time. RJ phone

Coffee and Concerts (Translation of “Café e Concerto”)


Theatro Municipal de São Paulo. Wikipedia Commons.

The magnificent Theatro Municipal de São Paulo is beautiful and tastefully adorned.

Theatro Municipal SP interior. (Photo by Celeste Dolores)

Theatro Municipal SP interior. (Photo by Celeste Dolores)

In comparison with Rio de Janeiro’s opera house, (Theatro Municipal do RJ) it is simple in its decoration, lacking the mix of ostentatious styles and materials based on the French opera houses. After all Rio was the capital at the turn of the 20th century, and experiencing its Belle epoque.

Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. (photo de Celeste)

Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. (photo de Celeste)

What distinguish the São Paulo theatre are its coffee leaf designs and the famous “X”, as symbols of the coffee industry. The Theatro Municipal was also the site of the “Semana de Arte Moderna” (the Modern Art Week) that happened on September 7, 1922, one hundred years after Brazil gained its independence. The Modern Art Week revealed new artistic styles and movements and defined the Brazilian modernist spirit.

Coffee symbols

Coffee symbols in the Theatro Municipal SP

The arrival of the coffee industry in São Paulo inserted thousands of immigrants into the state at the turn of the 20th century, and funneled revenue and construction into what would grow to be South America’s largest city and financial capital. Coffee was previously cultivated in Rio de Janeiro, but later plantations sprung up in São Paulo, once the railroad construction began. By the 1880s, planters were already seeking immigrant workers, as the push for the abolition of slavery was strong, but the work conditions were poor and European immigrants often returned home. Japanese and Italian immigrants, especially, came to Brazil to work en masse after slavery was abolished in 1888, except some of them had no idea where they were going to live or what exactly they were going to do. Nevertheless, from this industry arose a culture and the great metropolis of São Paulo, home today to nearly 12 million inhabitants and descendants of settlers from all corners of the earth.

Source: U.S. Library of Congress. Between 1900-1923, São Paulo, Brasil

Source: U.S. Library of Congress. Between 1900-1923, São Paulo, Brasil

Like the other stunning concert venue, the Theatro Municipal, the building that houses the Sala São Paulo, was also financed by coffee money. However, the hall was not in the original construction plan of the early 20th century, and the concert hall was not built until the 1990s. The Sala São Paulo sits inside a train station that was originally completed in the 1930s! Coffee barons constructed this station, which is a five minute walk from another, the Estação de Luz. The Estação de Luz has much more train traffic, but the other station, Julio Prestes, is still active, with one or two lines. The coffee symbols are visible in the floor design and the Xs in the decoration of what were once the waiting rooms in the Julio Prestes Station. The paintings on the windows also contain scenes from the coffee industry.

Floor in the Julio Prestes. (Photo by Celeste Dolores).

Floor in the Julio Prestes. (Photo by Celeste Dolores).


Sala São Paulo. Photo by Celeste Dolores


Sala São Paulo, view from the stage. (Photo by Celeste Dolores)

Window in the Julio Prestes Station. (Photo by Celeste Dolores)

Window in the Julio Prestes Station. (Photo by Celeste Dolores)

The Sala São Paulo is really spectacular. The railway station is currently partly functional but there was never a real need for a station so big. The coffee industry never utilized as many trains that had been expected, and the people in the area did not need two full stations in the same neighborhood. The acoustics of the Sala São Paulo are fantastic. It also has a ceiling that goes up and down to change the acoustic depending on what kind of concert is taking place. This is a very rare luxury in a concert hall. The music world should be grateful to the coffee industry and its barons for this marvel of a venue!

Café e concerto

A chegada de uma nova indústria em São Paulo introduziu milhares de imigrantes ao estado no início do século vinte. O café era produto produzido anteriormente no Rio de Janeiro, mas logo a produção veio para São Paulo.

Source: U.S. Library of Congress. Between 1900-1923, São Paulo, Brasil

Source: U.S. Library of Congress. Between 1900-1923, São Paulo, Brasil

Imigrantes de Japão e Itália, especialmente, vieram para trabalhar. Não sabiam onde iam ficar ou o que iam fazer. Porém, desta indústria surgiu uma cultura de café e a grande metrópole de São Paulo, cuja capital abriga dois lugares importantes para musica em São Paulo.

Pode-se fazer visitas guiadas para ambos: o Theatro Municipal de São Paulo e a Sala São Paulo. A visita ao antigo teatro de ópera, perto do Viaduto de Chá, é de graça. Na Sala São Paulo, a visita só é gratuita nos fins de semana. Nos dias úteis, pagam-se 5,00 reais inteira e 2,50 meia.


Teatro_Municipal_de_São_Paulo_2 By Wilfredor (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

O magnífico Theatro Municipal de São Paulo é lindo e enfeitado com gosto. Em comparação com o Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, é simples na sua decoração, faltando a mistura de estilos e materiais ostentosos do teatro carioca, baseado nos teatros franceses.

Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. (photo de Celeste)

Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro. (photo de Celeste)

O que distingue o Theatro Municipal de São Paulo são suas marcas de café. Há desenhos de folhas de café e o famoso X, como símbolos da indústria de café. O Theatro Municipal também foi lugar da Semana de Arte Moderna, que aconteceu no dia 7 de setembro de 1922. Cem anos depois da Independência, a semana revelou novos movimentos/estilos de arte e definiu o espírito moderno no país.


photo de Celeste. Símbolos de café

Como o Theatro Municipal, o prédio onde existe a Sala São Paulo foi construído com dinheiro da indústria do café. Os barões de café construíram uma estação de trens e só foi anos depois que foi colocada ali a Sala São Paulo. As marcas do café são visíveis no desenho do chão e os Xs nas decorações de algumas salas. As pinturas das janelas também apresentam cenas do mundo do café.


Sala São Paulo, Interior. (Photo de Celeste Dolores)


Sala de espera, Sala São Paulo.

A Sala São Paulo é realmente espetacular. A estação ferroviária ainda funciona mas já não havia mais necessidade de uma estação tão grande. A indústria nunca necessitou de tantos trens e o povo não circulava tanto para merecer duas estações no mesmo bairro. A acústica da Sala São Paulo é maravilhosa. Há um teto que baixa e sobe para mudar a acústica dependendo do tipo de concerto. IMG_3027

Onde se vê no mundo tal luxo?? O mundo de música só tem a agradecer ao café e aos barões dessa indústria.

Bio-Jewelry: Creativity Provides Women’s Healthcare in Brazil


Dorly Piske, who is part of the Partners of the Americas in Wyoming, has been steadily working for the past few years to raise funds to subsidize women’s healthcare in Brazil. Dorly has been making jewelry from açai seeds and other natural beads in order to fund a mobile mammagram program in Goias, Brazil. Traveling around the U.S.A., with pounds of beads, scissors, wire and string, Dorly, who is originally from Santa Catarina, Brazil, organizes jewelry making workshops and gives talks about the lack of sufficient and early diagnosis of breast cancer in rural areas of Goias. IMG_0115

Jewelry students of all ages learn about the mammagram machine that will be purchased and the doctors in training who will ride a bus with it to give screenings to women in rural Goias. They also learn how to string beads on cords and wires in order to make original necklaces, bracelets and earrings. These items are then “sold” and the proceeds donated to Partners of the Americas for the breast cancer project. Here is a bracelet that I made in a workshop in March at Villanova University near Philadelphia:

CM bracelet

The workshop was sponsored by the Department of Cultural Studies and the Falvey Library. Dr. Karyn Hollis stated in her introduction about jewelry and culture: “Jewelry is what makes us human.”

After her visit to Villanova, Dorly headed to Washington DC to discuss future fundraising plans. Then she returned to the West in order to meet up with Patricia Moura, a designer from Brazil, who was going to instruct some of the workshops!

To find out more about “Bio-Jóias” or Bio-Jewelry for Breast Cancer, to schedule a workshop, or make a donation to this very worthy project, please visit on


Minas – Timeless Brazilian-American Music, Timeless Artistry

On February 2, 2014, I had the pleasure of interviewing husband and wife duo, Orlando Haddad and Patricia King, leaders of the Brazilian-American group, Minas. They are celebrating 30 years of musical composition and performing. One of their goals is to create music that is ¨timeless”. Some of their upcoming events include: February 8, World Cafe Live at Wilmington, DE, a tribute to Sergio Mendes; Feb. 14 at the Sofitel in Philadelphia, and Feb. 15 at the Burlap & Bean Coffeehouse in Newtown Square, PA.

Since 1984, Minas has been a pioneer in the Brazilian music presence in Philadelphia, in addition to presenting their own fusion of Brazilian and American sounds to enthusiastic audiences. Orlando, in the group ¨PhilaSamba¨, introduced Brazilian percussion, ‘batucada’ to Philly, and some of those original members went on to form Alô Brasil. Following Alô Brasil, members went on to start Philly Bloco and Unidos da Filadelfia. Minas has performed in schools in the area–about 500,000 students have been touched by their music. Orlando also reached older students, teaching at the University of the Arts and Temple University.

The story of Minas sounds like it was destiny, “estava escrito”, just meant to be. Patricia and Orlando met as students at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Curiously, young Patricia, from south central Pennsylvania, had developed an interest in and love of Brazilian music before she arrived at the conservatory. Orlando, thousands of miles away in Rio de Janeiro, had been playing music in English with his band since he was 12 years old, and was initially influenced by the Beatles. Due to a lack of resources at his conservatory in Brazil, Orlando decided to transfer if he was ever going to fulfill his musical dream. And the rest is history! Of course these two would eventually meet–Patricia’s strong curiosity about Brazilian music prompted her to seek out Orlando, as soon as soon as she knew he was studying at the school, and hear Brazilian music live. Through this connection, Orlando rediscovered the music of his country.


After graduation, Orlando and Patricia went to Brazil. While there, they jammed, studied and performed with Brazilian musicians, including Dores Monteiro, Leny Andrade and Romero Lubambo. Some of the music and artists that have influenced Patricia over the years include, Keith Jarrett, Flora Purim, Tania Maria, Milton Banana and other piano trios, cool jazz, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. A child pianist and composer, Patricia studied voice and performed in church solos and musicals. Orlando was influenced by the Beatles, piano trios, bossa nova and MPB–Música Popular Brasileira–Gilberto Gil, Djavan, Milton Nascimento, Caetano Veloso, etc., and classical music. He explains how he and his brother would watch the TV show,”O Fino da Bossa” hosted by singer Elis Regina. Although he had this background, until he met Patricia, Orlando was not playing much Brazilian music.

When I asked about their favorite songs that they themselves had composed, Patricia praised Orlando’s Temporal, Ash Wednesday March, Primavera and Verde. Orlando admires Patricia’s Only the Moon and the Stars, Dream of Brazil, Bossa and Wait. Orlando asserts that he is overwhelmingly inspired by nature.

Girl from Ipanema in the Snow:

Over the years their music has evolved to be more complex and universal. The spirit is the same, but obviously after 30 years of collaborating, composing and performing, both have matured and polished their process and technique. Moreover, both have branched out to compose music in other styles. Orlando has been working on 20th century contemporary art music, while Patricia has been busy writing an operetta, called La Giara.

Minas, timeless, has stood the test of time for 30 years in Philadelphia. For the future, they hope to bring their music to listeners beyond the Philadelphia area. A long way from Rio de Janeiro, Orlando adds, ¨My goal has always been to tour the world with music.’

Minas, On Canvas, WHHY/PBS

For more information about MINAS and upcoming events, please visit their website:

To listen to MINAS, visit their Pandora Station: Minas Radio

A New Brazilian Film: History of Love and Fury (translation)


“Rio 2096: Uma história de amor e fúria”   is a new Brazilian film that premiered in 2013. It is an independent film that has already won some awards, revolutionary in its themes and form. It is an animated film, a rarity in Brazilian cinema, which critiques and presents a different version of Brazilian history—one from the point of view of the Tupinamba indigenous people. The hero lives for 600 years. He’s been given the power of immortality and the ability to remember his lives over the centuries. His mission is to deliver the tupi people to the land without evil. This mission, along with his deep love for Janaína (who appears as different women over the ages—but she does not recognize him or realize that she has been reborn) gives him the strength to continue his struggle.

The film takes the spectator on a journey through Brazilian history. For example, it includes the extermination of the Tupinambá Indians, the Balaiada Revolution in Maranhão, the creation of the Brazilian military, the military dictatorship that started in the 1960s and a dystopian future, in which the corporation “Aquabrás” controls all the water in Rio de Janeiro. The “marvelous city” has turned into a dark nightmare in this film. There is no light—neither figuratively nor literally. From its beginnings, Rio de Janeiro has been described as a tropical paradise, full of nature due to the Bay of Guanabara, the Tujica tropical forest, and its beaches. But in 2096 the city is portrayed as a concrete jungle, corrupt, with a weak Christ the Redeemer statue—the poor thing has a broken arm!

The film is a critique of the “official history.” It offers another version by way of the indigenous perspective and mythology. But it is also a warning. It provokes some questions: What is the role of the police and military? How long will we continue to waste natural resources? In reality, who is the government? Recently, due to the protests over the last few months in Brazil, there has been a lot of talk about the masses becoming more politically aware. Some say “The giant (Brazil) has awoken.”  Is “Rio 2096: A History of Love and Fury” a result of this new consciousness, a natural consequence in film, or is this another challenge?

Novo filme brasileiro: Uma história de amor e fúria

“Rio 2096: Uma história de amor e fúria”  é um novo filme brasileiro que saiu em 2013. O filme é independente e ganhou alguns prêmios já. É revolucionário na sua temática e na sua forma. É um filme de animação–raridade no cinema brasileiro, que critica e oferece uma versão diferente da história brasileira–a través do ponto de vista do indígena tupinambá. O herói vive por mais de 600 anos, dado uma potência de imortalidade, de renascer e lembrar suas vidas.  O contexto do filme é a mitologia tupi-guarani. O herói deve levar seu povo para a terra sem maldade. Essa missão, e o amor para Janaína, são as motivações do herói para continuar sua luta e vencer durante seis séculos.

O filme leva o espetador por vários momentos históricos do Brasil. Por exemplo, a exterminação dos indígenas tupinambá, a Balaiada no Maranhão, a criação do exercito brasileiro, a ditadura militar e até um futuro distópico em que uma empresa “Aquabrás” controla toda a agua da cidade do Rio de Janeiro . A cidade maravilhosa no filme, virou pesadelo obscuro, sem iluminação–figurativa ou literal. O Rio de Janeiro, desde seus inicios, descrito como um paraíso no litoral, cheio de natureza da Bahia de Guanabara e da floresta da Tijuca, é no ano 2096 uma cidade de concreto, podre, com um fraco Cristo Redentor de braço quebrado.

O filme é uma critica da história “oficial”, outra versão dela a través da perspectiva e mitologia indígena, mas também uma advertência. Provoca estas questões: Quais são os papéis da policia e das forças militares?  Por quanto tempo vamos desperdiçar os recursos naturais? Na realidade, quem governa? Recentemente tem falado que “o gigante acordou” no Brasil, indicado pelos protestos dos últimos meses. É “Uma historia de amor e fúria” uma resulta desta nova consciência, uma manifestação cinematográfica consequente,  ou outro grito de alerta?

Around the World with Elena Como: An Interview


Interview conducted via e-mail on September 19, 2013.

As owner of Atlantico Books, your main responsibility is to buy and sell books in Portuguese. What inspired you to create your own books, such as the Ao Redor do Mundo series?

Elena: I would say we “import and distribute” (as opposed to buy and sell), but it’s the same basic idea. I wanted to find a creative way to collaborate with my “tribe” of Brazilian & Portuguese studies people. I also knew that there was a need for more “readers” for Portuguese students, with articles that are up-to-date and that expose students to the many different cultures and peoples of the Portuguese-Speaking Diaspora. It’s also been a real pleasure and my honor to help some of our younger collaborators to get their work into print for the first time.

What are some of the challenges you faced in the first volume of Ao Redor, that you were able to solve in the second volume?

Elena: For the first volume, I had more trouble sorting out “themes” for the diverse articles. In the volume two, I’m pleased that we were able to fit all of our articles into one of the three headings: Figuras Emblematicas, Comunidades e suas Culturas, & Nossa Língua Portuguesa.

Also, for the 2nd volume, I was very pleased to find a geographer, Michael Battaglia, who agreed to provide us with some helpful maps of the Lusophone World, and of the parts of the world where you find Lusophone Creole Languages (for Paula Soares’ article).

Another improvement is the addition of “perguntas antes de ler” or study-guides ahead of each chapter, to assist students in preparing for the new topic or new theme. This innovation was inspired by Luis Gonçalves and Celeste Mann, who each provided study questions before and after their chapters.

What themes are covered in the articles? What types of articles would you like to see in future volumes?

Elena: The articles are diverse! One that was very informative was Ana Paula Corazza’s article about the sustainable community harvest of the coco-licuri, in Brazil. I also enjoyed learning about Galicia  and its relationship with Portugal, and the Galego language, from Claudia Coelho’s article. There are several articles at the end of the book that talk about the Portuguese language and how it is spoken around the world. These were written by linguists and are the hardest reading in the book, but I feel it’s important to offer some more challenging articles for more advanced readers.

Celeste: In Volume 2 of Ao Redor do Mundo, in particular, there are a few articles about music, highlighting Cesária Evora (Cape Verde), Chiquinha Gonzaga (Brazil), Caetano Veloso (Brazil) and Amália Rodrigues (Portugal). In the first volume there’s an interview about Angolan music and the musician, Mário Rui Silva.

Would you briefly explain the process of collaboration on the volumes and how this has evolved? Are there things that you would do differently in the future?

Elena: When I started with “Missa do Galo e Outros Contos” it was mostly phone calls and emails. But for Ao Redor do Mundo I made use of Facebook, and Facebook (private) groups to reach out and collaborate with the contributors. Facebook was helpful in providing us with contacts, talented writers, illustrators, and willing and able editors.

For a future collaboration, I’d love to find a professional Brazilian and professional Portuguese editor to really clean up any typos, A.O. errors, and grammatical errors. It has been tricky editing a series with such diverse writing.

All of the articles are unique and interesting in their own ways, and popularity/accessibility would depend on the reader. Which ones  are  favorites of your clients?

Elena: Volume 2 is very new, so it’s hard to say! But in volume 1, many people have commented on the chapter “Meio Bugre” by Eva Bueno, and also on Eva’s “Gaijin, Gaijin.” For Brazilian literature enthusiasts, Selma Vital’s chapter about Machado de Assis and 18th Century Brazilian (male) novelists “Homens de Letras, Mulheres de Papel” was a hit. Another great article in volume 1 is Portugal e a Comunidade Digital, by Anita Melo, who gives a brief history of writing in Portugal, and an examination of blogs by Portuguese bloggers.

How has working on these volumes changed you in terms of your role as business owner and/or artist?  

Elena: These projects have allowed me to explore the role of Project Manager, and also to strengthen ties with teachers, friends, clients, and students of Portuguese. It’s been heartening to find so many people who want to contribute their talents to Ao Redor do Mundo.

How do you see these books contributing to cultural studies or the arts  in the world?

Elena: For students who want to learn more about the cultures that speak Portuguese, it’s often difficult to choose a topic or person to research, because although there’s much information on the internet, it is hard for a beginner to know where to start. For the ambitious Portuguese student who wants to know more about the Portuguese-speaking diaspora, I hope these books are helpful. Also, for former Portuguese students who want to get back into reading Portuguese, these books are easy to pick up and put back down, even for busy professionals, because most of the articles are quite short.

 How can people sample or purchase these volumes and other materials from Atlantico Books?

The first few chapters of volume 2 are visible as a “preview” on the Kindle E-Book page, here:

For a preview of volume 1, you can go here:

To purchase these or any of our other titles in Portuguese, go to

Thank you Elena! It’s been a pleasure to hear about the making of Ao Redor do Mundo Vol. 1 & 2. 

Chiquinha Gonzaga Itinerary! (PHOTOS)

1. Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Tomás Antonio Gonzaga, one of the “Inconfidentes” (rebels) was a poet and also a distant relation of Chiquinha Gonzaga. This attempt of independence, in 1789, the “Inconfidência Mineira” failed, but the inconfidentes are revered in Brazilian history. Tomás Antonio Gonzaga was also a poet, and known for his poem: “Marilia de Dirceu.”

Ouro Preto 2013 sig

Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais. Place of “Inconfidência Mineira”, conspiracy for Independence from Portugal.

2. SBAT: Sociedade Brasileira de Autores Teatrais. (Society of Brazilian Theatrical Authors). Fransisca “Chiquinha” Gonzaga and other composers and writers founded this organization in 1917 to protect the rights of composers and bookwriters/librettists who worked in musical theatre. The organization still exists today and the original and main site is located in the Centro in Rio de Janeiro. There are also other branches in cities around Brazil.

Bust of Chiquinha Gonzaga in SBAT.

Bust of Chiquinha Gonzaga in SBAT.

SBAT plaque sig

SBAT: Sociedade Brasileira de Autores Teatrais.

SBAT: Sociedade Brasileira de Autores Teatrais.

3.Confeitaria Colombo. Confeitarias were popular during the late 19th century and also the early 20th century. Chiquinha and other musicians often played in the confeitarias.

Colombo top floor sig

2nd floor tea room at Confeitaria Colombo in CENTRO, Rio.

doces Colombo sig

Some of the sweets you can get at Colombo!

Rua Gonçalves Dias, 32 / Centro – Rio de Janeiro Tel.: 21 2505.1500

Colombo sign sig

People waiting on line to get a table in the downstairs tea room.

People waiting on line to get a table in the downstairs tea room.

4. Paço Imperial:

Paço Imperial--public domain photo from Wikipedia Commons

Paço Imperial–public domain photo from Wikipedia Commons

this is the place where the Emperor and Princess isabel reigned before Brazil became a Republic, and when Rio de Janeiro was the capital of the country. Chiquinha Gonzaga and others involved in politics, would have mobilized outside this structure. The “Lei Aurea” (Emancipation of Slaves in 1888) was signed in this building.

5. Rua do Ouvidor. This street still exists in Rio de Janeiro. It was one of the few not removed or enlarged by the Pereira Passos’ reforms in the early 20th century. It is like a small slice of life, of “street”, rua or alma (soul) from that period in a confusing conglomeration of streets and avenues in the Centro today.

Rua do Ouvidor in Rio de Janeiro. Public Domain.

Rua do Ouvidor in Rio de Janeiro. Public Domain.

IMS sig

Instituto Moreira Salles, Rio de Janeiro. Copyright Celeste Mann

6. Instituto Moreira Salles or IMS. The IMS in Rio de Janeiro is located in the Zona Sul in Gávea. This was an important stop for me because they house archives of many important works, including the papers and scores of Chiquinha Gonzaga. You can visit the café, gardens, exhibitions or the archives. I also met my Brazilian roommate, Díonisia at the café in IMS. I rented a room in Dionísia’s apartment, at the time she lived in Leblon, when I studied at PUC-Rio in Gávea. Dionísia had never been to the IMS in spite of living in Leblon and later in Barra, which are not far from Gávea. A retired dancer, choreographer and dance ethnographer, she was just as delighted with the surroundings as I was! It is a tranquil, lovely and artistic place. I was able to see digitized, original scores and notes from Chiquinha’s musical theatre works, Bota do diabo and Dama de ouros.

7. Theatro Municipal The Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro was erected during the Pereira Passos’ Reforms. This building is absolutely breathtaking–inside and out. In addition to a tour of the inside of the theatre, I also had the pleasure of attending, “Il Turco in Italia,” which was performed in concert. My friend and colleague, Brazilian baritone Igor Vieira, stood out among the cast of local opera singers. Even in a concert version, Igor brought to life the character, vocally and dramatically.  The miniseries “Chiquinha Gonzaga” uses the Theatro Municipal as a back-drop. It is a “play within a play” and the elderly Chiquinha watches a play of her life at the Theatro Municipal.

Theatro Municipal, RJ at night, illuminated. Photo by C. Mann

Theatro Municipal, RJ at night, illuminated. Photo by C. Mann

Theatro Mun sig

Interior of Theatro Municipal, RJ (photo by C. Mann)

8.Academia Brasileira de Letras. I attended a round-table here. Although this  organization was not founded until the 20th century, late in Chiquinha’s life, she was influenced by (and knew some of) Brazil’s great writers.



9. Forrobodó!  Chiquinha Gonzaga’s most famous musical. Revived at the Teatro Ginástica with the addition of 20th century sambas and songs.

Teatro Ginastico sig

Set of Forrobodó.

Set of Forrobodó.