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street training rio
Submitted by Lottie on Sun, 2009-09-27 18:51
Street Training Rio
On 16th April 2009 The first official Rio Street Training session was attended by 11 people, a perfect sized group. They were:
Actor Luiz from Spain
The session was documented by Marcia Derriak Laranjeiras, Rio.
I felt the first Rio Street Training session was a roaring success with lots of positive written feedback and warm feelings shared. Two artist here in Rio, Ducha and Cata, want to do more sessions and two artists based in Minnesota want to take it over there.
I introduced Street Training, described its roots in the University of Openness faculty of Physical Education. I showed the Street Training website, described Street Training commissions and collaborations with the Tate gallery and the South London Gallery, London. And recent commission in Peckham (blogged nicely here).
Then I initiated a conversation about safety and joy in the streets of Rio. Cintia a young woman, told us she feels extremely shy when she walks in the streets so she never walks alone. She says she is not afraid - it's 'vergonha', which really means shame. She says she feels better these days - since she goes out more often she feels more comfortable. Eliza says you have to walk with confidence or people will sense your fear. Edilene says the same. She says fear attracts danger and this starts with your thoughts. She tries to have good thoughts when she walks in the streets. Negrah says if you know a place well it becomes less dangerous, although something bad can always happen. If you have seen a place at all hours of the day and night, and know who is around and what might happen, it makes a big difference. Mitchel has recently arrived in Rio from the USA and he feels very different when he walks in the streets. He says everyone knows he is a stranger - which is a very strong sensation, but doesn't feel dangerous. He says he is amazed by the topography of the streets: the pavements rise and fall and swirl around holes, tree roots and all kinds of things, and the way you walk needs to respond to that. Everyone says at some point that they look around them to see who is about when they walk.
We leave the office of the residents' association, and walk past the 'community security' - a young man with a rifle slung around his shoulders. We head down the steep hill and wait for the bus. While waiting we are making tiny chocolate and banana biscuit sandwiches, climbing on the roof of the bus stop, and playing a game with two balls - throwing them over the advertising at the bus stop. I head towards a traffic cone to use as a mega phone, but remember it's marking the police sentry at the entrance of the Favela. The police can't enter the favela so they stand guard 24 hrs outside. I change my mind and join the shelter climbing, which I think was watched by the police, I'm not sure.
All eleven of us travelled by crowded bus with a massive joke argument ensuing between a drunk guy with a little girl on his lap and his 'friend' sitting five rows back from them. We get off the bus at Largo de Guimaraes and walk up the steps of the beautiful old Largo das Lettras, where we do some prep and team building activities. As darkness falls we are leading each other blind around the garden and terrace. A friend, Roberto, was watching me wandering eyes closed, lead by 7 year-old Eva. He then decides to join the group. In discussion of the eyes closed activity people said it sensitized them and they began to trust each other.
And into the night, we walked together into the streets of Santa Teresa. We started interacting with everything by drawing on it in chalk, I used a traffic cone as a mega phone to sing a love song. The man in the picture shop was amused. Eva and Alex drew on the lamp posts, the pavement - everything, everything. People started to walk dancingly, climb the railings by the road, jump off things and then. ....Julia found two wooden boards, lay them purposefully on the ground. Some one drew an arrow and a kind of cartwheel performance began. People took turns to jump and spin on the boards. We 'sculpted' ourselves in inverted positions and gently manipulated each other into slow motion backwards flips. Heading off again, Alex found a moth or butterfly on the road and drew a home around it to keep it safe. The home was as far as I tell in the shape of a penis, or maybe a mushroom. He then found a piece of paper and made a plane. The night was cool and breezy as he let the plane fly. A gust took it in a breathtaking swoop sending it gliding off sharply to the left, into a property, Ducha climbed over the wall to retrieve it.
At the Curvello where people wait for the tram or bonde there was a man who some how began making very authentic animal sounds. We gathered around him amazed and laughing a lot. The tram lines became the focus. Some one took pieces of discarded cardboard, placed them on the rails and pushed them along with their feet. Lots of people tried this dry skiing. Then balls were rolled along the rails, the game interrupted once in a while as trams or buses went past at high speed. We speculated about what would happen if you put a 5 centavo piece on the track. Then we were picking up newspaper lying on the ground, holding it above our heads and running fast downhill till we let it fly off behind us. Mitchel found an abandoned umbrella, climbed up some steps at the base of a ladeira and jumped off using it as a parachute. Eva wanted to try, it was a huge drop for such a little girl. We arrived in Lapa at the Arcos where homeless people live and have fires. The light from the lamps is a special tinge of orange. We lifted Eva above our heads and carried her in procession through the crowded streets - Eva shouting 'amor!'. Luiz picks Alex up and carries him on his shoulders we all walk past surprised people shouting 'amor e liberdade!'. We arrived at bar Gomes and together sat around a table to eat and drink.
The activities from this session will go into the Rio training manual and this is the guy have commissioned to make it and make wood cut for the cover. I think he and I should write a cordel together - they are sung, so I would make a melody for it and sing it. I'm wondering how to incorporate singing into the next session. Singing under railway arches is a fave technique which would work nicely.
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