“Guerrilla Samba”, by Luca Argel
HISTORY OF BRAZIL IN THREE ACTS
Music and literature intersect in this “samba opera”, created by the Rio de Janeiro-based artist based in Porto. Luca Argel’s “Samba de Guerrilha” can already be heard around the world.
Samba de Guerrilha is a multi-disciplinary show, which crosses Luca Argel’s music with real time illustration by António Jorge Gonçalves and with the word, narrated by the luso-angolan actress Nádia Yracema. It has started in 2016, and grew over 5 years until it became a record. It was born as a concert-workshop about the political history of samba. Off stage, it took the form of written articles, seminars, radio shows, until finally becoming Luca Argel’s 4th album.
Samba de Guerrilha is a journey through time, where we meet stories and characters from the fight against racism, slavery and inequality. We hear the narrative in the form of samba, but a samba that, this time, is permanently testing the limits of its musical possibilities, a reinvented, electrified samba, born an ocean away from tradition.
According to Luca Argel, Samba de Guerrilha was conceived as “a samba opera” divided into three acts, through which the History of Brazil is told. Composed of daring versions of samba classics, which reveal themselves to be an “interesting instrument of historical research”, the record is based on the premise of demonstrating how old issues from colonial times and the early years of Brazil as a nation, especially slavery, continue, even today, to condition the lives of millions of people, in the form of racism, poverty and all kinds of social discrimination.
The first act begins to the sound of Samba do Operário, a theme written by the mythical Cartola in partnership with a Portuguese from Alfama, called Alfredo, who settled in the Mangueira slum in flight from the dictatorship of Salazar. The tracks are preceded by a narration which historically and socially contextualises each moment – in the voice of the Luso-Angolan rapper Telma Tvon. The contrast between the singing voice, of a white Brazilian man, and the narration, of a black African woman, is “very symbolic”, and works very well.
The second act recalls the abolition of slavery, but the two jongos (a musical style that preceded samba) that follow show how everything stayed almost the same, or worse, leading to the exodus to the big cities, where marginalisation continued, as can be seen when listening to Direito de Sambar or Agoniza mas Não Morre. The third act reveals João Cândido, a black sailor who, in 1910, led the Revolta da Chibata, against the physical punishments still in force in the Navy. The “black admiral” would be immortalized in the samba of the same name, banned by censorship because the admiral’s rank could not be associated with the word “negro”. But without people like him, Uma História Diferente, the samba chosen to close the record, would never have been written.
Venue: BROADWAY THEATRE, BROADWAY MACAUTM
Duration of the show: 1h 40m
Subtitled in Chinese & English
Show Ticketing Counter at Broadway Macautm
Ticketing: +853 8883 3383 / broadwaymacau.com.mo / email@example.com
Luca Argel was born in 1988 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and has a degree in music from UNIRIO and a master’s degree in Literature from the University of Porto. He has poetry books published in Brazil, Spain and Portugal, one of which was a semi-finalist for the Oceans Prize 2017.
Between working as a vocalist and composer, whether in collective projects or soundtracks for film and dance, and signing radio programs dedicated to Brazilian music, he has been developing his solo career at a consistent and growing pace with hits such as “Samba de Guerrilha” and “Anos Doze”.
António Jorge Gonçalves (Lisbon, Portugal, 19 October 1964) is a Portuguese comic book author, cartoonist, visual performer, illustrator, set designer and teacher. He is the author of several Graphic Novels, and has collaborated with several writers – Rui Zink, Ondjaki or Mário de Carvalho – in creating books where text and image relate in an exploratory way. He has received in 2013 the National Prize for Illustration (Portugal) for the book “uma escuridão bonita” (with Ondjaki).
He has done set and costume design for several theatre plays. Through the method of Real Time Digital Drawing and the manipulation of objects in Transparency Overhead Projector, he has created shows with musicians, actors and dancers. He wrote and directed the film/show Lisboa quem és tu? to be projected on the walls of São Jorge Castle in Lisbon.
Nádia Yracema was born on July 3, 1988, in Luanda, Angola. She started learning and acting with the Coimbra University Theatre, completing her training in the 2007/2008 school year, while pursuing a degree in Law at the University of Coimbra. She joined the acting course at the Lisbon Theatre and Film School in 2012.
She has often performed in theatre productions, working with Portuguese and international directors. She is also actively engaged in several social bodies that foster collaborative work in film, theatre and performance. In 2018, she took part in the international project École de Maîtres.