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Graphic Novels Comic Strips. Last year, the Curitiba Festival had full houses, in some cases in theaters with 2, seats. Then, plays were presented in 11 days to a public of , people. Brazzil has prepared a special series of articles to show the story and the vitality of the Brazilian theatrical scene. In the famous movie The Third Man with Orson Welles, his character looks down over Vienna from a Ferris wheel and says to his companion and I paraphrase : "Germany has gone through wars, plagues, and pestilence, and they created Beethoven, Bach and other great art.
Switzerland has had a thousand years of peace and harmony, and what have they created? The cuckoo clock! Great art is often created through suffering and adversity. And it is thus with Brazil, which in her relatively short existence has experienced so much turmoil. All one has to do is look at the arts of Brazil, and one will be struck by the richness in her culture, much of it borne out of torture, slavery, and wars. This article will look at theater in Brazil, an ever-growing and evolving, living creature and the social and political ills that were the basis for the great, creative minds that shaped it.
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It is rare that a country can claim to have been founded with the existence of theater, but in the case of Brazil, this is the case. Generally, in other cultures, theater has evolved with the development of the fabric of their society, but the Portuguese brought their theater with them and made it part of their New World, unlike a country like the United States, founded by puritans to whom theater was a diversion and thus a thing of sin.
And then, after it was brought to Brazil as a "finished package," it immediately started evolving with the influence of Indians and later Africans. It is a long and interesting story, well worth looking at. Theater literally arrived in Brazil with the first ships bringing colonists, and with the new arrivals came those attributes, which depicted the baroque spirit as well as the religious conflicts of the period.
Little importance was given to the literary script. The audience was partial to the staging, theatrics, special stage effects and the Faustian overtones. The first step the Jesuits took was to unite the natives in permanent settlements. Once they had established villages, the priest could effect a separation of the pagan elements from Christian beliefs.
Abbattutis, Gian Alesio
The mission priests were adept at taking advantage of the Indians' natural attributes. They began by using music and little by little exchanged the native beat and instruments for more "civilized" songs and instruments.
The Jesuits, with the intuit to catechize the Indians, brought not just the new religion, Catholicism, but also a different culture, in which was included literature and theater. Allied with the festive rituals and dances of the indigenous population, the first form of theater known by the Brazilians, was that of the Portuguese, which had a pedagogic character based on the Bible.
In that era, the person primarily responsible for teaching about theater, as well as the authorship of plays, was Father Anchieta. The truly national theater only came to establish itself halfway through the XIX century, when the romanticism had its start. Martins Pena was one of those responsible for that, through his costume comedies. During the first years of colonization, the fathers of the Companhia de Jesus, the Jesuits, who came to Brazil, had as their main purpose the catechization of the Indians. They found in the Brazilian tribes a natural inclination for music, dance, and oratory, or rather positive tendencies toward the development of theater, which went on to be used as an instrument of "civilization" and of religious education, in addition to diversion.
The theater, by the fascination of the representative image, was much more effective than a sermon, for example. The first plays, thus, were written by the Jesuits, who made use of elements of the indigenous culture, from the character of "sacred," which the Indians had already absorbed into their culture, to the Indians talking about the things they knew.
The plays were written in Tupi-Guarani, Portuguese, or English, a practice that went on until , when Latin "arrived. With the catechism, the theater ended up becoming obligatory material for students of the humanities in the Jesuit colleges. In the meantime, female characters were prohibited, except for saints, to avoid certain "excitement" in the young people. The actors of that era were domesticated Indians, the future padres priests , the whites and those of mixed parentage.
All were amateurs, who improvised in the plays presented in the churches, on the plazas, and in the schools. The name of the best known author of the time was Father Anchieta. The sacramental writings, which contained dramatic characteristics, were preferred to the comedies and tragedies, because it was in those that the characteristics of the catechism were included.
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They always had a religious, moral, and didactic basis and were replete of allegoric personages. Being thus, comedies and tragedies were poorly represented.
Meaning of "matuta-e-meia" in the Portuguese dictionary
In addition to liturgical rubrics, another "theatrical style" introduced by the Jesuits, was the nativity scene, which went on to be incorporated in the folkloric and pastoral festivals. At this time all the plays presented had the character of catechism of the Jesuit Theater. According to J. Galante de Sousa, in his book O Teatro no Brasil, The Theater in Brazil Rio de Janeiro, , first volume "The Jesuit Theater was, in reality, theater of oratory; it sought to move in order to persuade; tried to persuade in order to educate. This file contains additional information such as Exif metadata which may have been added by the digital camera, scanner, or software program used to create or digitize it.
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