From 22 April to 6 May 2016, ICAF artistic director Eugene van Erven and producer Anamaria Cruz travel around Brazil to scout community art projects that have links to the ‘Movement’ theme of ICAF 2017. They meet with Brazilian community artists in their own contexts, give presentations of what ICAF is all about and, hopefully, find a partner. This is their journey.
Today, Monday 25 April, we began our scouting work in Brazil. First on the list was EDISCA, a fantastic community dance organization in the Northeastern city of Fortaleza, where we arrived yesterday from Rio. EDISCA was founded more than 25 years ago by Dora Andrade, a dancer/choreographer who wanted to make a difference to the lives of young children in the marginal neighbourhoods of her home city. Over the years she has created a total concept that combines dance training of the highest caliber with education, nutrition and social care. EDISCA begins working with kids in the age group of 7 to 12, but some stay with the company until they are well into their twenties.
Participants are given food, training gear, and money for transport, because many have to travel more than two hours from their homes in the outskirts to the EDISCA training center. The building itself has studios, classrooms, offices, costume ateliers, an eating area, and a theatre. We found EDISCA a truly impressive organization that is social-artistic in the truest sense of the term: high on the social end of the scale, high on the artistic end of the scale and high in human terms. And Dora is a passionate director of this impressive enterprise, and a very generous host to boot. To get a first impression of the organization, here’s a short video we made during our visit:
Tomorrow we fly back to the South: Anamaria to São Paulo and Eugene to Florianópolis, where he’ll give a presentation at the University of Santa Catarina and will visit some local community art groups. On Thursday, he will meet up again with Anamaria in São Paulo to jointly visit at least three arts organizations in that immense metropolis of more than 22 million inhabitants.