Journey into the Crossroads | Terence Tavares (second of three articles)

Still in a state of bliss having left the land of administrative duties, I found myself biking through the side streets of Cambridge and then, miraculously, lifted through space, time, and thresholds of all sorts (neighborhoods, intersections, doorways) to the back of a community room at the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers.

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In orange, red, and yellow, a figure with four limbs (what Wilson Harris, Nathaniel Mackey, and Kamau Brathwaite might call “phantom limb” rendered visible buzzed with such intensity that all normative behavior escaped me. The series that caught my attention, Journeys, tells the tale of a local artist’s visualization of decision-making and what it means to give back to one’s community.

Terence Tavare’s technique and method is itself a journey and his influences are myriad.

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From an eleventh century favorite, “Summer Mountains, Northern Song Dynasty” (somewhere between 960 and 1127), the young artist incorporates a sense of depth and perspective. “The use of tone and shade,” he explains, “gave me tools to locate objects in my prints, to give a sense of where an object may lie.” Distance is ‘narrated’ in terms of lightening tones and in the decreasing of size. These are features—though re-framed in a Cape Verdean, mainland West African, and African Atlantic context that Tavares works from—that the artist translates into Journeys where gaining perspective is at the core of the traveling subject’s quest.

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From 11th century China, Tavares transits to contemporary works like “Green Wave” by Inka Essenhigh. Drawn to the speculative and, again, the possibilities of re-framing perception of distance and location, Tavares explains his own search to give life to the natural world and to make it marvelous (Alejo Carpentier’s real maravilloso comes to mind): “Essenhigh gave a life to that wave.”

Tavares, as he observed in Essenhigh, gave life to the crossroads, the symbolic space where choices appear, paths are determined, and fate manifests. This space and poetic of contingency where a direction is chosen, some choices weighing heavier than others, is the core unpredictable space from which all future decisions are derived. Tavares’s crossroads, which are simultaneously the four-limbed subject’s (and therefore the viewer’s) crossroads, are about seeing the future from multiple vantage points. “There is a sense of movement,” he muses while highlighting the white torrents and swirling figures with his finger, “that I take from this painting.” From a viewer’s perspective, perhaps Tavares brings that very type of movement into the visualization of thought processes that are at the center of Journeys. The eye-like image behind the large wave may in fact be translated and adapted into Journeys, what Kamau Barthwaite might call a ‘tidalectic’ influence.

Breaking through the immediate perceptive framework and highlighting the majestic aspects of movement and decision-making is an important aspect of Tavares search. In Journeys, in which the gazing subject achieves his goal and breaks the limitations of the self by giving back to the community, perhaps the key in activating the limbs that give the transient figure his metaphorical reach, Tavares may also be reflecting on what he calls “breaking the shell”:

“I’m a firm believer in seeing the self in terms of a greater community. It’s something that leading summer camps for kids helped me understand: I needed to break my own shell.”

By sharing his own journey, visually, and by teaching art, Tavares wants his work to allow for kids to continue to break through their own expressive shells, to develop an outlet and leave the self momentarily to experience a unified community.

It is no surprise, then, that this young artist finds great inspiration in Laberinto del Fauno, a film of journeys, exiles, and survival made possible by the imagination. The capacity of the imagination as a safe place of dwelling, as a very real escape, the ability of the imagination to transpose its thinker: these themes and possibilities are at the core of Tavares’s work.

This article was written in English by Jacob Dyer Spiegel (March 26, 2016). If you enjoyed it, please “Like” SiroccoBlue.com on our Facebook Page and share it. Part of our mission is to highlight the work of incredible local artists like Terence Tavares. Please stay tuned for the next article on Tavares’s process approached through some theories on the process of translation.

World Music | Impressions on Rocío Molina, Rosario la Tremendita, Mohammad Motamedi

 

First, I’d like to extend my thanks to World Music of Boston for the invitation to attend two incredible nights of Flamenco, part of the March Flamenco Festival. This is a brief impression of the performances on March 19th and March 20th featuring Rocío Molina, Rosario la Tremendita, Mohammad Motamedi, and their band members. Followed by the impressions, we’ll start promoting the next groups that are part of what we are calling a Sirocco Aesthetic

Glass smashed upon the stage signaling rupture and a deep driving force into the core of flamenco, embodied in just one of Rocío Molina’s powerful, composed, lightening-fast turns.

Cante Jondo calling into the night in two languages, from two traditions: flamenco’s core find a Persian classical poetry’s celebration home in Al-Andaluz.

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Two nights of World Music’s Flamenco Festival: one night of rupture on a broken stage, glass shards razor sharp, a rupture into the future rooted in the Flamenco legacy. One night so rooted in history it became forward looking.

World Music has blessed us with different coordinates of the Sirocco cultural geography, arresting in poetic inspiration, charting new maps for us to follow in this city of water.

From Andalusia to Iran, our next post highlights some of the great talents coming through this season’s World Music windstorm.

 

Journeys into the Crossroads | Terence Tavares (first of three articles)

Several weeks ago, I made my way over to the Massachusetts Alliance for Portuguese Speakers (MAPS) and, though the kind staff members gathered around the doorway to greet, I felt magnetically lifted and pulled to the back of the room. I could not place the exact need to move quickly through the crowd but it weighed heavily in my conscience. Rushed words, greetings, and awkward excuses for not having time to hang my coat came out of my mouth, but they were more like catapults or miniature islands allowing me to glide through the air over the heads of the art admirers and arrive to the area where three prints were vibrating. Did people not hear them buzzing, I thought? Partially raised by dogs and taught to recognize high-pitched frequencies in canine language from an early age (I always know when a television is on in even a larger home, even on mute, for instance), I let the fact that nobody seemed to hear this buzzing slide. The origin of this sound was a series called “Journeys” and that’s when I knew that Edna DaCosta, one of the fantastic domestic violence prevention and support workers of MAPS, not only graciously invited me to an event to raise consciousness on the roles that we all must play in the struggle to prevent domestic violence and be aware of the support structures in tact at MAPS, but also into the work of a dynamic artist—an artist of the crossroads—Terence Tavares.

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First, I spoke with Dulce, another member of the domestic violence prevention and support team, and, seeing my state instantly, she assured me that Tavares was on his way: ‘já volta, tranquilo meu bem, ele chega.’ I didn’t know that the connection to the work was so visible. And then, when Executive Director Paulo Pinto called all of the men up to the front to make a pledge to join the cause for peace and respect and health relationships, I found myself standing right next to Tavares. We had not yet been introduced but we recognized each other instantly. Just after the photograph and Paulo Pinto’s heartfelt discussion on the importance of linguistically and culturally-sensitive support for survivors of domestic violence, Tavares brought me over to discuss his work.

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For the most part, Tavares’s work involves woodcut prints. He uses carving and carpentry tools—the wood surface is itself an act of improvisation—and then adds paint in varying colors and hues. No two prints are alike, though his surface is fixed (or at least apparently fixed in solid form, different colors, though, tease out the different directions that this engraved print surface can take). The series on display had three phases and, interestingly, they mirrored a coming-of-age play by Gerardo Fulleda León that I had read and written about years ago called Chago de Guisa.

In orange, red, and yellow, a figure with four limbs (what Wilson Harris, Nathaniel Mackey, and Kamau Brathwaite might call “phantom limb” rendered visible) views the horizon and imagines, visualizing his own destiny.

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Surrendering to motion, breaking free of the boundaries of the internal self and transitioning into a self that can externalize, navigate, and journey, the gazing figure fathoms the weight of possibility at the crossroads; the all-important space where decisions must be made, fears must be confronted, and obstacles must be overcome.

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This is the thematic center ground of the three piece series, the moment at which, as Tavares shared with me, visibly excited by the weight of the decisions and possibilities, “you could turn around or keep going, you could choose another path, you could succumb to fear, you could stay locked in yourself.” With all possibilities in front of him, Tavares’s figure at the crossroads chose to continue on, following his vision, and arrived at the future he visualized in the beginning of the journey (now wiser and visibly aged with flowing beard) along with the viewing audience.

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Central to Tavares’s artistic imaginary is his sense of community reflected in the multi-limbed figure’s mission to reach his destination and bring back to the community all that he learned through his travels. “See, he confronted the fears, considered return, moved forward, did not give up,” Tavares shared while viewing the series with me. “But getting there and coming back was not enough,” Tavares added, “he has to give back to the community, be giving, lead a life of generosity; he has to share with the people so they can have their own journeys,” journeys that involve overcoming the life lived internally, in isolation. This is a lesson, too, that applies to all types of journeys, internal external, wherever frontiers are crossed.

This is the first of a series of SirocoBlue.com articles on Terence Tavares’s work, written in English by Jacob Dyer Spiegel (March 29, 2016).

If you enjoyed the post, please “Like” SiroccoBlue.com and share the article! Part of our mission, free of charge for local artists, is to highlight the work of incredible local artists like Terence Tavares. Please stay tuned for the next articles on Tavares’s influences and then, in a third article, his process approached through some theories on translation.

Te voy a dar una clase de galleta & a cookie!

I did a recent story (written between English and Spanish)—and by the way it was all made up, nobody fell in love with some volleyball player in Central Park, SiroccoBlue is far too mature for that jajaja—on the use of “I can’t” and “dead” in NYC and other Spanish-speaking cities.

Actually, I did two versions. Yes, NYC is a Spanish-speaking city así que no manches wei (don’t stain? Quién están manchando por aquí?).

The half-joking thesis is that some words in the English language are actually becoming Spanish (bueno, se espera trump-ear el tipo y el inglés one day). By that, I mean that there are some words in English that are referring ‘back’ to Spanish to the extent that they don’t have meaning in English without knowing Spanish. Or do they? The word “dead” actually now means “me muero” and “I can’t” actually means “ay, yo no puedo contigo!” and I try to explain how that happens through the metonymic process of hidden translations. Way too scientific because we are language obsessed, so I found that this video—again thanks to the translator of ‘dead’ and ‘I can’t’ herself—does a much better job! Chequéalo:

So, if I’m right, on sunny 70 degree days at the end of Febuary as NYC’s parque central becomes el Caribe, we’re going to hear nordic European folks who probably don’t speak a word of Spanish saying things in English like “gonna give you a cookie!” and actually be understood—in English—by all present! Espero relatar más usos del español en Spanished English (English españolizado). Please leave examples as comments so I can keep building this back translation dictionary!

And please “Like” (y Likear, claro) the SiroccoBlue Facebook Page so you can see the next stories and linguistic musings! That way you will see the next poem written in Spanished English, a back translation experiment that may open with “I’m staying here”.

Update on SiroccoBlue Development

Born on January 13th, 2016 and now just over two months old, SiroccoBlue has taken a few important steps forward that I’d like to take a moment to share. Importantly, all of our work thus far has been 100% free of charge to artists, writers, and event organizers (and will remain free of charge). We have focussed on writing and sharing original content only  on topics that we are passionate about: arts interventions in urban space, incredible dancers and visual artists, great musical tributes, and the theme of crossing cultural boundaries (that aspect of the Sirocco winds that is our thematic core).

During these two months, SiroccoBlue became the Fab 5, with four volunteer writers sharing some content and jumping in at times, plus me, Jacob (that Fab 5 name is based on a Michigan Univ. basketball team and came during our visit to an art studio in Springfield where the Hall of Fame is located). I am very interested in posting people’s writing (hopefully with some photography or video and around 500-1200 words) on themes relating to visual and performing arts, architecture, culture, history, translation theory, and linguistics. Also of great interest are brief writing pieces in science and technology (especially renewable energy and green tech involving wind and ocean a lo Sirocco Blue) as well as the intersection of science and social change. We’re always glad to review those writing pieces and share them: SiroccoBlue7@gmail.com

In our first two months, we offered our writing and publicity services as volunteers and without requesting that our work be promoted because we believe that if our content is good and the writing is engaging, then people will naturally want to promote our services. In other words, instead of building our writing coverage around direct, explicit exchange agreements (i.e. ‘we write, you must promote’), we have left it to the subjects of our writing to do as pleased. Because we have not framed things around such explicit exchange, the people and groups we have written about have offered all kinds of feedback that is just as helpful: different web technologies to showcase our writing, the need to organize our ideas visually, possibilities for a volunteer pilot involving CsF students in the US and adolescents in Bahia, the importance of writing in multiple languages and engaging multiple audiences, how to use social media, and much, much more. We are very grateful for that insight (as well as the heartfelt gratitude from some of our readers) so please feel encouraged to promote the blog or any of the services that we have listed here as well as provide any kind of feedback

That approach has resulted in thousands of visitors to the blog while we develop the business model and the website (SiroccoBlue is just a blog right now). Web traffic has come from mainly the U.S. and Brazil, which was expected, and also:

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Somehow Indonesia disappeared but we did receive several readers from there as well. During the afternoon of March 17th, according to our stats, we had over 12,000 readers come to the blog. We know that’s not much, but it’s a lot more people than the six that read my doctoral dissertation (which took many years to write)! One day at a time!

Because we have been focused on generating original content and promoting local events and organizations, we have not yet linked up with referring organizations nor have we done google search optimizations, but we will be doing so soon (considering that, the above number of visitors is something we’re proud of in our infant stages). In that arena of affiliation, a proposal is being reviewed by Boston.com and we will begin posting stories more regularly on Boston.com so that the editorial staff sees SiroccoBlue as an important community voice that should be on their webpage. The same is true of MassLive.com.

Perhaps most importantly, SiroccoBlue has a few projects that have moved forward over the first two months. Our services are much more defined and we’ll update according to each business line:

International Education Consulting Projects

We have started with our first (pro-bono) College Admissions Advising “client” from the marvelous city of Rio de Janeiro. We will be working to explain the US Ph.D. system in terms of admissions and scholarship/assistantship funding packages and we will be supporting the writing of the personal statement and statement of purpose documents. Our hope is that the application support is itself an educational process that taps into our years of college advising and teaching college-level writing courses. Our goal is to help our “client” understand the different types of scholarship funding types available, plan financially for the study period in the US, define a research project and express it in clear, persuasive writing, and choose the right universities to apply to and provide support through the application process. We will also recommend candidates via letter of reference to universities in the SiroccoBlue network as well as universities outside of that network. Based on the great questions coming from Rio de Janeiro, we’re going to record some important ideas on the pre-application process and will share them on the blog free of charge.

After researching the complex requirements both on the U.S. and Cuban side, we also built out our first study abroad program partnership in Santiago de Cuba (Cuba). We shared some of the complexities of this research in our blog posts under the category “study abroad.” This is exciting because we have secured an important operational center that will make available all kinds of short and long-term study programing for students and hard-core cultural studies travelers from all over the world: Caribbean and Cuban Studies, dance, percussion, Afro-Cuban religion, history, visual arts, trips, volunteer work, and much more.

We are currently reviewing a group of US labs (at universities) that has requested that SiroccoBlue recommend talented scholars from Latin America for a unique lab internship/mentoring program. This would involve the creation of an application and a formal recommending system—more to come on this as it would be perfect for students that have a scholarship and are already in the US.

We are also reviewing a proposal to build out a network of non-profits in Boston, Providence, and NYC geared specifically for students who have studied abroad. In short, this network of businesses would hire students who have developed strong intercultural and linguistic skills having participated in study abroad programs. In this way, SiroccoBlue would be facilitating the “entry” of students–post study abroad program and upon graduating with at least a B.A.–into positions that will allow them to use and continue to develop their cultural and language skills.

Reviews, Publicity, Promotions

Since we started, and completely free of charge, we have done 25 reviews ranging from local restaurants, major scholarship conferences, musical tributes, dance and music concerts, to local dance masters. We have additional reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor, as well, that we’ll be growing in number. This hands-on experience doing the reviews and carefully measuring the feedback has allowed us to start packaging different types of reviews and which we will start selling to clients in May.

Content Editing & Translation 

Thus far, we have had one content editing project (a book project on identity, home, and belonging) and one project that involves content editing and translation simultaneously (a new scholarship program for Latin America). Our parameters for accepting translation and content editing may be too tight–we want to focus on projects that have cultural or historical significance, or that have some aspect of social justice– and we may consider opening up our translation and editing services to include all mission-driven nonprofits (Portuguese and Spanish into English, for now). e

Future 

Upcoming and still pro-bono

We have some incredible stories on Ciência sem Fronteiras scholars and four interviews

Original writing on Tony Gatlif’s incredible film, Vengo, as well as more writing on the Sirocco as a dynamic model for cultural exchange and crossing

A piece on an extremely talented, local visual artist, Terence Tavares

A global view of World Music of Boston’s March Flamenco Festival series

A piece on getting lost in Cambridgeport and two original poems (one on the word ‘saudades’)

As you can tell, we will be busy! If you like what you see, please “Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SiroccoBlue

Also under construction and in development is our web and visual presence…

We hope to soon have a simple yet modern webpage under the name “Sirocco Blue Consulting, LLC” (or a variant of), a logo featuring the force of the wind and crossing of boundaries, and the SiroccoBlue.com blog will also be improved. If any volunteers would like to help with these three tech/visual projects, please send a line on Facebook to our primary admin account (“Sirocco Azul”) or an email to SiroccoBlue7@gmail.com

Thanks for following SiroccoBlue!

Na Fronteira da Ciência e a Reforma Social do Brasil

No meio de tanto tumulto no Brasil, sem importar a sua posição política, há algo concreto e imensamente positivo que é resultado do enorme investimento do governo brasileiro para a ciência, tecnologia e invocação do país, o programa Ciência sem Fronteiras (CsF). Os bolsistas de pós-graduação do programa Ciência sem Fronteiras em EUA, um dos maiores programas de bolsas de estudos da história do planeta, estão realizando pesquisas extremamente inovadoras e relevantes para ciência e de alta utilidade para a resolução de problemas sociais do país. Ocupam e ocuparão, através dos seus projetos, a ‘fronteira’ entre a ciência, a academia e a sociedade brasileira.

Entre os dias 12 e 13 de março de 2016, na Harvard University, os bolsistas de doutorado do programa Ciência sem Fronteiras, nos Estados Unidos, organizaram a primeira conferência dedicada a estudantes brasileiros de pós-graduação. Com o intuito de compartilhar as suas experiências e os seus projetos de pesquisa, em diversas áreas da ciência, matemática, engenharia e tecnologia.

A conferência, chamada BRASCON, abriu um espaço de suma importância para que alguns dos alunos mais talentosos do Brasil—a próxima geração de líderes do país—compartilhassem a sua experiência uns com os outros. Muitos não se conheciam antes da conferência. No entanto apesar do rigor científico das palestras, tinha-se a sensação de estar em uma grande família. com cada bolsista logrando seus objetivos acadêmicos e pessoais, comprometidos a levar o aprendizado de volta ao Brasil. Houve, sem dúvida, um senso de união em prol de um objetivo comum: transformar o país que amam.

A conferência teve vários componentes dinâmicos. Houve em torno de 30 apresentações de pôsteres, 9 bolsistas foram selecionados para apresentações orais e também belas palestras dadas por líderes atuais, em vários campos da ciência do Brasil e dos EUA. Entre estes líderes estavam o Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, professor de Neurobiologia e Engenharia Biomédica da Duke University, vinculado ao Instituto Internacional de Neurociência de Natal e o Dr. Marcelo Gleiser, professor de Física e Astronomia do Dartmouth College. Os alunos também puderam ouvir relatos e experiências internacionais do Dr. Márcio Resende, Jr, Dr. Leonardo Teixeira, Ana Lopes, Dra. Cristina Caldas e Dra. Ana Carolina Nogueira.

Houve momentos de compartilhar ideias inovadoras e também momentos de pensar como coletivo, no grande e misterioso impacto de atravessar fronteiras linguísticas e culturais nos programas de doutorado nos Estados Unidos. As perguntas do público envolviam a intersecção da ciência e da sociedade, como por exemplo, como a ciência pode impactar as comunidades brasileiras e também como navegar as traduções culturais e obstáculos entre culturas. Foram palestras que se converteram em oficinas de apoio: uma receita para dar novas energias aos projetos de pesquisa e permitir que os alunos pensem na direção social que querem ter.

Da minha perspectiva, alguém que trabalhou nos dois programas de intercâmbio envolvendo Estados Unidos e Brasil (100.000 Strong in the Americas no Brasil, e Ciência sem Fronteiras nos EUA), a BRASCON foi sem dúvida, um dos encontros entre bolsistas mais produtivos que já vivi. A conferência foi organizada e implementada, sem patrocínios, pelos próprios bolsistas, justamente no momento em que muitos dos 505 bolsistas atuais de doutorado nos EUA começam a se aproximar à época de conclusão do curso e redação de suas teses de doutorado. Estes projetos de tese em fase final significam que um número significativo de bolsistas está se preparando para retornar ao Brasil e estes claramente mostraram o grande impacto que terão na transformação social e científica do país.

Além de não ser cientista, o português, idioma belíssimo que foi praticamente eleito como língua oficial da conferência, não é a minha primeira língua. São nestes momentos que os usos de língua se tornam evidentes porque, normalmente em congressos científicos, mesmo em inglês, tenho a sensação de que não falo língua alguma, especialmente porque todos do público aplaudem com grande admiração o material apresentado. Com um foco especial nas questões linguísticas, o que para mim é a chave para um programa de bolsa tal como o CsF em que, ao voltar, se espera que o aprendizado se converta em intervenções sociais e melhoramento geral para a sociedade, fiquei absolutamente maravilhado com a capacidade de cada bolsista de ‘traduzir’ o seu projeto da linguagem científica para a língua franca para alcançar um público de diversas áreas de pesquisa.

Muitos dos bolsistas compartilharam sobre o grande compromisso social e espírito de voluntariado que absorveram na cultura norte-americana. Notei bastante a preocupação social, como centro de quase todas as palestras e apresentações. Esta capacidade de conectar campos de pesquisa e comunicar as ideias mais inovadoras da ciência em uma língua comum, (uma língua que até eu possa entender) reitera que este grupo não só vai levar a ciência a níveis nem sequer esperados de volta para o Brasil, como também, conseguir ensinar e melhorar a didática da ciência para motivar as próximas gerações. Os bolsistas de doutorado pleno servirão de intermediadores entre a ciência e o enorme trabalho social que o Brasil está por fazer.

Também através da BRASCON ganhei um respeito profundo pelo humanismo de cada projeto, pela inspiração de contribuir ao Brasil. Eu já tinha ouvido as críticas feitas pela mídia, ao programa, em especial a brasileira, que nunca se sentou em uma mesa com os bolsistas de PhD nos EUA e outros países. Quando eu dizia que trabalhava com o CsF nos EUA, era comum ouvir comentários como ‘o Governo Federal está dando bolsas de estudos somente aos alunos de classe média ou cima. Isto, porque é exigido uma pontuação mínima no TOEFL, exame de proficiência em inglês. Para algumas pessoas, somente os alunos que tiveram educação em escolas particulares e/ou dinheiro para pagar cursos de inglês, conseguem uma pontuação alta no TOEFL para serem aceitos nas universidades dos EUA. Eu entendia a ideia por trás destes comentários, nas diversas formas em que foi articulada, mas não a aceitava. Para alguns, a crítica estendeu-se ao futuro retorno ao Brasil: ‘por ser uma bolsa que beneficiava uma classe social removida da realidade do país, não existiria um retorno da ciência e da experiência no exterior para as massas brasileiras. A crítica, neste contexto mal informado, era de que os alunos não se sentiriam na obrigação de contribuir para a melhora e o desenvolvimento de uma das sociedades onde há mais desigualdade no mundo.

No entanto, na BRASCON eu ouvi e gravei histórias maravilhosas de pessoas que superaram obstáculos sociais e econômicos para entrar no CsF. Talvez estes não sejam a maioria, mas o impacto destes poucos é extraordinário. Além disto, percebi que, até mesmo os alunos que eu conheci, que vieram de classes mais empoderadas do Brasil enxergam um compromisso e preocupação social extremamente profundo com o Brasil. Nas palavras de Guilherme Rosso (co-fundador da Rede CsF que fez uma apresentação espetacular sobre a importância da entre bolsistas), “O sentimento geral é que ainda temos um futuro para o Brasil e que Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação devem estar na pauta. As ruas podem ser ocupadas pelo povo sim, mas as escolas devem ser ocupadas pela ciência também. Os políticos e os jogadores de futebol podem estar nos noticiários, mas os cientistas devem ter espaço compartilhado na mídia.”

Através do esforço extraordinário dos voluntários da diretoria e coordenação da BRASCON, foi possível criar um ponte que inspirou e continuará inspirando bolsistas e alunos brasileiros no exterior. Carleara Rosa, Gisele Passalacqua, Vanessa Dias e Gláucia Ribeiro, junto com bolsistas, realizando seus estudos em cada canto dos EUA (Raquel Rocha, Cristiano Reis, Sara Dumit, Tássia Pereira, Jéssica Silva, Luiz Felipe Ungericht, Karin Calvinho, Karina Lima, Luana Teles, João Vogel, Andre Guerrero, Ariane Brotto, Gabriela Veroneze), criaram uma plataforma institucional e dinâmica e um grande momentum.

Este ato da BRASCON de construir um palco é um demonstrativo claro da vontade enorme de criar redes e colaborações entre os bolsistas e, acima de tudo, aprender uns com os outros. Para mim, a Brascon partiu da vontade de desenvolver vínculos entre projetos e pesquisas, permitir que os alunos se conheçam pessoalmente, e criar uma ferramenta extremamente necessária para unir estes bolsistas brasileiros, os próximos líderes de ciência, de educação e de compromisso social no país.

Enfoquei-me, neste artigo breve, nos alunos da pós-graduação nos Estados Unidos, mas os mesmos comentários aplicam aos bolsistas da pós-graduação em outros países e também aos da graduação. Sabendo que estou colocando a mão no fogo de determinações já concretizadas pela força de mídia no Brasil, posso apenas compartilhar o que vi com os meus próprios olhos na minha universidade do meu estado natal, a Universidade de Massachusetts-Amherst. Os alunos de graduação do programa CsF, às vezes criticados pela mídia brasileira por uma porcentagem minúscula que partiu-se do rigor acadêmico que o 99% demonstrou no estrangeiro, impressionaram, de maneira profunda, tantos os professores quanto os colegas do maior campus do estado. O “país de futebol,” pelo menos na universidade em Amherst de mais de 30,000 pessoas, virou “país da ciência.” Além disto, a palavra “sem” da CsF significava (para nós aqui em Massachusetts, estado em que Português é o segundo idioma mais falado) que não há fronteira entre a ciência que estes bolsistas estudam, a língua e cultura que absorveram e o impacto que vão ter no âmbito social do Brasil.

Especialmente neste momento de re-imaginar a nação, no meio de uma das crises mais severas na história do país que amam de coração, os alunos da Ciência sem Fronteiras estão redefinido o papel que a ciência–de energia renovável a medicina a novos processos agrícolas–terá na sociedade.

Este artigo foi escrito em Português por Jacob Dyer Spiegel de www.SirccoBlue.com | Março 20, 2016.

Por favor, “curtam” a nossa Página de Facebook e podem nos seguir para mais comentários sobre a Ciência sem Fronteiras, futuras entrevistas com os bolsistas e outras redações sobre o programa de bolsas.

You can also read about the conference in English: “Brazilian Scholars Unite: Brascon Sets a Stage for Sharing”.

Brazilian Scholars Unite: Brascon Sets a Stage for Sharing

On July 25th 2011, the announcement echoed through the world and was translated into over 100 languages by the break of dawn: Brazil, over a ten year period, would soon begin sending 101,000 students overseas to study science, technology, math, and engineering. It was called Ciência sem Fronteiras, or ‘Science Without Borders’—a bold way of supporting the intellectual development of the nation’s most talented students, the next generation of innovators and leaders of Brazil.

Across all national, cultural, linguistic, and traditional academic borders, Brazilian students from the country’s 26 states and Federal District would study abroad at the undergraduate and graduate levels, committed to return to Brazil to make lasting impact not only in science and technology, but also in education and the country’s developing infrastructure. These scholars would be, in short, the group to carry Brazil’s spirit of innovation across multiple fields and groups and to catalyze social change.

Overnight, new ETS sites (the test centers where English proficiency exams are offered) had to be built and to accommodate the demand and testing services even had to be offered in neighboring Argentina and Uruguay. Soccer rivalries no longer mattered: the development of the future leaders of the nation and science education in Brazil reigned. GOL and TAM reservation systems shut down. Car rentals so Brazilian nationals could take the exam in neighboring states and countries tripled. So many applications were filled out that the entire registration system crashed multiple times. This would be one of the largest education development and mobility projects in the history of our planet.

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Four years later, Brascon—a newly formed organization led by graduate-level Science Without Borders scholars with the goal of creating a network of innovative researchers to shake up Brazilian science for the next 20 years and beyond—organized and implemented the first conference to celebrate the stories and achievements of these extremely talented scholars doing their graduate studies here in the United States. This was the first time all Science Without Borders Ph.D. students in the US, 505 in total though not all were in attendance, had the chance to formally gather and share stories of success, challenges, and the incredible research projects they are working on. The timing of the conference, held this past weekend at Harvard University with over 150 in attendance, could not have been better: as the Science Without Borders program began in 2011, the first wave of Ph.D.’s will soon be graduating and heading back to Brazil.

In development since the one of the world’s most ambitious scholarship programs was launched, the immensely successful Brascon conference was a testament of the Brazilian scholars’ desire to unite and to explore what it means to be the future leaders of the country’s science innovation and education, and also the implications of being at the crossroads of science and Brazilian society. In the words of Dr. Marcelo Gleiser, who presented on the first day of the conference, “Vocês vão disseminar uma visao do mundo. Vão ser educadores com uma visão social.” (“You are going to disseminate a new vision of the world. You are going to be educators with a social consciousness and vision”). The handwritten note by Glivânia Maria de Oliveira (photograph below), the dynamic and charismatic head of the Brazilian Consulate in Boston who has won over the entire community in very short period of time, reiterated the importance of the scholars’ work and the importance of connecting in forums such as Brascon’s.

The conference featured the innovative research of the Brazilian Ph.D. scholars as well as invited guest speakers such as Miguel Nicolelis, Marcelo Gleiser, Ana Lopes, Bernardo Lemos, Márcio Resende, Jr., Leonardo Teixeira, and Cristina Caldas (among many others). Approximately 30 Ph.D. students broke out into poster sessions and explained their projects in depth to small interactive groups fascinated by the work. 10 Ph.D. students presented their research to in the large conference hall on topics that ranged from anaerobic digestion and algae cultivation, to turbofan swirl distortion, to crowd-funding and urban infrastructure. During Dr. Miguel Nicolelis’s presentation, the first on an early Saturday morning, it was difficult to find a dry eye in the audience. Riveting accounts of taking science into Macaíba and Serrinha and transforming lives, brining hope and healing to some of the most disadvantaged communities in Brazil, set the stage for what would be a profound series of introspections and motivational moments.

A network of support emerged for scholars working in almost all of the U.S. states: “mudou a minha vida, o impacto foi nada menos que isto, há na minha pesquisa uma nova procura que ganhei aqui em Brascon. Este congress nos ajudou a discerner em que caminho seguir depois do dotourado.” (though an emotive translation proves difficult, ‘the conference changed my life, the impact was nothing less than that, there’s a new search and series of goals to my research that come out of this experience at Brascon. The conference helped us see clearly the paths that we will take after completing our doctoral programs.’). Speakers, understanding the challenges that the Ph.D. scholars face in a new cultural system, naturally transitioned from hard science to the hard moments of navigating relationships with academic advisors. Part lab, part family gathering, always adaptive, Brascon provided support and established–through direct contact–a network that will prove extremely beneficial to the academic and professional paths of all present.

Made possible by volunteers and the scholars themselves (and without any fiscal sponsorship), the Brascon conference represents a deep desire to unite, share experiences, share research and collectively explore the implications of what it means to be the group of scholars, 505 in total in US universities, that have been chosen to lead Brazil’s future in science, the gathering was also intensely emotional.

People cried when sharing their projects and even when asking questions to the numerous panelists, partly because it was the first time they were able to be in the direct physical presence of each other, partly because it was so evident that the future of the country is so deeply part of their projects. It was nothing short of magical to be in the space so carefully and thoughtfully curated by the Brascon team over a period of three years between doctoral courses, exams, dissertation research, teaching, and lab work, all in a new culture and language.

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Though the intended audience was primarily Ph.D. scholars and the organizations directly connected to Science Without Borders, the gathering also attracted students who traveled from Bahia and Rio de Janeiro. For Úrsula Kopke, a 23 year-old student of publicity and neuroscience, who traveled to Cambridge, MA just for the conference, it was the first time she had taken a flight and the first time she had left Brazil. People not even “inside” of the scholarship program, in other words, saw the importance of Brascon’s gathering at such a profound level that they too crossed all borders to attend. Úrsula’s open-hearted question about her own future in science, someone who grew up in a small town in the state of Rio de Janeiro, was met with a most powerful gesture of inclusion and belonging by one of her heroes, Dr. Nicolelis.

The mission of Science Without Borders, articulated on July 26th, 2011 at the beginning of the program, was at the very core of Brascon: “Nós vamos formar a base de pensamento educacional do país” (the Ciência sem Fronteiras will core of of educational thought and values in Brazil). From the U.S. to Hungary to Japan and beyond, Science Without Borders has most definitely showcased the enormous talent of Brazilian scholars at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Though the Ph.D. students have not yet completed their programs, they soon will and organizations like Rede CsF and Brasa have emerged and are carefully tracking the shift in mindset and focus that scholars are taking with them as they re-enter the Brazilian cultural system.

 

After the conference, I had the pleasure of sitting in on the Brascon team final dinner in which all involved in this massive effort reflected on the conference, what it took to create the first gathering of Ph.D. scholars in the US, and the meaning of the Science Without Borders program. I learned that this dynamic group spread across multiple states had been holding organizational meetings in such varied spaces as parked cars, moving subways, airports, labs, family dinner tables: anywhere necessary to make sure the conversations continued and this unique forum could happen. Some of the volunteers (and they were all volunteers) worked so hard that they did not even get to see the conference speakers–their immense satisfaction came through the collective experience of all present.

Ironically, as we all celebrated this incredible Science Without Borders program, a national project in every sense, just down the street at Harvard Square a large group wearing yellow and green gathered to protest corruption and called openly for the impeachment of President Dilma. In São Paulo, over one million protestors gathered. Some of them question massive investment into projects like Science Without Borders, calling it ‘a waste’ of public funds that should have been used to build schools and reform the k-12 public system. Yet all in attendance at Brascon left with a common understanding: these scholars will be returning to Brazil to participate in that very process of rebuilding public education and with important new perspectives gained not only through the programs of study, but also through that mysterious form of experiential learning that is ‘study abroad,’ in which—suddenly confronted by new values, languages, cultural traditions—the crossing of borders suddenly becomes a mirror into the self and the cultural system one comes from.

This article is the first in a series on Ciência sem Fronteiras. I will be sharing interviews with scholars, thoughts from ‘behind the scenes’ having worked very closely with CsF and 100,000 Strong in the Americas (joint initiatives that are inseparable), and insight on cultural and language immersion (among other topics). The work of Brascon set the stage for this and being with these dynamic scholars also let me see the different roles I have moved through in both education initiatives and in both countries. Agradecimento profundo, endless gratitude and respect for the people who made this event possible: Carleara Rosa, Gisele Passalacqua, Vanessa Dias, Gláucia Ribeiro, Raquel Rocha, Cristiano Reis, Sara Dumit, Tássia Pereira, Jéssica Silva, Luiz Felipe Ungericht, Karin Calvinho, Karina Lima, Luana Teles, João Vogel, Andre Guerrero, Ariane Brotto, Gabriela Veroneze. Rede CsF, Brasa, CAPES, SciBr, and the Brazilian Consulate of Boston were also instrumental in the Brascon organizing process.

And, of course, it is important to recognize the incredible work of so many people behind the scenes of this scholarship program. The people in the international offices at CAPES and CNPq who stay up around the clock, resolving issues not even imaginable, at Laspau and IIE, who, in partnership, join in that process, working directly with hundreds of US universities. This was a moment of sharing do coração that was also conscious of all of the people who made this initiative possible, still strong and still contributing.

Written in English by Jacob Dyer Spiegel | March 16th, 2016.

Flamenco Festival 2016 in Boston!

A beautifully written article by Judith Mackrell of The Guardian places Rocío Molina at the helm of flamenco’s development, carrying the tradition forward and anchoring the art form in ideas and concepts once considered far beyond the scope of Flamenco culture.

Mackrell shares fragments of Molina’s montage of influence: She admires the films of Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, and she’s interested in the new generation of dance theatre that includes the likes of Belgian company Peeping Tom. One of her early works, 2005’s El Eterno Retorno, was based on texts by Nietzsche; a later work, Danzaora, was inspired by the painting The Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel, an image of disintegrating classical order, in which Molina saw her own embrace of tradition and the avant garde. She did a duet with Korean hip hop dancer, Honji Wang, as well:

These sources of inspiration and the skills she has been developing since the age of 3, in Málaga (Spain), have taken her far. By the age of 30, though the purist school of flamenco may not support the claim, Molina was considered to be one of Spain’s most talented flamenco dancers, “with the power to still an audience with her staccato footwork and spiraling turns. As a choreographer, her ambitious ideas have earned her respect across dance.”

Molina served as artistic associate at the Theatre de Chaillot, performed at the Dance Umbrella. In eight days, she will be in Boston, part of World Music’s 2016 Flamenco Festival at Berkley Performance Center. Here she will be performing the Boston premiere of Danzaora & Vinática.

Speaking on the flamenco tradition and her search for new trajectories, Molina states, “I do consider myself a flamenco dancer… I’m inspired by the old traditions, dancers like Carmen Amaya, Mario Maya and El Farruco. But I’m also interested in the world outside flamenco. I’m trying to work outside the normal flamenco box.”

Yet working outside this “normal flamenco box,” at least as she will presumably do here in Boston, the ingenious programming of World Music seems to suggest lines of continuity despite ruptures and new searches. Farruquito, of the Farruco family who Molina has credited as an inspiration, performed only a few days ago her in Boston, setting the stage for Molina on the 19th. On the 20th, just a day after the Flamenco tradition takes on new formations through Molina, this art form birthed from the Romani, Islamic chants, North Africa Berber, Catholic chants, and Sephardim gets back to its traveling core with the evening’s theme, “Qasida: Flamenco meets Persian classical music.” Rosario “La Tremendita” Guerrero and Mohammad Motamedi

“Qasida is an extraordinary musical encounter between the young Spanish singer Rosario “La Tremendita” Guerrero and her Iranian peer, Mohammad Motamedi. Renowned for accompanying flamenco dancers Belén Maya, Rocío Molina, Rafaela Carrasco, and many others, La Tremendita explores the roots of flamenco in the richly varied poetic songs and improvisations of Motamedi, the young rising star of Persian classical music. They will be accompanied by six musicians on guitar, Iranian kemanche (a bowed string instrument), percussion, and palmas (hand clapping).”

Qasida is originally an Arabic word (قصيدة) meaning “ode” and implying “intention.” It is a form of poetry and became part of the Persian poetic tradition. The intersection of Qasida with incredible flamenco singer Rosario la Tremendita is a re-encounter of Spain’s history, particularly in Andalusia.

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Mohammad Motamedi, born in 1978, is an Iranian singer and Ney player, self-taught since adolescence. He influences are Seyed Hossein Taherzadeh and Hamidreza Noorbakhsh, and, a follower of the Esfahan song school, his musical influences also include Taj Esfahani and Adib Khansari. He is a predecessor of the late Dr. Hossein Omoumi and Aliasghar Shahzeidi.

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Singer and composer Rosario La Tremendita Guerrero, born in the neighborhood of Triana in Seville in 1984, is the Great grand-daughter of Enriqueta la Pescaera, grandniece of La Gandinga de Triana and daughter of José El Tremendo. Triana is a cradle of Flamenco and it was there that she began to sing in the peñas central and she has sang for the great dancers Belén Maya, Rocío Molina (re-connected, or course, through this World Music tour), Rafaela Carrasco, and Andrés Marín. The last name ‘Marín’ gets to the core of our work and we will look at this legacy of dancers that Rosario has collaborated with when we share our impressions of the event. More to come!

Make sure to buy your tickets for Rocío Molina (March 19, 8 PM) and for Rosario la Tremendita & Mohammad Motamedi (March 20, 7:30 PM) soon! The venue for both events is Berklee Performance Center: 136 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA.

Sirocco Blue will be at both performances so please stay tuned for our review!

Snap Boogie Tour, Making Moves!

Cjaiilon Andrade, known as Snap Boogie and sometimes just Snap in the dance circuit, stands at 5’7, but his presence is as composed as it is towering. Tap dancer, original choreographer, popper, break dance phenomenon, his performance runs the gamut.

If you’re lucky enough to get a glimpse of this rising talent in a Boston public square (days when, he shared with me during a recent impromptu interview, “I just feel like getting out and performing without having planned anything, try a new move, see how people react”) you will see how his performances are like improvised plays. In street settings, I saw Snap play with cultural and racial stereotypes, exposing set patterns of thought by allowing people to laugh at themselves. It is an interactive destabilizing of the status quo to slamming drumbeats and incredibly impressive dance technique. And you never know when or where he may appear.

You may have seen Snap Boogie on America’s Got Talent back in 2011. He was a semifinalist, drawing praise from all for his lightening quick movement that he mastered in the streets, dance contests, and clubs of Roxbury, Massachusetts. “Dance is a language,” and, as he told me, “I grew up surrounded by my mother’s languages, listening to her translate between Continental and Brazilian Portuguese, Crioulo Cabo Verdeano, Spanish, French, and English.” Roxbury’s languages—home to one of the largest Cape Verdean communities in the United States, center of African American Bostonian culture and Afro-Latin American cultures—also find their way into Snap’s choreography. He listens to Sara Tavares on his headphones, Kaytranada, classic hip hop numbers from the late 90’s, James Brown, and even the latest pop hits. He’s constantly choreographing as he listens. In the off-the-beaten-path clubs of Boston and Cambridge, Snap arrives with his signature backpack, contagious smile, and the circle opens instantly. You want him to dance, you open the way for him to dance. His performances build from what America’s Got Talent judges described as his “edgy, organic core.” They are dangerous and keep the audience engaged.

After America’s Got Talent, Snap travelled the world, bringing his infectious acrobatics to stages, public plazas, universities, and dance halls of Europe, the Americas, and Japan. Most recently, he has been performing at colleges throughout the U.S., packed auditoriums and concert halls of places as far away from Roxbury as South Dakota.

Snap’s is a difficult repertoire to describe because the routine dramatically changes every time I happen to see him perform. Once, by Faneuil Hall, I watched him arrive and gather together over 300 people before he even started to move. Did they gravitate to him magnetically, I thought? Bostonians are not noted for their emotive warmth yet within a matter of minutes, Snap had them laughing, clapping, dancing, volunteering as human obstacles for him to flip over, dancing through the air like a cross between Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson. He works crowds like the greatest of constructivist classroom facilitators. In addition to speaking to crowds through movement, he told me, “I learn how to greet people in their language… it creates a bond and lets them know they can trust me. And then I jump over seven of them, landing in synch with the beat and finishing with whatever comes to mind.”

When he’s not dancing, Snap is planning out his future with dance. He’s working on a Broadway show and, if time permits, he will start taking travelers to the Boston behind-the-scenes world of dance and music that he knows intimately. The Boston of dance competitions, street performances, dance clubs off the tourist network and more. Down the road, he wants to find a way to give back to his community through dance and sharing the artistic, expressive outlet. “Whatever you do, whatever talents you’re given,” he says, “you just have to make sure it is giving something back. Otherwise you never get out of the cycle.” My next piece on incredible local artist Terence Tavares follows that call. Stay tuned!

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This article was originally written in English  by Jacob Dyer Spiegel of SiroccoBlue.com. If you enjoyed the read, please check out the Facebook Page and “Like” it! I offer assistance with the personal statement & statement of purpose for undergraduate and graduate school programs in the US. I do the same for scholarship and grant applications. I’m a freelance translator (Portuguese, Spanish, English) and I also build high-impact language and culture study abroad programs in Brazil, Cuba, Portugal, and Spain (among other countries). Check out all of the services right here!

 

Banda de Dexter Gordon, Arrasou!

Quando três membros da equipe de Sirocco Blue foram convidados a participar no quarto tributo em homenagem a Dexter Gordon—um dos grandes músicos do planeta, a essência de tudo que é ‘cool’, inovador virtuoso de Bebop—agarramos os computadores, uma roupa quase apresentável e a estrada aberta rumo a Nova Iorque.

Presenciamos quatro noites fantásticas de uma das melhores bandas atuais de jazz no país, o Conjunto do Legado de Dexter Gordon: no piano George Cables; no baixo, Dezron Douglas; na bateria, Victor Lewis; nos vibes, Joe Locke e, claro, os dois saxofonistas, Abraham Burton e Craig Handy. A banda, composta de figuras importantíssimas ao desenvolvimento do Jazz e da música mundial em geral que tocaram com Dexter e, no caso de Abraham Burton e Craig Handy, a próxima geração profundamente influenciada pelo grande saxofonista.

Foi no caminho que nós pensamos no melhor jeito de abordar este tributo; um momento que nos pareceu dar abertura a um mundo não só de performance, mas também às historias de personas como a Senhora Maxine Gordon, com a sua maneira única de unir o passado, presente e futuro desta música que nós amamos, o Jazz. Como a língua que se usa para refletir sobre um ato muitas vezes estrutura a nossa experiência, optamos por escrever sobre o tributo em duas línguas e através de dois pontos de vista. Enquanto meu colega que escreve em Espanhol detalha melhor a música do tributo, eu começo com a minha fascinação pelos atos da Sociedade de Dexter Gordon, uma organização sem fins lucrativos que é, em todas as funções uma extensão da voz, da música e da pessoa de Dexter Gordon. A sociedade serve também como um tipo de mensageiro e o tributo, reconhecendo o impacto enorme de Dexter Gordon e a beleza da sua arte, carregando as mensagens deste grande músico (e também ator, não se pode esquecer!).

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A noite do tributo que caiu na mesma data de nascimento de Gordon foi espetacular. Foi talvez a noite de mais união entre o grupo e, junto com a imagem belíssima da lua subindo na janela de Dizzy’s Club, a noite na qual a música transcendia mais. Foi nesta noite que Maxine Gordon—esposa, produtora, agente e gerente de tour de Dexter Gordon durante os anos de mais impacto que ele teve—abriu o performance iluminando a sala grande com a sua sabedoria e pela sua simpatia.

O que não se vê no clipe é o público: houve um orgulho ao ouvir que o Perfeito da Cidade de Nova Iorque escrevesse uma carta sobre o tributo do qual todos nós participamos. A carta também representou para o público que este centro mundial de cultura e arte, Nova Iorque, é construída na força criativa dos Gigantes Sofisticados como Dexter Gordon, e que cada cidade do mundo onde ele morou declara o Dexter como parte da sua cultura. Dexter nasceu em Los Angeles e é simultaneamente Nova Iorquino, da Copenhagen, do Paris, do México e a lista continua. O som expansivo e a sua pessoa estende toda noção de barreiras superadas neste mundo transnacional.

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No meio do primeiro set, tudo me pareceu parar quando o bolo de aniversario de Dexter Gordon chegou à mesa e vi Maxine Gordon apreciar o cenário. A música continuou fortíssima e belíssima mas todos nós do público ficamos calados, concentrados na Senhora Gordon, cujo carisma, inteligência rapidíssima e humildade ganha a simpatia de qualquer grupo. Para nós, as velas acesas do bolo representa os caminhos iluminados do aniversariante. Ao apagá-las, mantemos a luz por dentro para iluminar o próximo ano. Apagar com nosso alento, nosso vento, aquilo que forma a nossa comunicação significa que aceitamos o presente da comemoração: é um jeito de aceitar a luz e também dizer, indiretamente, que fará parte da nossa memória viva.

Então quando Maxine–rosto iluminado pelas velas, rodeada por músicos, amigos e colegas que amam Dexter–olhou com orgulho para a banda e soprou, não era um ato simples solitário. Representou, também, um conjunto de forças e o que Maxine Gordon tem mais do que uma década fazendo: a continuação da autobiografia de Dexter Gordon, Society Red, a canalização desta voz autobiográfica e a “conversão” deste texto à biografia de Dexter Gordon. Ela está escrevendo a biografia do seu esposo. A biografia, então, é a continuação da voz, do alento, e do vento do Dexter (a força do seu saxofone), o qual vimos na hora de Maxine reconhecer as velas. A autobiografia que Dexter não conseguiu terminar, a termina Maxine como biografia. Mas—por ter sido produtora, gerente dos tours e a sua esposa—esta biografia torna-se um ato também autobiográfico. São, se entendemos biografia e autobiografia como “tarjama” (a palavra do árabe por tradução significa estas duas maneiras de narrar), traduções de traduções, talvez uma das maneiras de contar a historia do jazz e da sua cultura. E de certa forma, observando quatro noites e oito sets, a banda tocou do mesmo repertório mas nunca da mesma forma: sempre uma adaptação maravilhosa.

Mas embora Maxine apenas mencionasse esse monstro de livro em uma frase passageira, o público sentiu Dexter Calling (Dexter Chamando) e a biografia que incorpora a voz autobiográfico de Dexter se chama assim mesmo: “Dexter Calling: The Life and Music of Dexter Gordon.” Dexter chamando do passado para o presente e futuro através da pesquisa e escrita da sua esposa, uma grande obra mensageira que talvez se publique esse ano.

Voltando à noite… Como meu colega que compartilhou as suas impressões em Espanhol, eu também não finjo ser um jazzista nem uma pessoa suficientemente competente para falar da maravilha da banda mas aviso que a força de Victor Lewis e de Dezron Douglas permitiu um alcançar de som do Abraham Burton que em muito tempo não tenho sentido. The Chase soando ainda mais intenso, Abraham Burton e Craig Handy trocava mensagens num diálogo fantástico de saxofones, uma conversação entre os dois e também entre eles e Dexter.

E o público sentiu também: mãos no peito, batendo palma contra a perna, abaixando e subindo a cabeça, corredor lotado, gente em pé por não ter aonde sentar, gritos dos jovens que entravam para o performance depois. Agora, nada contra o espaço, mas o jazz surgiu nas comunidades e não no que hoje é Columbus Circle, muito menos o Lincoln Center, um prédio de alto luxo. O contraste de historia e presente às vezes interfere em espaços tais, mas com essa banda e com os convidados da Sociedade de Dexter Gordon, o modo de participar no momento foi ativado, os locais do passado voltaram. Até copos começaram quebrar da intensidade.

Não sou fã de enfocar num músico só, pois sem a união da banda seria difícil, talvez impossível, que um membro chegasse sozinho aos momentos transcendentes. Mas, já reconhecendo que Abraham Burton conseguiu canalizar o saxofone de Dexter Gordon, ventos compatíveis entre duas gerações, acho importante destacar que ele está prosseguindo por uma nova trajetória, seguindo o caminho que John Coltrane e Dexter Gordon deixaram aberto.

Deu para sentir, por trás do palco, antes e depois dos sets, que Burton estava numa comunicação constante desde o momento em que entrou no edifício. Deu para sentir o orgulho ao tocar com com os grandes da banda em homenagem à pessoa quase deidade que ele tem seguido a vida inteira.

O tributo foi um grande sucesso. Esgotou todas as noites e houve uma imensa satisfação entre membros do público. Ao sair, ouviam-se comentários como “isto aí foi o Jazz de raiz.” Também procuraram comprar discos (cd e também de vinil) que estão disponíveis ainda no Site Oficial de Dexter Gordon. E, para quem gostou de ter lido sobre o tributo em Português, nós vimos agora fotografias de Dexter e Miles Davis em Portugal no mesmo site.

Depois desta banda de Dexter Gordon, a mais enraizada na tradição de jazz da programação anual de Dizzy’s Club, entrou um grupo de alunos extremamente animados de Julliard, Sammy Miller and The Congregation, como se o tributo abrisse o cenário para um grupo ‘voltar’ aos anos 20 e 30. Dexter Chamando! Esperem, queridos seguidores da Sociedade e desta banda fantástica, muito mais!