This documentary made by Francianne dos Santos Velho (Project Night Spaces, Leiden University), tells the story of Amsterdam theatre MUNGANGA, founded in 1987 by Brazilian actors and artistic directors Cláudia Maoli and Carlos Lagoeiro.
MUNGANGA is a Brazilian word of African origin that means communicating through exuberant gestures, expressive faces, grimaces, and dance. The name captures the vision of MUNGANGA, which combines theatre with music, dance, and puppetry. In the 90s and ’00s, MUNGANGA theatre company enjoyed government support and created, produced, and presented around 115 shows a year for children and youth, often with elements of social critique and influences from Brazilian literature and culture.
Following the 2008 financial crisis and its impact on the cultural sector, Carlos and Claudia had to seek alternatives to their artistic journey. In 2014, they turned their rehearsal space into a theatre venue, housed in an old horse-drawn tram station in South Amsterdam that had been occupied by the squatter movement. MUNGANGA is a charming and cozy theatre where Carlos and Claudia share the stage with other artists, activists, and dreamers. A welcoming space where multiple diasporic and migrant narratives meet in concerts and plays, lectures and debates, performances, and interventions.
The documentary MUNGANGA shows its significance as a site of crisis and regeneration, memory and heritage, community solidarity and growth; and a key venue for independent, night-time culture in Amsterdam. It charts the journey of this important reference for bridging diverse cultures and communities in the city.
Project Night Spaces: migration, culture and integration in Europe
21 min – color – Spoken languages: Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch – Subtitles: English
Directed by Francianne dos Santos Velho
Co-created Leiden University’s Sara Brandellero
Cinematography and Editing: Thiemi Higashi and Malin van Weerdenburg
Heitor Villa Lobos is a Brazilian composer and one of the most important Latin American composers of the 20th century. His music combines Indigenous melodic and rhythmic elements with Western classical music.
In this special concert, Elizabeth Fadel will perform repertoire by Villa Lobos combined with her skills in Brazilian and classical music. Expect improvisation and audience participation (singing and playing percussion) in this wonderful event. Elizabeth has been playing Villa Lobos since she was 8 years old. One of the first melodies she ever learned on the piano was “Assim ninava mamã”, from the “Petizada” series.
In the repertoire, she plays, among other pieces, “Bachianas brasileiras” (a beautiful piece with baroque influence), “A lenda do caboclo” and “A Valsa da dor”, a very sensitive waltz.
Heitor Villa Lobos brings folk music together with classical elements. So does Elizabeth, with her background in jazz, classical, Brazilian and world music.