Thursday, February 12, 2009


385 days ago

I'm the one knocking at his door either, considering I came all the way down south to chase it.

I had a few very pleasant encounters these days and did my first interview with the extremely talented Marcel Keoroglian, writer and performer for Asaltantes con Patente. I met Gustavo Remedi who wrote a very interesting book about Uruguyan Carnival in 1996 and Juan Carlos Alberte - counsellor for the Coca-Cola cultural patrimony program "Huellas". As Gustavo teaches in the US it was a rich exchange and although I'm not a big Coke fan I have to admit their initiative is a real service for the community. My free pass for Teatro de Verano is not ready yet.

I also went to see three more rehearsals: La Gran Siete and once more "my" murgas: Araca la Cana (Eye to the cops) and Agarrate Catalina (something like "Hold your pants" in the sense of Pay attention/Be careful). All the chorus members enjoy what they are doing and have an enthusiastic public too. I feel is that when Carnival starts is leaves the neighbourhoods (the 'round the corner traditional social clubs) and moves towards more central areas where the "tablados" are. The City hall makes real efforts to keep the Carnival alive for the people who cannot afford to pay the entrance in the open air spaces of performance, but the mobile "tablados" that are paid by the authorities and go around the city are not the same like having a neighbourhood tablado every night. Murga and Carnival are also a story of neighbourhood solidarity and fiesta and this is why I came all the way down south.

Still, the performers keep their daily jobs up to Carnival and are really coming from all social classes and have all sorts of occupations. This makes me hope the traditions will be kept alive.

Now I'm getting ready to go out and play, seeing the "desfile" - inaugural parade. Ready to welcome MOMO, the god of laughs, who warms us up and brings us together more than anything.

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