The film tells about a powerful meeting between two generations of dance artists that took place in the city of Salvador, Bahia, around the transmission of O Samba crioulo doido. A dance piece, originally created by Luiz de Abreu in Brasil in 2004, that became an iconic symbol to a community, to many communities. At that time, the country was at the dawn of a utopian madness, of a democratic dream, that lasted a little over a decade. After this the world took a turn, things have changed, some steps have been taken forward, many others backwards. O Samba remains current, here re-enacted by another black artist, with a different background, a different bodily history, yet heir to the same violent colonial past, contemporary to the same violent post-colonial present. And more, it is also about the invisible time of learning, about transmission of knowledge between two black bodies and the creation of a means of communication to do it, about legacy and the necessity of creating historical marks for a community that has its history constantly erased.
The name of the movie comes from the song Aquele Abraçoby great Brazilian singer and composer Gilberto Gil. In the song he says that the state of Bahia gave him the ruler and the compass (A Bahia já me deu régua e compasso), meaning that this place thought him how to live and be in this world, considering how magical and special this place is and how it can affect a human being. The process the transmission of O Samba and of making the film brought together a beautiful team of artists committed to the creation of their (our) own narratives, escaping from the common sense of a predetermined history. In Bahia, Jackeline Elesbão and Pedro Ivo Santos, amazing artists and close friends to Luiz de Abreu, joined the team. They had been in the cast of the group version of the piece back in 2005, and Pedro Ivo Santoshad been even in a solo version in 2017. Assisting the transmission process of the piece, they were the eyes of de Abreu, adding their own experiences to this work.
Director: Calixto Neto
In collaboration with: Luis de Abreu, Jackeline Elesbão, Pedro Ivo Santos, Anderson Feliciano and Fabricia Martins.
Photo: A frame from the movie O Samba do Crioulo Doido: Ruler and Compass.