“Brincas de Évora” Rituals of Carnival and Performance in the South of Portugal: How Rural Traditional Festivities Survive in a Contemporary World

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The brincas de Evora is a dramatic performance based on popular rhymes as the narrative plot, encompassing music and dance and poetry. It is a carnival celebration inspired on old winter rituals which were commun in whole Europe.
In old times this was a theatrical event performed only by men but nowdays woman also have a role to play. The delivery of the text is heard as a kind of chanting emerging from a particular type of rhyme in verses of ten lines. In its peformative structure it combines old oral epic themes with both local and global satiric contemporary situations . Although the epic themes are somehow distant from contemporary life the interactive, dynamic and multi-expressive qualities of the performance keep the motivation of local comunities who preserve this form of representation. The present paper aims to:
- describe the theatrical features of this type of event
- identify the motivations of these community, whether young or older members to continue and to preserve these folk heritage .

The paper will present the results of an inquiry launched to the audience just after de performace at Carnival celebrations. It will be discuss and analysed the impact of these events on affective, emotional and cultural identity of this community.


Keywords: Carnival Performance, Community Participation, Rural Traditions in the Contemporary World, Heritage and Identity
Stream: Arts Theory and Criticism
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: “Brincas of Évora” Rituals of Carnival and Performance in the South of Portugal


Dr. Isabel Bezelga

Lecturer, Education and Pedagogy Department, Universidade de Évora
Évora, Portugal

Isabel Bezelga, trained as art educator and theatre educator, she was actress and actually she is a lecturer at University of Évora , where she teaches drama in the teaching training programme and theatre in Education in Theatrical Studies. PhD 3º year student in the field of Community Theatre and Popular Theatre. She worked in different settings (special needs, adolescents, elderly ) in art education. She work with Education Department of Portugal in the curricular design of Drama and Theatre in Education. Leader of projects in the field of Intercultural Artistic Dialogue. Since, 1999 she is Director of a community project with different cultures presents in the region of Évora (gypsies, nomadic workers, rural and east imigrants) having focused research for master on intercultural arts education. She is member of the Chair Commity of the Menuhin Association in Portugal and MUS-E Project (Artists in Schools).

Prof. Lucilia Valente

Associate Professer, Theatre Department, UNIVERSIDADE DE ÉVORA
ÉVORA, Portugal

Lucilia Valente, Associated Professor and Director of the Theatre Studies Course. ( Scenic Arts Department of the the University of Évora) . Postgradute Studies from 1986 and 1991 as full time student at the University of Wales (UK). Ph.D. on Therapeutic Drama and Dramatherapy (1991). Coordinator of Research group of Arts , Education and Criativity. Research interest on Education through Art, Community Theatre and Dramatherapy. International activity in research and training. President of the Portuguese Movement of Artistic Intervention and Education through Art and President of the Portuguese Association of Integrative Dramatherapy

Ref: A09P0518