By Vinicius de Moraes
Directed by Debora Balardini
Produced by Group .BR
Nominations: Thiago Felix is nominated for Outstanding Choreography/Movement
Photo by Livia Santos
About this Production
Infinite While it Lasts is a physical theatre piece inspired by the works of the acclaimed Brazilian poet and composer Vinicius de Moraes in honor of his centenary. He is well known for composing the majority of Bossa Nova hits such as Girl from Ipanema, No More Blues (Chega de Saudade) and many others. This is a site specific piece that recreates a bar atmosphere where the audience can drink, eat and be surrounded by live music. Done in Portuguese with English supertitles, Infinite While It Lasts is an immersion into life and love through Vinicius eyes.
Producer Andressa Furletti and Choreographer Thiago Felix discuss the joys and challenges of staging the works of one of Brazil’s most famous and profound poets.
What attracted you to this project?
Andressa: I'm the co-founder of the company. We founded the Group .BR because there was no other Brazilian theatre company in NYC and to us that was outrageous. The 3 co-founders, Andressa Furletti, Debora Balardini and Thiago Felix always had the desire to bring Brazilian theatre to New York. When we met we found that we had the same artistic language and desires.
Thiago: Being able to work on Vinicius de Moraes’ poetry was more than an honor. His language is rich and speaks directly to the human heart.
What was your favorite part of the production?
Andressa: It is really hard to say what my favorite part was because there were many. One was diving into to Vinicius de Moraes’ world. It is so full of adventures and love stories.photos by Gilberto Tadday
The other was the creative process itself. We love collaborating with the actors. We spend almost 2 months improving with the poetry and music to generate some of the material to create the show. From that we wrote the script and created the movement for the scenes.
Finally, doing the show was remarkable. It is a very positive production about love. The audience reaction was very moving. To hear audience members tell us how much it reminded them of their loved ones was absolutely priceless.
Thiago: I just love the sound of Roman languages, such as Portuguese (the show was in Portuguese with English subtitles). It was very interesting to translate these sounds into physicality and tell the story of one of the greatest Brazilian poets, Vinicius de Moraes, through movement.
What was the most challenging part of working on this production?
Andressa: Raising the funds to produce the show and find a venue that could sell alcohol.
Thiago: Definitely having to create a play from scratch with the actors on the spot. All that the creative team had was over one thousand poems to be puzzled in a certain way that would present to the audience Vinicius de Moraes' points of view in love, life and death. The goal wasn't to tell his life story, but much more so to get in his mind and heart and behave for one and half hours through his eyes. That was challenging!!!!
What was the oddest part of working on this production?
Thiago: The fact that the show happens in a bar where people are drinking and having snacks brings an extra quality to the interaction with the audience that is based on truth - if the show is good they look at it, otherwise you can turn to your snack, sip on a beer or run to the bathroom. One of our actors had to deliver the line "Freedom is to be able to take a shit with doors open" by going to the actual bar's restroom and opening the door, one day there was a guy just finishing his business inside the bathroom... Good thing he had his pants on.
What did you want the audience to take away from your production?
Andressa: I believe we live in times where people want security and certainty above all. The consequence of that is that we deprive ourselves of new experiences because of fear. Fear of making mistakes, fear of failure, fear of solitude, fear of falling in love, fear of life. Vinicius accepted the mistakes, the failure and the end of things as a process, as something you must go through in order to live life fully. He used to say that the “sadness is the gap between two cheers and even a love that will end is better than solitude.” He was a master of finding beauty in sadness and accepting that as part of life. Because of that he was able to embrace all the opportunities that life presented to him and he would never miss an opportunity to live a new love story even when he was in one relationship that he felt was already dead. With that in mind, we want the audience to leave the show with that energy, feeling fearless in front of life and eager to love.