Arts

The short film is presented by the ICA.

Will swing in 2019. Photo courtesy of Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca

Short film swinguerra, a recent ICA acquisition, will fill an entire room with the sights and sounds of one of Brazil’s underground dance subcultures. Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin de Burca’s work, which they call one of their “dance musicals,” features queer communities of color in Recife, Brazil, the artists’ home base.

The 21-minute, dual-screen film takes viewers through an exploration of three contemporary dance styles: swingueira, which fuses hip-hop, samba and twerk; brega funk, a characteristic sound of tropical Recife, full of heavy bass and offbeat rhythm; and passinho da maloca, a hip-hop influenced style meaning “small step”. The film features three competitive dance groups, Cia. Extremo, Grupo La Mafia and Bonde do Passinho/As do Passinho SA, with a focus on transgender and non-binary artists.

Wagner and de Burca focus on subcultures of the South Atlantic diaspora in their documentary musicals, and Swinguerra follows suit – the film’s three mixed dance styles all stem from Brazil’s history of colonialism and slavery. slaves. What viewers now see on screen as upbeat, athletic, sexy and fast dances come from a place of resistance. These dances have, for generations, been tricky ways to organize under systems of oppression. The film’s title combines swingueira and guerra, the Portuguese word for war.

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