About the film:
An illuminated film transmitting the dance, drumming and chants of the Orixás and their living presence in modern Brazilian culture.
Axé Orixá (pronounced ashay orishah) is a film of the dance, drumming and chants of the Orixás (Afro-Brazilian gods and goddesses) and how they manifest today through some of Bahia’s greatest musicians and legendary dancers. The film unfolds through dreamlike sequences of music and dance featuring seven of the Orixás delicately linked through the artists’ explanation of their spiritual realities, and how the rituals live on in Brazilian culture today. Axé Orixá enables modern Bahian artists to reimagine their traditions in a uniquely visionary form.
The film takes place In Salvador, the tropical Bahian capital known as the “Land of Happiness”for its joyous dance, music and largest street carnival in the world. It has given birth to many stars of Brazilian music including Joao Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Maria Bethania, Carlinhos Brown, and Olodum.
Yet Salvador’s musical heritage stems from its sad history as the entry port for the millions of African people forced into slavery. On reaching Brazil these people had lost everything, but managed to hold onto the music, dance and beliefs of their spiritual practices, known as Candomblé.
Candomblé views reality as a manifestation of the spiritual and creative force called Axé, the infinite and all-pervading creative energy of the universe.
The Orixás, the gods and goddesses of the Candomblé tradition, are the luminous manifestations of Axé, moving in the human realm as forces of nature and archetypal structures of human mind and emotion.
With the upcoming FIFA World Cup and Summer Olympics scheduled for Brazil, all eyes are on the country to see what makes it so unique. By channeling the power of the Orixás into a more tangible source (film), we hope to reveal the beauty at the heart of Bahian culture in an exciting new form, and to emphasize its importance in part of what it means to be “Brazilian”.
Dancer Rosangela Silvestre is the associate director and guest choreographer of Viver Brasil Dance Company and is internationally renowned for her demanding dance training, the “Silvestre Technique.” She has rigorously researched dance and music in India, Egypt and Cuba as part of her ever-evolving and eclectic movement palette. In the 1990s, Silvestre toured extensively with jazz musician Steve Coleman and his group the Five Elements. She has created choreography for Brazil’s lauded company, Balé Folclórico da Bahia as well as Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company, Ballet Hispanico Repertory Company, American Academy of Ballet, Roots of Brazil, DanceBrazil, Viver Brasil, Muntu Dance Theater and the Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble.
Additionally, priest Gilmar Sampaio dances Oxalá. Mariella Santiago portrays the female version of Oxumare and the priest, Guto, dances the male version. The priestess, Maria de Lourdes Silvestre Dos Santos, dances Oxun.
AXÉ ORIXÁ is the brain child of Layne Redmond, who has been graced with the collaborative trust of many of the greatest creative visionaries in Bahia: choreographer Rosangela Silvestre, singer and performer Mariella Santiago, sound engineer, musician and cameraman Tadeu Mascarenhas, Pae do Santo, singer and dancer Gilmar Sampaio, and many of the singers, dancers and musicians from the internationally renowned Balé Folclórico da Bahia. Computational media artist Daniel Sabio has come on board here in the US in the role of production coordinator, editor and cameraman.
The music composed for the film is based on traditional candomblé, arranged and performed by some of the most respected musicians in northeast Brazil. It features singer Mariella Santiago, singer, dancer and priest Gilmar Sampaio, and many of the dancers and musicians from the internationally renown Balé Folclórico da Bahia.
Help is now needed to complete this important film. Please check the links below to see how you can be involved in the process.
website in Portuguese: http://axeorixa-dreamingawake.com/kickstarter/
Listen to all the music:http://axeorixa.bandcamp.com/album/ax-orix