Clowning around

Marcelo Beré, or Marcelo de Almeida Libanio, was born in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 1960. In 1976, he began his acting career in amateur theatre groups. 

In 1982, together with Luciano Porto and Marcio Vieira, he founded Circo Teatro Udi Grudi and has participated in all their activities ever since. In 1984, Beré graduated in Fine Arts at the University of Brasilia and starts his career as a fine artist and mural painter. In 1986, he became a theatre teacher giving workshops for professionals as well as teaching circus skills to street kids and mounting large scale street performances. In 1991, he received a scholarship from the British Council to do an MA at London University in Theatre Studies. He wrote his dissertation about circus and education and won an education award in 1994 for the project Circus in the Classroom. After finishing the MA  course, he and Luciano Porto travelled Europe with their street performances using giant puppets and stilts.

Once back in Brazil, he took part of the production team of large-scale cultural productions such as Temporadas Populares (a month-long theatre/music festival with 10 performances a day) and the Brasília Festival of Brazilian Cinema. He also directed the theatre spaces of Espaço Cultural Renato Russo 508 Sul 1994-99 in Brasília.

From 1998 to 2011 he tours the world with Circo Teatro Udigrudi, acting as a clown, producer and tour-manager.

In 2012, Beré starts his PhD in clowning at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. He takes part of the Tete-a-tete Opera Festival in London, in Paul Barker’s piece called Two Clowns, presenting at the Riverside Studio and other venues. He writes and publishes academic peered-reviewed articles and performs at Collisions, Central’s festival for practice-based researchers. After becoming a doctor in 2016, Beré is invited to be the assistant director of the National Museum of Brasilia and the educational coordinator afterwards.In September 2020, he starts his post-doctoral research as a visiting researcher at RCSSD/UL. The main focus of his research is the Poetics of the Clown, more specifically, eccentric music: People, Instruments and ways of doing.

CIRCO TEATRO UDI GRUDI

In 1982 three groups united in Brasília to create a performance called Circo Udi Grudi. In 1983 this became the name of the new amalgamated group, which then produced the performance Gambira Goiaba and in 1986 realised a dream by buying its own big top and becoming a ‘proper’ circus.  For the next three years they performed all over the state of Brasília with shows that were based in the research and relationship between the old and new circus.  They performed all the traditional numbers such as juggling, acrobatics, contortionism, trapeze and clowning as well as creating a repertoire of comedies and farces. At the same time as these daily presentations in the circus they produced various cultural projects involving the local communities, street children and other artists.

O CANO (TUBE)

O Cano is a show for the whole family; adults, children, teenagers, grandparents and pets. It is a comic performance based on the traditional circus number of ‘musical eccentrics’.

The performance explores and exploits the relationship between music played on instruments invented and made especially for the show, and clowns, who can’t seem to do anything right except make music and, of course, make people laugh. Our three heroes, the clowns of O Cano, live between the absurd and the unexpected as the performance unravels through magical metamorphosis and everything becomes something else and nothing is what it seemed; bits of drainpipe become an organ, pieces of broken tiles become a xylophone, a barrel plays a samba by itself and bits of set are turned into a trombone. The musical repertoire goes from jazz to Brazilian folk and classical pieces. All this at the same time as juggling, acrobatics, fire swinging and clowning.

OvO

The show OvO (EGG) is a Delirium in Detritus. Three men live surrounded by rubbish. They are vulture-men, cockroach-beings. They have nothing and must therefore invent everything. They create their playful world out of rubbish; they make a house, clothing, friends and lovers. They even make a dog out of old bottles and when they get hungry enough, he becomes a hot-dog And in the most unimaginable transformations they make sounds, notes, music appear emerge from the rubbish.  They play tuned rusty tins and stretch strings; plastic bottles resound like Tibetan bells and they sing to the accompaniment of the unusual sound-sphere of they un-poetic environment.  Their material poverty is their creative wealth. 

OvO photos

flickr.com/photos/23887400@N04/sets/72157655551980038