Circo Udigrudi

O Cano complete CV


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. (see the full CV of Udigrudi’s trajectory here)

The production is so far the biggest hit of Circo Teatro Udi Grudi. It received the Aluízio Batata production grant 1998 and was nominated Best Children’s Performance 1999 by the Brasília press. In 2000 received the Herald’s Angel Award in Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Since 1998 it has been seen by 40.000 people in eleven states of Brazil and in nine different countries: Argentina, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Scotland, Spain and Switzerland.

The clowns are Luciano Porto, Marcelo Beré and Márcio Vieira. Luciano and Marcelo are founders of Circo Teatro Udi Grudi and have spent the last twenty years making people laugh under the Big Top, in theatres, schools, bars and streets. Márcio is a musician who for the last twenty years has invented and made musical instruments made from alternative material such as tiles, bottles, drainpipes, keys, straws etc. His work is based not only in seeking original tones through the use of alternative materials, but also in achieving precise notes and high-quality sounds.

The director is the British Leo Sykes who worked as assistant director to Eugenio Barba of Odin Teatret in Denmark for five years, where she also made videos and directed Teatro Sfera di Om and wrote her PhD about Barba’s techniques of directing. She then made a short film in Britain funded by Southern Arts and moved to Brazil.


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.

In 1989 Udi Grudi invited Hugo Rodas to direct A Menina dos Olhos, which won a FIAT prize in 1989 and three prizes from the Theatre and Dance Producers Association in 1991; Best Children’s Performance, Best Set, and Best Sound Track.  During it’s three years of life the performance was seen by more than 10,000 people and tickets were available on the black market, an ‘honour’ usually only reserved for football matches.

In 1992 Marcelo Beré and Luciano Porto received grants from the British Council to study theatre and circus in Britain, after which they travelled Europe with their street performances, entertaining the French, German, Dutch, Italians, Spanish and Norwegians.

In 1996 Circo Teatro Udi Grudi received the Aluízio Batata production grant to make String of Stories by Luciano Astiko, and Hex Gram, Tales of the Old Man and the World by Luciano Porto which received various press nominations


Leo Sykes was born in London in 1966.  In 1989 she graduated from Warwick University in Italian and Theatre Studies.  During her time at Warwick, she founded Salt Theatre Company, which won a Lord Rootes Award to take a performance to the Edinburgh Fringe 1989 and she spent a year in Italy as part of the street theatre group Utopia, founded by Living Theatre actors.

Before and after graduating she worked with the Magdalena Project (an international project for women working in theatre) and in 1991 became assistant director to Eugenio Barba director of Odin Teatret in Denmark. Here she was assistant on the performances Klubauterfolket, Theatrum Mundi 1994 and 1996 (a performance that always occurs during the yearly sessions of the International School of Theatre Anthropology – ISTA) and Kaosmos.

She also directed the children’s performance Ciota Matoc and Gulliver with the Italian theatre company Teatro Sfera di Om, was assistant artistic director of the Transit Festival 1992 and made various videos.

In 1996 she finished her PhD about Barba’s way of directing and moved to Brazil.  In 1998 she made the short film A Tale of Two Heads, founded by Southern Arts and in 1999 she directed O Cano, Embarque Nessa, Lixaranga and Ovo with Circo Teatro Udi Grudi.  She has also written, translated or been guest editor for The Magdalena News Letter, New Theatre Quarterly, Open Page and Women Travel.

Luciano Porto was born in Brasília in 1962. From 1979-1982 he acted in the performances Manú, A Menina que Sabia Ouvir, A Revolução dos Bichos, O Dia da Noite, Super-Zé, O Espaço Selvagem, João e Maria, Uma História de Verdades e Mentiras, Romeu e Julieta, Ao Sol e As Estrelas.

In 1982 he co-founded Circo Teatro Udi Grudi and has participated in all its activities and performances ever since.

He has also worked in film and television, in the cinema he acted in the short films A Explosão Aborígene and played the lead in the feature film O Cego que Gritava Luz.  He also acted in the feature films A Enxada, O Tronco and.Condenado a Liberdade and took part in the Globo TV series Andando nas Nuvens.

In 1992 he received a grant from the British Council to study mime at The Desmond Jones School of Mime and Physical Theatre, circus skills at Fool Time and clowning at the École Philippe Gaulier.

In 1996 he created, produced and acted in Hex Gram, Histórias Velho e do Mundo which won a goverment production grant and was directed by the British actor/director Mark Hopkins.  The performance received various nominations in 1997.

Márcio Vieira was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1959. He graduated in Electrical Engineering from the University of Brasília in 1985 and studied music in the Brasília School of Music from 1978-1980.

Based in his knowledge of engineering and music he began to research the construction of musical instruments from alternative materials.  He founded the group Mão Suja that used his instruments and also joined the groups Liga Tripa and Musicas-á-Tentativa, the latter of which also used his instruments.  The music played was erudite and experimental.

His acting career began with the performances Capital da Esperança, A Hora e a Vez do Jumento, and the first Udi Grudi performance in 1982.

In 1986 he became a professional instrument inventor and maker, selling his instruments internationally.  He also began developing instruments for use in physiotherapy centres and hospitals for people with physical disabilities.

In 1984 he won a grant for research into techniques and materials for the creation of musical instruments, developing working techniques and carrying out theoretical research in the area of the physics of acoustics and musical theory. 

In 1985 he held an exhibition of his instruments in the state cultural centre in Brasília. For some years he has been giving workshops on acoustics and on the construction of his instruments using alternative techniques and materials.

            Marcelo Beré, or Marcelo de Almeida Libanio, was born in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 1960. In 1976 he began his acting career in the performances O Rapto do Seu Riso and Fantasias da Marmota.

In 1982, he co-founded the dance group Trupe de Nephilabatas and also joined the group Músicas-à-Tentativa.

In 1983, together with Luciano Porto and Luciano Astiko he founded Udi Grudi Arte e Cultura 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 grant 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 course, he and Luciano Porto travelled Europe with their street performances.

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.  


In Edinburgh, half a million go to the theatre

Amongst the 1.350 companies present this year, only one represented Brazil.  It was the group from Brasília, Circo Teatro Udi Grudi with the performance ‘O Cano’.  The group acheived top star rating from the critic Jan Fairley, from the newspaper The Scotsman.

Fabio Cypriano

Folha Ilustrada

Folha de São Paulo

28 August 2000

O Cano – Circo Teatro Udi Grudi

**** Four star review

On the hitlist

The final mystical scene sees drums catching drips, and flames creating music from wind chimes.  Before you know it you are listening to the elemental rhythms of life.

Gabe Stewart

The List

24 August 2000

DIY Crazy

…they are the Udi Grudi boys from Brazil and are “barrie”.  Luciano Porto, Marcelo Beré and Márcio Vieira’s musical clowning is a big hit with the bairns, believe us.

Simon Pia

The Scotsman

23 August 2000

Circo Teatro Udi Grudi

***** Five star review

Often there is one show on the Fringe that somehow or other restores one’s sense of wonder.  For me, this year it is this magically inventive Brazilian circus involving three eccentric ‘naive’ clowns…If you have any children, take them at the weekend or let them take the morning off school.

Above all, take yourself along and wait to be rejuvenated.

Jan Fairley

The Scotsman

22 August 2000


Tonic for those jaded adults

Awarded O Cano The Angel Award

Critics choice

By the time you’ve reluctantly wandered out of the magical, musical playground created by Circo Teatro Udi Grudi, you don’t just see the world in a different light – you hear it differently as well….The finale…is entrancing: mystical and merry – this show is a tonic for jaded adults, a treasure trove of fun ideas that children actually can try at home!

Mary Brennan

The Herald

21 August

O Cano

If there was an award for original and innovative use of plastic piping, this show would undoubtedly win it.

Three Weeks

O Cano: The Best of the Year

O Cano distinguished itself in the cultural production of ’99 both for its’ research and work with new instruments…and for the originality of its’ staging…O Cano is a performance guided by the principles of invention and metamorphosis.  It is circus that becomes theatre, that transforms into performance, that incorporates music…The performance is more than just a game, it is a delicious lesson in artistic sensibility…This performance proves that what is good enough for Brasília, is good enough for São Paulo, Paris,  New York, Mars…For all these reasons O Cano has been chosen by Civilização as the best children’s performance of 1999.

Severino Francisco and Renata Caldas

Caderno Civilização, Jornal de Brasília,




Mixing Belts with Avocado Pears

This weekend no mum or dad can complain that there’s nothing interesting to do with the kids.  Answering the demand of the ‘ladies and gentlemen of the respectable public’, Circo Teatro Udigrudi is back again for a very short season with the performance O Cano….  I am one of the numerous spectators who saw this performance and demanded its return.  Furthermore, contaminated by the circus absurdism of the performance I am going to give a quick retrospective of ’99: note this, O Cano is one of the most important cultural events of the year in Brasilia.  If you like humour, nonsense, juggling, clowning, invention, you cannot miss O Cano.  It is a performance that mixes this all in one scene….

The three clowns of O Cano (Marcio Vieira, Luciano Porto and Marcelo Beré) extract music from straws, from juggling tricks, from xylophones made of tiles and drums made of barrels, from an orchestra of dripping water.  All the instruments are made by Marcio Vieira…In the hands and mouths of the three clowns the objects enter into a state of permanent metamorphosisThe humour of O Cano is not that of telling jokes, but that of the surprise of invention….O Cano is a performance to cleanse your liver, light up your intelligence and spark your imagination.

Severino Francisco ( Editor of Cultural Section)

Jornal de Brasilia


Humour in the Pipes

Imagine three clowns, without the traditional clown costumes, but just as funny, looking in fact more like escaped cartoon characters.  Now imagine the three in a chaotic set made of plastic drainpipes.  Pipes which, together with pieces of wood and stretched string make original musical instruments.  Now imagine the clowns in this dream set, jumping, shouting, singing and gesticulating in an almost wordless dialogue.  Singing, doing pirouettes, balancing lit torches and literally making it rain.  Can you imagine it?  Neither could we before seeing this fantastic trio made up of Marcelo Beré, Márcio Vieira and Luciano Porto. O Cano, a small pearl that is currently taking the Brazilian stages by storm is the result of work that has been matured, like a good wine, by the Udi Grudi troupe, a constellation of clowns that came together 17 years ago.  Directed by the British director Leo Sykes and in total harmony, the trio mixes music and clowning with gentleness and comedy.  Special attention should be paid to the concert made with the alternative musical instruments created by the genius actor-engineer Márcio Vieira.  Inspired by the traditional circus number ‘Musical Eccentrics’ O Cano is a performance for all ages.  Go and see it, and don’t leave the kids behind, no matter how young.  They’ll be guaranteed a unique performance, as they sing, jump and create each scene together with the actors.  Today Udi Grudi is reaping the benefits of a lot of effort…good work, insistence and an excess of talent.

Tablado (Theatre Magazine)

Ricardo Miranda

14-26 August 1999

Joy in the Drainpipes

O Cano is a visual score in the form of a poem.  While the actors play, sing and dance, they show us, without words, funny scenes, poetic pictures and surprise us constantly.  What more can we want?  Only to see it again and to recommend it to all our friends…and if the funding bodies are clever the whole of Brazil will soon discover something new emanating from the centre of the country.

Maria Lúcia Verdi (special correspondent)

Jornal de Brasilia


Technical Information


Theatre or Tent

  • Stage: Proscenium or semi arena.
  • Dimensions:

width: 10,60 m.

depth: 9,50 m.

height: 5,50 m.

  • Floor: Flat and even
  • Conditions of Space:

Black box

Good acoustics

Adequate lighting rig (see plan)

Adequate sound equipment when in tent, large or noisy space

Obs: if the stage is smaller than specified above, contact us to check the possibility of adaptions.


  • Usually we use no sound equipment at all. If the environment is too noisy or too big, we use 03 or 04 stage microphones : AKG C-547, AKG C-391B, AKG CK-91 or similar.

Duration of performance:

  • 60 minutes


  • Family show. Suitable for all ages.

Get in, Get out and Warm up:

Set – Time of get in:

  • 3 ½ hours when first time(unpack and set).
  • 50 minutes when “pre-set”.

Set – Time of get out:

  • 2 ½ hours to completly disasemble and pack.
  • 30 minutes to partial disasemble and leave stage.


  • from 02 to 04 hours. (we have two versions of lighting design depending on the venue conditions)


  • The actors must have exclusive use of the performance space for at least 2 hours before each performance.

Group members:

  • 03 actors
  • 01 director
  • 01 lighting/sound technician
  • TOTAL: 05 people


  • 550 Kilos
  • 12 volumes