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Back to the Streets

Street Theatre for the city of Norwich

Commissioned by NORCA - Norwich & Norfolk Community Arts

Dende Collective created theatrical interventions based on the Afro-Brazilian deities the Orixás for the 2009’s Norwich Lord Mayor’s Street Procession. Our artists portrayed the Orixás in beautiful costumes designed by the Chinese designer Winnie Chen. They paraded the streets and interacted with the crowds alongside musicians, dancers, floats and puppets organised by NORCA. This was the first time NORCA used street theatre in their Carnival parade.  

BACK TO THE STREETS was been a huge success with over 450 community participants taking part across three sections – learning how to make carnival costumes, how to stilt walk, how to dance salsa, samba and hip hop and how to make giant puppets and floats! Sections were led by Brazilian, Cuban and British carnival artists and featured musicians from Brazil performing with the bloco.  Over 20 community groups were involved.  The project culminated as the lead entry in the Norwich Lord Mayor’s Street Procession and was enjoyed by an enthusiastic audience of approximately 30,000! The entry won second prize in the City Council’s ‘Spirit of Carnival’ awards. Dende worked along artists such as Pat Howe, Mariana Pinho and Damarys Farres. Local supporting artists were Tricia Hall, Ali Mackenzie, Stephen Knights, Chili con Salsa, Janke Drummond, Stephen Drummon and Linda Blakeway. As well as Arts Council funding the project was supported by Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council (Recycling), Great Yarmouth Borough Council and South Norfolk Council.