Expressions of Brazil 2012

Traditional and contemporary Brazilian music, pulse-pounding DJ sets and sizzling Brazilian dance moves bring the heat of South America to Harbourfront Centre’s Expressions of Brazil festival (July 6-8).

This three-day festival showcases the diversity of Brazilian culture through an eclectic mix of arts and culture. Whether you’re a carnaval newbie or a seasoned reveler, join in the celebration and experience sexy Brazilian dance moves, pulsating rhythms and party like you’re in Rio! É boa pra caramba (it’s amazing)!

Expressions of Brazil highlights include:

  • An eco-fashion show with renowned fashion designer Baby Steinberg, Clarice Michelon and Etc&Tal Swimwear;
  • A late-night Brazilian Carnaval Ball complete with intricate masquerade costumes and the energetic sounds of Brazilian party music;
  • Screenings of favourite Brazilian films in partnership with the Brazilian Film Festival of Toronto (BRAFFTV);
  • …And more!


Expressions of Brazil is a festival created by executive producer Barbara de la Fuente (Southern Mirrors), and associate producer Cecilia Queiroz (Puente). Celebrating the best in Brazilian arts, this festival aims to expand perceptions about Brazil and showcase the diversity of Brazilian culture.


Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, in the heart of Toronto’s downtown waterfront. Our summer festival season runs from Victoria Day weekend through Thanksgiving weekend and features over 20 festivals and events that offer The World in One Place. For more information visit

Expressions of Brazil Listings



Friday, July 6 at 7:30 p.m.

High-energy Brazilian percussion rumbles beneath blues-drenched vocals, accordion acrobatics and folksy fiddle tunes. Through the unorthodox blend of Afro-Brazilian percussion and American roots music, Matuto have created a new Brazilian sound.

Tio Chorinho

Friday, July 6 at 8:30 p.m.

Tio Chorinho is a new Toronto ensemble dedicated to performing Brazilian choro music in the tradition of the great mandolin master, Jacob do Bandolim. The group formed during the spring of 2009 and have developed an impressive repertoire of familiar choro classics by such composers as Pixinguinha, Ernesto Nazareth, Waldyr Azavedo, and of course Jacob do Bandolim.

Shake it up – DJ Late Night with DJ Fabio Lima and DJ Vilton

Friday, July 7 at 11 p.m.
Shake it up with the hottest rhythms from Rio & Sao Paulo. DJ Fabio Lima from Rio de Janeiro brings a unique mixture of Brazilian funk, trance music and electro, while Sao Paulo’s DJ V

fuses drum and bass, reggae, jazz, funk and house with old-school traditions such as samba, bossa nova, batucada, Brazilian electronica and new bossa beats.

Zé Fuá

Saturday, July 7 at 2:30 p.m.

Zé Fuá is a local band that brings the groove and the joy of Brazil’s forró pé de serra music. Forró is the most popular genre of music and dance in Brazil’s North-East region. It is based on a combination of three instruments: accordionzabumba and a metal triangle.

Bruno Capinan

Saturday, July 7 at 4 p.m.

Toronto-based singer and songwriter Bruno Capinan is inspired by his country of birth and the country he now calls home, Canada. His free approach to music-making has served him well in the critically acclaimed debut album Gozo, described as a remarkably original and named one of the best albums of the year by local music critics.

Betty Santos and Friends
Saturday, July 7 at 5 p.m.

Betty Santos and Friends perform typical Brazilian “hang out” music. While musicians play popular roots samba songs accompanied by percussion, the audience adds their own flavour by clapping, singing or dancing to create a participatory performance that defies linguistic barriers.

Abanda presents Rua do Vidéo

Saturday, July 7 at 6 p.m.

Created as an art program in the music laboratory of the Casa Grande Foundation, Abanda’s audiovisual production Rua do Vidéo sheds light on the street life and natural landscapes of a region of Brazil called Cariri. The show draws on local popular culture of various forms, including its linguistic, musical and visual expressions. *Canadian premiere

Maria Bonita and The Band
Saturday, July 7 at 8:30 p.m.

Originating from Brazil’s arid northeast, forró (pronounced “foh-ho”) is a regional dance and music rooted in African and European traditions. With its soulful mix of accordion, fiddle, guitar, flute and percussion, forró has swept across Brazil’s cultural landscape and inspired a new generation of musicians. Wanting to share this magnetic experience with her Toronto community, Jerusa Leão presents Maria Bonita & The Band – a collaboration of artists from diverse musical backgrounds playing a roots style of forró called pe de serra.

Aline Morales

Saturday, July 7 at 9:30 p.m.

Since her arrival in Canada in 2003, Brazilian-born artist Aline Morales has been well known locally as a dynamic singer, percussionist and bandleader. However, it was the release of her debut solo album in 2011, Flores, Tambores e Amores, that brought national attention to this unique artist, culminating in her Juno nomination for World Music Album of the Year.

Salviano Pessoa

Sunday, July 8 at 2 p.m.
Salviano Pessoa effortlessly blends traditional Brazilian rhythms such as maracatu, samba and smooth bossa nova with funk and jazz, integrating complex changes of rhythm and harmony. Hailing from Bahia in northeastern Brazil, Pessoa has composed more than 200 songs, often performing them under the name Netto Zeen with famed band Rhoda de Malouke.

Pedro Quental and Band

Sunday, July 8 at 4:30 p.m.
Pedro Quental (Monobloco) performs “carioca soul” music from Rio de Janeiro – a mixture of música popular Brasileira and soul music. At Expressions of Brazil, he presents a new recipe of sound dubbed the “Gafieira Carioca Soul,” mixing dancehall, samba de gafieira and swing with the funky beats of Rio’s soul movement.

Maracatu Mar Aberto presented by Uma Nota Só

Sunday, July 8 at 3:30 p.m.  

Maracatu Mar Aberto is an Afro-Brazilian percussion and song troupe that plays Maracatu de Baque Virado and other rhythms derived from the same traditions. Translated to English as “the open sea,” their name represents the influences that have travelled from Africa to Brazil and beyond.

Brazilian Drumming Workshop with Bavia Arts Studio

Sunday, July 8 at 4 p.m,

Bavia Arts Studio leads a fun and exciting workshop where kids are allowed to be loud while directing their energy into learning rhythmic skills and songs from various traditional styles. Participants will learn the parts for several different instruments including hand drums, bass drums, snare drums, shakers and bells. The arrangements have parts appropriate for every skill level so nobody is left out.   


Brazilian Carnaval Ball

Saturday, July 7at 11 p.m.

Join the festivities as guests and performers join together in revelry and celebration of Brazil’s Carnaval complete with samba, traditional marchinhas, frevos, axé and much more! The party is sponsored by Brazil Remittance.

Capoeira Workshop with Mestre Marcio Mendes

Saturday, July 7at 4:30 p.m.

Mestre Marcio Mendes demonstrates capoeira (ca-po-era) – a form of martial art that combines self-defence with music and acrobatics developed in Brazil over 400 years ago. At first glance, capoeira looks like a choreographed dance between two people because it is played to music and consists of a seamless combination of circular movements.

Samba de Gafieira Workshop with Brazil Dance World

Saturday, July 7 at 3 p.m.

Samba de Gafieira is an elegant partner ballroom dance based on the samba rhythm. It originated in the 1930s as a social dance in Rio de Janeiro and through the years it has evolved to becoming a samba style that is known for its grace and cheeky playfulness.


Expressions of Brazil Fashion Show with Baby Steinberg, Clarice Michelon and Etc&Tal Swimwear

Sunday, July 8 at 4 p.m.

Using salvaged materials to craft iconic designs, fashion designer Baby Steinberg’s work sets out to create unique and dramatic designs from a wide range of reprocessed materials and fabrics such as plastic bags, coffee filters and surgical masks. As a Toronto-based Brazilian-born designer, Steinberg’s glamorous and eclectic design aesthetic brings a vibrant energy to her couture collections that were recently presented at LG-Toronto Fashion Week.

Designer Clarice Michelon was born in the southern Brazilian city, Rio Grande do Sul, and is always looking for the best creative way to put things together for balance, harmony and beauty. This is reflected in her collection through various levels of elements of craftsmanship and haute couture in an innovative and intricate way.

Brazilian swimwear brand Etc&Tal design bathing suits that are known worldwide for their boldness and a wide variety of styles. Etc&Tal have created a collection customized by hand – a perfect harmony for bringing together fun summer colours and intricate patterns.



BRAFFTV Family Series – Feature-length films

The Family Film Series is a selection of great Brazilian films curated by the award-winning director of photography Katia Coelho, in partnership with BRAFFTV.

Listening to the River: A sound sculpture by Cildo Meireles       

Friday, July 6 at 6 p.m.

Listening to the River follows the work of artist Cildo Meireles as he searches for the sound of the main Brazilian hydro banks and “processed” waters. Cildo creates a true “sound sculpture” and finds a new way of expressing the relationship between people and this important element.

The Oyster and the Wind (A Ostra e o Vento)

Friday, July 6 at 9 p.m. 

The Oyster and the Wind is a fantasy/mystery about the disappearance of a lighthouse owner and his daughter. The daughter is growing from a girl into a young woman, but her overprotective father forbids her to leave the island.


Saturday, July 7 at 5 p.m.

Estamira is a 63-year-old woman with mental health issues who lives at a waste disposal site in Rio de Janeiro. Schizophrenic but very charismatic, Estamira is the leader of a small community of elderly people living off garbage and has a very lyrical and philosophical attitude towards life. This film won over 20 awards from around the world.

Tonic Dominant (Tônica Dominante

Sunday, July 8 at 4 p.m.

Tonic Dominant follows three days in the life of a young clarinettist who is in love with a violinist but can’t get her attention. These three days correspond to a three-movement sonata – the director (Lina Chamie) is a musician, so she imprinted a musical structure to her movie through dialogue and poetic images.

Foolish Heart (Coração Iluminado)

Saturday, July 7 at 8:30 p.m. 

Foolish Heart follows Juán as he returns to his native Buenos Aires to visit his dying father. While in Bueno Aires he tries to reconnect with his childhood love.

BRAFFTV Family Series – Short films

Saturday, July 7 at 2 p.m.     

The Family Film Series is a selection of great Brazilian films curated by the award-winning director of photography Katia Coelho, in partnership with BRAFFTV.

The Stubborn Mule and the Remote Control, directed by Hélio Nunes

The story of a farm boy who abandons his work to help a city boy recover his remote control aeroplane. Together, they face obstacles and friendship begins to flourish.

The Man of the Tree, directed by Paula Mercedes

An ex-convict, Mário, builds his home on top of a tree in Brasília. There he tries to prove his innocence while supporting himself by collecting cans.

My Grandfather’s Hat, directed by Júlia Zakia

My Grandfather’s Hat explores the relationship between the filmmaker and his grandfather, who owns a hat factory in Brazil.   

The Story of the Fig Tree, directed by Júlia Zakia

An adaptation of the popular Luso-Brazilian song.

The Tide, directed by Guile Martins

An old sailor lives on the top of a building while his life is run by the moon and the tides.



Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8 at 3 p.m.

Peteca is a unique game that is becoming increasingly popular in Canada and the United States. Originally from Brazil, peteca is played similarly to volleyball and badminton using only the palms of your hands.

Soccer Workshop by the Brazilian Soccer Academy

Saturday, July 7 at 2 p.m.

Soccer coaches demonstrate the “Brazilian style” of soccer through kicks, passes and juggling and help kids develop soccer skills through mini soccer games.

Toys Made with Recyclables Workshop with Baby Steinberg

Saturday, July 7at various times

Learn how to make toys using recyclable material with famed fashion designer Baby Steinberg. Inspired by Brazilian culture and her volunteer work with children in the favelas of southern Brazil, Steinberg believes strongly in the beauty that comes from creating something out of nothing.

Papier Maché Workshop with Solange Escosteguy Cardoso

Sunday, July 8at various times

Learn the skills to create papier maché crafts with visual artist, painter and sculptor Solange Escosteguy Cardoso. Papier maché is a form of construction or sculpture where bits of paper are stuck together with paste. When the paste dries the construction is hard and can be painted or varnished.


Brazil: Many Eyes, Different Visions

Friday, July 6-Sunday, July 8

Brazil: Many Eyes, Different Visions documents the diversity of the geography, society, culture and art of Brazil.

  • Beto Jardim is a self-taught artist from Bahia who creates unique and irreverent paintings. Jardim invites viewers into a world of the living and vibrant colours offering an escape from the obvious.
  • Ondina Grant was born and raised in São Paulo, has a degree in music but has channelled her passion for coloured pencils and drawing into a non-musical form.
  • Visual artist, painter and sculptor Solange Escosteguy has worked with various media, such as canvases, cotton, silk, wood, iron and papier maché. Her “wearable art”, objects, paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in a number of museums and galleries in Brazil and abroad.
  • Draftsman, engraver and painter, Maciej Babinski devoted himself almost exclusively to drawing and engraving but recently he has taken up painting. His work is influenced by Canadian abstract avant-garde and Brazilian expressionism.

Brasilia Photo Exhibit with Ronaldo Silva

Friday, July 6 to Sunday July 8

A city planned and built from scratch in the very centre of the country, Brasilia replaced Rio de Janeiro as the capital of Brazil in 1960. The images by Ronaldo Silva highlight the idealism of Juscelino Kubitschek’s socialist government and its team of visionary urban planners, architects and landscape designers including Lucio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer and Roberto Burle Marx.

Santa Catarina Carnival Photo Exhibit

Friday, July 6 to Sunday July 8

Photographer and teacher Daniel Babinski has a collection of seven thousand photos of Carnival in Santa Catarina, Brazil. His work shows that the beauty of Brazilian carnival goes beyond the Rio-São Paulo-Salvador route by portraying the magic and the colour of Carnival in southern Brazil.