A convention in Brazil: How is it like? (14th CBMC review)

14th Brazilian Juggling and Circus Convention

Every country is different. And it comes if we’re talking about its people or its culture. Taking this into account, I’m pretty sure that conventions are different all around the world. What makes traveling to a convention outside your country even more awesome!

In this article I’ll give you a review of the 14th Brazilian Juggling and Circus Convention (CBMC, in portuguese), that happened in November from the 14th to the 18th, in São Jõao del Rei, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Conventions in Brazil are not huge; we had about 400 people this time. Of course there were more Brazilians but it’s easy to find people from other parts of Latin America, too, especially from Chile! I also met  people from Israel, France, and Belgium. It was awesome! In spite of the fact that we didn’t have many people, Brazilians are filled with a lot of joy and energy. A lot of jugglers here see the convention as a big party, an awesome event where you can get to meet your old friends, juggle and exchange ideas, watch good shows and performances, drink some beers, and meet new people, of course.

It all started on the 14th, a Wednesday, and beginning of a holiday here in our country. The first day didn’t have activities during the afternoon. People were arriving at the convention, coming from all parts of Brazil and the world. I got there about 5pm after driving 500km, confirmed my pre-registration, got my mug and my breakfast tickets, and went to the campsite to set up my tent and then to the gym to see who was already there. That evening there was an awesome show. The spectacle “Lar Doce Lar” by Emerson Noise, Elias Ficavontade and Luisa Guedes.

Lar Doce Lar – Emerson Noise (standing) and Elias Ficavontade

The spectacle had juggling with balls and clubs, contact juggling, beatbox, dance, manipulation, rope walking,  and lots of cool ideas. After the show, some people went to the main tent to enjoy some live music and party a little, and others went to their tent to rest after their long day of traveling.

On the 15th, the day started early. Breakfast was served from 7am to 9am, and then there were a lot of workshops throughout the day. Plus, there was always lots of great juggling action in the gym!

After all the crazy excitement during the day, we had the IRC-Brazil. The IJA regional competition was really exciting! Franklin Chávez (Peru) won 1st place, Duba Becker (Brasil) got 2nd, and Alvaro Palominos (Chile) earned 3rd place.

To end the day, we had the Experimental Night, a super different show where there were no emcees and the acts always involves something unusual, not only juggling. We had balls & boxes, a contact ball plus a “long half-pipe,” juggling everyday beatbox, music, beatbox (done by Elias again) and much more. It was terrific! Unfortunately, the space for Experimental Night was not large enough for everyone to come and enjoy the show. That’s something important for the convention to work on for next year.

As always, the party kept going on the main tent all night. Most of us didn’t sleep a lot at the convention. With a maximum of 4.5 hours of sleep per night, I was ready to go!

On Friday, the 16th, there were more workshops going on. I did a workshop with awesome Chilean juggler, Joaquin Carmona, on creating sequences, and later Juan Duarte Mateos and I taught top-of-head stalls. But there were many other workshops to choose from.

That afternoon, a bus took us to a waterfall about 30 minutes from the event, where we held the Fire Night. There was no emcee, but a lot of “fire people” played while others beat drums, creating the feeling of an ancient ritual. With fire staffs, pois, devil sticks, contact juggling (acrylics), and even an umbrella on fire, it was simply the best fire night I’ve ever seen! In the middle of the show it started to rain but there was no place to run so we continued on with our amazing party! Afterwards, we returned to the main convention site and had a Cabaret with juggling, clowns, and aerial acts.

And then, onto the Renegade! Here in Brazil, the Renegade show is an open stage where you can do anything you want (you’re just not allowed to die or to hurt the audience). If people enjoy what you do, you get a beer. If they don’t, the audience throws empty cans to defend the integrity of their stage.  In this Renegade show we had some memorable acts like Juan doing crazy things with a ball on top-of-head stall (including jumping with a rope) and Rogério Piva juggling 7 rings on a wire!

On Saturday, the 17th, the day started with a juggling parade which took us into the city (the parade and the fire night were the only events outside of the main site). There was also a great street show there.

In the end of the afternoon we had the freestyles competition with 3 balls, 3 clubs, diabolos, and contact juggling. Each performer had 2 minutes to do a freestyle routine, and the best one comes out the winner. All the freestyle acts of the 14th CBMC will soon be up on the channel Just Freestyles – http://www.youtube.com/sofreestyles.

That night, we had a Gala show with more crazy juggling, unicycling, clowns, aerials, and our international invited juggler, the awesome Neta Oren, who amazed the audience with her awesome show!

We ended the night with another renegade show, The Renegala, because it’s the final show after the Gala!

Sunday was a quiet day as things wound down. People were really tired of all the sleepless nights, and especially from the big party on the last night. So there weren’t activities during the morning, but after lunch there was a big open meeting to chat about the convention and to define where the next convention will be (next year it’ll be in São Paulo and it’s going to be huge – can’t wait for that!). And the final afternoon we had some games. A highlight was the club balancing competition with tricks that included having the last two competitors successfully take off their shirts while balancing clubs! It was amazing! Unfortunately we didn’t have time for volley club, which disappointed many jugglers. After that, it was time to pack our things and go home with a lot of memories and much more knowledge, and hoping to have another convention soon!

I had a great time at the 14th CBMC!

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What about your continent, country or city, how the conventions out there look alike?
Does it have similar points with the Brazilian National convention or is it really different?
Can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it. Please leave a comment below!

Talk to you soon!

A Brazilian Juggler that created the Youtube Channel "Malabarize-se" ( youtube.com/malabarismo ). He believes in sincere smiles, the force of gravity and women who speak french.

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