People’s Palace Projects created an evening of performance and celebration that marked the closing of the Olympic and Paralympic Cultural Forum 2013. Around 250 people attended the evening, generously hosted by Galpão Gamboa. It began with The Freak and the Showgirl, a hilarious, risqué and politically subversive cabaret and burlesque act created and performed by Mat Fraser & Julie Atlas Muz. Mat and Julie are radical artists whose work, best categorised as neo-burlesque, herded the Rio audience past its comfort zone with a (thankfully metaphorical) cattle-prod. Leaving no icons intact, the show took on the orthodoxy of the “body beautiful”, presented a full-frontal challenge to perceptions of the disability arts sector, and left its open-mouthed audience roaring with delight.
The show was followed by a thumpingly cool party night, DJ’ed and VJ’ed by three of our Rio Occupation artists [the UK’s Gary Stewart and two leading contemporary artists from Rio, Domenico Lancellotti and João Brasil]. It was an incredible evening of laughter, subversion and boundary breaking: a fitting end to the Forum. And we can certainly say an unforgettable time was had by all.