Carnaval de Buenos Aires
“and—they're each of them alone
In the land where the dead dreams go.”
Carnaval de Buenos Aires is not exactly the wild Dionysian bacchanal of Carnival in Rio nor the highly organized tourist event of the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It has more of a block party feeling. The groups from various neighborhoods in the city are well rehearsed, full of energy, and fully dressed for a parade but there is an unexpected informality and ad hoc character to their performances.
A small audience clusters along the barricades and there is an atmosphere somewhere between a small town rodeo and an elementary school recital. The modest scale and wide age split amongst the performers create an innocence that feels like America in the 50s.
The performances are noisy and lively and colorful, especially the late night version with the imported exotic dancers. In the midst of this confusion, some of the performers and audience show an almost mediative quietude. They are still and self absorbed. They are alone.