Debora Balardini Honored at the 2019 Gralha Azul Awards in Paraná
Curitiba native Debora Balardini received honors at the annual Gralha Azul Awards held at Teatro Guaíra in the theater where she began her career.
By: Debora Balardini
In its 39th year, the annual event is one of the oldest art events in Brazil. Although the event recognizes multiple artists and performers local to Paraná, it also embraced Balardini, who began her career 25 years prior as a performing artist at the 2500-seat theater. In its most groundbreaking year for women directors, the majority of the event's nominees for best director were women.
Accepting a bouquet, Debora spoke words of gratitude to the organization and to notable artists in the audience. Among the noteworthy artists and program founders she thanked during her emotional speech, Balardini revealed that artist and 2019 Shell Award Winner for Best Actress for a Monologue Nena Enoue's question years ago led Balardini to founding Group .BR. Balardini recalls Enoue leaning over in New York and asking a question that changed her career trajectory: "Where's the Brazilian theater company in NYC?"
The Curitiba native directed additional comments to guests about Group .BR, New York's only Brazilian theater company, and the importance of the legacy of Brazilian culture and the arts, both in Curitiba and globally. Balardini, who lived at the tail-end of the Brazilian dictatorship and now resides in New York City, aims to empower artists to be proactive in assigning value to their work as opposed to waiting for validation or permission to create. "I think that art is already an empowerment tool for a better future no matter where we are and where it comes from. Although art is not always seen as [being as] noble as other established industries, people who are involved in the arts are often more attentive to their community and the world around them. It teaches the population how to approach complex problems with creativity and innovation, encourages young people to develop confidence and emotional maturity, and provides youth with an essential form of expression.
During her trip, the New York expatriate will continue developing an original mother and daughter two-woman show she will perform in and produce, slated to debut in 2020.
About Debora Balardini (www.deborabalardini.com) -
Debora Balardini is the co-founder of Group .BR and the award-winning Nettles Artists Collective (NAC). With 30 years of unwavering commitment to the arts, expression, and movement, Debora Balardini (La Frontera – The Border) has traveled beyond craft to her calling as a global performer, educator, director, and producer. Balardini has received multiple nominations and awards and is a recipient of a proclamation from the National Council of Women of the United States (NCW/US) in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and a 2019 Essence of a Boss Social Impact and Arts Innovation Award. Balardini sits as Director at Large on the board of the League of Professional Theatre Women. She has been seen in Forbes, Livid Magazine, HowlRound, IR tv, Industry Rules, The Miami Herald, The Story Exchange, Cheapism, Trendy Trippin', Mushaka's Motivational Monday/Huffington Post blog, On Deck with Lucy, and Business News Daily.
About Teatro Guaíra (http://www.teatroguaira.pr.gov.br/
Located in Santos Andrade Square, with an architectural project by Rubens Meister, the Teatro Guaíra building houses three auditoriums—