Coming from a tradition of street performance and carnival, the drive to take the music of Rabo de Foguete onto the street through developing exciting, high impact shows for outdoor performance, was a natural one. The shows have varied in terms of their scale and the degree to which the full band is involved.
This work has particularly been inspired by European companies like the Always Drinking Marching Band, Close Act, Deabru Beltzac and Compangie No.8. In 2012 members of Rabo performed as part of Close Act's 'Invasion', for the opening of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
The latest show, 'Ulysses', is a daytime, medium scale piece. Ulysses tells the story of the return of Greek hero, Ulysses, from Troy, as an allegory of a soldier returning from war, fusing music with theatre, movement, performance and comedic interplay with the audience. Working with Twisted Reality Productions, the show was reworked as a three-hander, to make it more manageable to tour and bringing more storytelling, comedy and audience interaction to the piece. More details on the project and the show can be found by clicking the link to the right.
The first show, Malandro, was developed in 2011 with support from Arts Council England through Escalator Outdoor Arts and Grants for the Arts. Based on the Brazilian archetype of the 'malandro', Rabo’s music is given a new edge and exposure. Funding meant we were able to work with Dende Collective on creating this show and building the performance skills of the band. Costumes were designed by Anna Patteson, with the show exploring alienation, tomfoolery and general misbehaviour. Malandro premiered at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2011 and performed around Norfolk.
In 2014, we developed Voodoo Hoodoo with NORCA & Sistema in Norwich for Norwich City Councils 'Spooky City', mixing Day of the Dead, Voodoo and Candomblé themes to create a strongly visual, night time show that was repeated in 2015 and 2016. This show saw us working for the first time with fantastic maker, Molly Barrett, who created our skull float and the costumes for the show. Voodoo Hoodoo can (and has) included a wider group of collaborators, such as the fantastic Tin House, as well was being able to incorporate a bigger, community bloco.
Key to the street work has been developing mobile amplification to meet the band's needs. Working with Dominic Patteson and Jake Staff we have a developed a flexible mobile sound system that can go onto a number of float bases, can work in parade or where there is no electricity supply, etc. We are still exploring the possibilities of this system.