To take the jazz to the metropolitan streets, for free, to gather who’s already a dancer and invite passersby who still haven’t heard of the Lindy hop: that’s the idea of Jazz na Rua. Created by a group of friend, the event takes place in the city of São Paulo, always in public open spaces, with live music, free lessons on the basic steps, DJs and a lot of dance.
Jazz na Rua takes place once per month, always on Sundays. Mariana Turco and Renato Lopes are two of the organizers and, amongst many other things, are responsible for the audiovisual recordings for the gatherings. Since it was created, in 2015, many editions have already happened, all of which were recorded and published. The records serve as a proof of the event’s existence and are important for the organizers to get sponsors for the future of the project. Mariana comments on the visual records.
“Just like the event itself, the video is another means of spreading the Lindy hop. When we combine them both, the degree of spreading is potentialized.”
The videos are published on the Jazz na Rua Facebook page, which keeps available the recordings of past editions. Through the social networks, the videos reach views from people outside of social circles of who’s already a dancer.
“We noticed that the video is very important as it drives up the number of people whom we entice to Jazz na Rua. After the event,the video makes people happy for having that memory and for revisiting those moments.”
The image editing is done done with care, keeping the final result in mind. The selection is done by Mari, who combines an empathetic process of whatever she sees in the images with her background in the arts, which grants her and aesthetic view on the material.
The organizers’ priority is the event itself. The video generation is a more informal process, “with a fast-paced editing, fast-food”, describes Mariana. Renato and she found formulae – both for the capturing and the editing – and they know what and how to record during the event and how to edit in a swift fashion.
“It is not a super-production, but it is a video that does its job: spread the Lindy hop. It shows that the event happened and that it was really enjoyable.”
The video for the anniversary of Jazz na Rua, which was celebrated in the Largo da Batata in november of 2016, had over 5,500 views until now. Mari tells a little bit about the evolution of the videos and what it is like to record people in public spaces:
The staff of Jazz na Rua is composed of audiovisual professionals, which enables the creation of records with care, attention and flexibility in the choices, and also does not generate extra costs for the organizers.
The june 2017 edition counted on a special eye: Ramon Mineiro, who is a friend of one of the organizer’s and has a background in the audiovisual field, did a recording different than the usual. He inserted panoramas of the surroundings of the Largo da Batata, in West sector of São Paulo, where the event took place. The editing of the material was done in an authorial manner, with transition effects in between shots. The team loved the result:
“When somebody comes and does a video and that’s not us, it’s always a surprise, because it turns into something else; almost as if it were a different event. It is incredible! And it pulls us out of our comfort zone.”
For Mari and Renato it is more complicated to leave the “fast-food” formula that they created, because time management is tight during and after the event. And she keeps calm: “I am in peace, because I know we work within our limitations.”
The JnR team never had envisioned to financially invest in advertising. Even so, the numbers of organic shares and likes are satisfactory. The videos are compressed when posted to social media. And even when they’re loaded with a cell phone there’s no harm to the final result:
“The main focus is the spreading of the video and not the audiovisual quality.”
There are cases of people who share the video mentioning the exact timestamp where they appear; but there is also those who are not necessarily in the video and share the material because they like what they see. Because it is a video that advertises an event, people use it to invite their friends: “That’s what I see most in the comments of the shared content.”
There is no apparent reason that explains why some videos are more successful than others. Mari observes that sunny days make the videos more joyful, which ends up drawing more attention. The choice of the soundtrack may be a factor into the number of views.
Mari and Renato have a trajectory in the field of recording videos of dance: they are responsible for the video of the All Skate, Brazil’s Lindy hop championship. The know-how from this experience was taken advantage of for the videos of the Jazz na Rua.
In March of 2017, together with two friends, they released the video “Existe Lindy hop em São Paulo”, which showcases Lindy hoppers dancing in front of touristic spots in the city. It was published on the Jazz na Rua page on Facebook: “The video went viral and brought many likes to the project’s page.”
“I know that the videos are not going to be forever successful the way they are done now; when that happens, we will reconsider the format.” The idea is to continue the production of Jazz na Rua videos while they receive organic likes and shares, reach people, and bring them to the Lindy hop.”