Text and photos by PortugalGay.PT. All rights reserved.
Yesterday another edition of the 18th Abraço (AIDS Fight Association) Gala, best known for Gala of the Transvestites. Eighteen years after the first edition, the Teatro São Luis is filled up again of friends and admirers of this art, and supporters of this cause. The stage had a range of twenty one artists in this art and some special guests. At 21:30 the curtains opened up and the show moved on, with the appearance of the artists of the night, the first part full of familiar faces like Silvie Kass and Luna, or another generation like Dominique Bell who opened the night. The artists where presented by persons like: Wanda Stuart, Vitor de Sousa, Lili Caneças, Eladio Climaco, Vicky Fernandes, Clara de Sousa and Heitor Lourenço, the latter touched by the memory video where names that have marked our art scene and beyond and left us in the past 12 months were recalled once again. Two numbers deserve a special reference by us: by the liveliness and freshness, a number filled with movement and choreography. We talk about the artists Tania Skin and Swayze that filled the stage with the ballroom dance, showing that once again this art can evolve. The second time was a trip to the past that made us feel at the Olympia in Paris, listening to Edith Piaf, while on stage we had Didi Piaf. Also noteworthy the performance of Silvie Kass, who left behind the customary picture of Shirley Bassey, and presented us with a more radical, as well as the letter "I Just Want to Fucking Dance" by Alision Diear. The night was lively before the break when the winners of this edition where presented with the participants in gala masks in the background. The Career Award was given to an actress who is part of the Portuguese theater Maria Manuela, that debuted in 1958 with the play "Let's go to the moon" presented at the ABC Theatre. The Personality of the Year award was given to an artist that the The Guardian said it was "a diva in the world music" and that like Amalia in her time, takes the name from Portugal and the Fado to the four corners of world, her baptismal name is Marisa dos Reis Nunes, but we all know her simply by Mariza. Finally the Ruth Bryden Award, given to Suelly Kadillac. Known in the Lisbon transvestite night, for several generations. The second part ended with the character "Natasha Semmynova", also the face of the poster of the gala. The same poster that was controversial for being appointed as a "joke" on the image of the Republic, "... as if we were at the time of Salazar, and not being able to play with the images ..." said Margarida Martins, president of Abraço. It was a great night that ended just after midnight with the artists on stage, with out makeup or wigs, or if you prefer stripped of their alter-egos of their characters, a simple ending but full of meaning. Congratulations to the production, Carlos Castro, and to Abraço Association for their work all over the years because AIDS, still exists.
Prémios da noite
PortugalGay.pt would like to show our gratitude for the help of Pouso dos Anjos in making this report.