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Bringing dreams to life

by SOPHIE MCCARRICK [email protected]

With the desire to bring culture to the forefront of Lagoa, the non-profit association  Ideias do Levante (IDL) was created on April 27, 1995 and  has been established ever since to bring people of the Algarve together.

Activities offered by the association have grown throughout the years and IDL now has a wide range of lessons and workshops in a variety of cultural disciplines.

Acting classes, available for children, teenagers and adults, take place on a weekly basis and focus on several areas of theatre such as classical theatre, experimental theatre, student theatre and theatre against social exclusion.

An activity, labelled ‘Storytellers of the Levante’, is a project implemented by the association in 2003 to bring focus to the area of oral literature and the art of storytelling.

The intention of the initiative is to gather storytellers from throughout the Algarve region to develop a project to research, publicise and present them to an audience of all ages.

In addition, periodical dance courses are held for teenagers and adults, aiming to bring them together to gain experience, share and learn new methods.

Exploratory dance techniques are used in all dance classes, such as Oriental, Latin, Contemporary, Hip-Hop and Cuban Salsa.

A big entity in the IDL family is singing, which is practised by children, teenagers and adults in various choir groups that rehearse regularly and perform recitals annually. First of the three choirs is the Youth Choir with teacher Maria Saramago, aimed at the younger members and participants at IDL. Secondly, the Chamber Choir is composed of six to eight singers of different ages and nationalities, which is also rehearsed and conducted by Maria Saramago.

Coro de Lua (chamber choir) rehearsed and conducted by Maria Saramago. Photo: Ideias do Levante
Coro de Lua (chamber choir) rehearsed and conducted by Maria Saramago. Photo: Ideias do Levante

The Choir of Ideias do Levante, rehearsed and conducted by Francisco Brazão is made up of many singers that use a varied repertoire to educate and entertain their audience.

All choirs at the association aim to promote Lagoa and the region of the Algarve through the art of singing and travel throughout Portugal to do so.  

For one week every year, the association hosts a ‘Choir Week’ in Lagoa that unites singers from throughout the region to harmonise together to present an eventful agenda of melodies.

Although the event began as a small feature for Lagoa, it has now become one of the top in Algarvean choir festivals and this year’s ‘Choir Week’ is set to take place between May 6 and May 13.


A more recent member of the IDL family is the bioLevante project, which introduces a new set of wellness services to participants, including Pilates, Zumba, Hatha yoga, massage, meditation and a range of other therapies.

All activities are hosted at the IDL headquarters close to the Lagoa Municipal Market or at CEFLA, which is a complex also housing Lagoa’s music academy.

Concerts and performances given by the association are usually presented at the Lagoa Municipal Theatre or at the Convento de S.José, also in Lagoa.

President of IDL, Roberto Estorninho, told the Algarve Resident: “Throughout my life, I have always evidenced my taste for both the individual and the collective, a healthy duality that allowed me to experiment diverse scenarios at a personal, academic and professional level.

“I coordinate and actively participate in several national and international cultural projects, aiming to share knowledge/resources and to foment the concept of associations as a viable alternative towards active citizenship.

“IDL focuses on identifying, creating, promoting and advertising culture and education and debate ideas to promote Lagoa and the region of Algarve.”

The association currently has around 10 teachers and 300 members,.

Participants of all ages and abilities are welcome to become members and no past experience in any of the given activities is required.  

To become a member, it costs €10 per year plus €5 for the initial registration and for those participating in activities, it costs €10 a month, where members would receive a 50% discount and pay €5 per month.

Currently, IDL is promoting several artists from the Algarve by incorporating them into activities and productions organised by the group. In addition, the association is also developing several online projects to promote culture in the Algarve and in Lagoa council (www.visitlagoa.info).

For more information about Idéias do Levante, please contact 282 010 080 Monday to Friday, from 6pm until 8pm, email [email protected] or visit www.ideiasdolevante.net