Through the vast region of Brazil you find a wide array of rhythms and its reflections on each particular dance. s a melting pot, Brazil has in its roots a mix of references, here described through the 3 main rhythms we develop and their "cousins"!
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Mariana Pinho's samba reggae teacher
Vania Oliveira - Salvador Bahia
SAMBA-REGGAE is an exhilarating rhythm that arose in the context of the black pride movement and became hugely popular in Brazil in the mid-80’s. Its roots are on the manifestation of the God’s of nature called Orixás. It’s a joyful and playful rhythm and the dance tend to be done in a follow-the-leader fashion, with a few skilled dancers initiating moves in a line in front of the crowd, and the whole crowd then following along. In addition, samba-reggae drummers often dance while they drum!
Dance is one of the biggest representations of popular culture, it can be “bigger than a gathering of techniques”, when it proposes to be an instrument of social transformation and diffusion of culture.
Afro dance appeared in Brazil in the colonial period, was brought by slaves taken from their origin country to be submitted to work exploitation on the Brazilian territory.
This dance style was first registered on the components that are part of the African religions and started getting strength in mid XIX century with the help of its tribes: sudaneses, bantos ( two types of tribe from different regions of Africa), and the indigenous, that were responsible for the creation of Candomble and other segments that gave origin to the dance of the “caboclos”* and other aspects of African culture, giving a new connotation to afro dance in Brazil, especially in Pernambuco of Afrô Amerindio.
The diversity of cultural rhythms that exists nowadays, was deriving of a miscegenation that developed the cultural identity of Brazil. Through the years the dance of afro origin started to be shaped and directed to different states.
After Umbanda achieved a status, Candomble became the reference and the dance starts to be visualised in a “out of the society” way, by being constantly associated to the adoration of African Gods ( Orixas). This scene starts to change a bit when African Dance gets charactheristics decurrent of the studies of ballerine and anthropologist Katherine Duncan, when finally this dance starts to have a different receptivity, getting different variations that we known today such as negro ballet or afro.
Society is on a moment of transformation about black culture, where in this present is not only valued by being an afro descendent but also recognised for a question of historic identity that have consolidated the miscegenation process of Brazil. Currently it’s widely known, by working with kids envisioning breaking through society to fight racial prejudice, and to divulge even more the culture that help built this amazing country that Brazil is.
Anderson Nogueira from Olinda Pernambuco- one of our dance mentors in many rhythms!
MARACATU is a major cultural expression from Pernambuco in the northeast region of Brazil, which involves lively dance, music and theatrical performance. This is a family-based tradition where the dance characters flow in movements that are related to the power of nature and recreate a crowning celebration of the King of Congo. The costumes are very colourful and the drumbeat takes everyone around to an ecstatic mode. On this rhythm you have the influences of Brazilian Indigenous, Africa and Europe.
SAMBA DE COCO is an African-influenced musical rhythm that originated in northern Brazil. "Coco" may also refer to the style of dance performed to the music, a kind of stomping.
The name "Coco" comes from the Brazilian word for head, "cabeça," because song lyrics are often improvised. Coco is often performed with a repetitive musical beat and call and response singing reminsiscent of Capoeira music. The music is commonly performed at traditional parties in the northeast, such as weekend street parties and Carnival.
The characteristic sound of coco arises from four instruments commonly used in its performance: the ganzá, surdo, pandeiro, and triangle. Performers also often wear wooden clogs, the stomping of which adds a fifth percussive element.
CIRANDA is a typical dance of the beaches. More especially, the beaches situated in the north of the state of Pernambuco. However, the origins of this dance are not restricted merely to the coastal regions. Most of the research surrounding ciranda, reveals that the dance would seem to have appeared almost simultaneously both in the coastal regions and other regions in the interior of the state, particularly the north of the Zona-da Mata. When the dance first began, it was generally restricted to very popular, working class meeting places, such as beaches, bars, street corners etc. The participants were basically agricultural workers, fishermen, brick layers, and odd-job men, and the like.
Kids from G.R.E.S. Mocidade Independente de Padre MIguel!
Samba is a word that can be unfolded in many rhythms since its oldest style ( samba de roda), going through samba de coco, and once in Rio has found its own symbols and for over 100 years has changed the way brazilian enjoy music and have created one of the biggest carnivals in the world.
The rhythms is fast paced ( samba enredo) and has its flowing and filled with passion movements connecting starigh to the instruments that are played. The music is the soundtrack of people's lives, from children up to elderly you have this dance spread in Brazil's hearts, hips and feet!