OXALA'S COURT

Choreography: Walson Botelho and José Carlos Arandiba
Afro-Religious Dance Research: José Ricardo Sousa
Music: from Candomblé rituals

In the 300 years following the colonization of Brazil by the Portuguese, more than 10 millions African slaves were brought to the new country. In order to maintain their own African identity and culture, many practiced the Yoruba religion, Candomblé, meaning a dance in honor of the Gods or Orixás.
· EXÚ: Orixá sent by Olorum, the Supreme God, to create the universe.
· PADÊ CEREMONY: Is an offering of food and drink to Exú, the feared messenger of Olorum, asking that the celebrants be allowed to make contact with the Orixás.
· YAÔ'S INITIATION: Celebrates the first public introduction of an initiate to the religion. Following a three-month period of seclusion, the Yaô is welcomed by the deities as they are incorporated in the order celebrant's bodies.
· XIRÊ: Sequence of dances dedicated to the Orixás.
· ORIXÁ'S PANTHEON: Is a celebratory procession in which the Yoruba Gods pay homage to the new iniciate, revealing through their dances the special characteristics of their personalities:

. Ogum: God of iron and war.
. Oxum: Goddess of rivers, lakes, and waterfalls.
. Omolú: God of skin deseases, plague, and death.
. Iansã: Goddess of the winds and storms.
. Oxossi: God of the forests and hunters.
. Oxalá: Supreme God of the pantheon. Orixá's father.

MARACATU

Choreography: Amélia Conrado
Music: North-east Folklore

The Maracatu, a popular enactment of the procession for the crowing of the Black Kings in Brazilian lands, casts an interesting and ironic reflection on the strong European influence on this particular ceremony as it, seemingly, mocked the pomposity of the XVII century Portuguese Royalty as they disembarked in their Colonial realm. Among the many characters that are portrayed in the Maracatu, the most prominents are those of the KING and the QUEEN, the LADY OF THE PALACE with her DOLL CALUNGA, the BANNER CARRIER, representing the origins of the parade, and the CABOCLOS DE LANÇA, the civilized, pure-blooded Brazilian Indigena who play the role of Ambassadors and protectors of the Royalty and the Nobility.

MACULELÊ

Choreography: Walson Botelho
Music: Bahian Folklore

A dramatic dance which originated in the sugar cane plantations of Bahia during the Brazil's colonial period and was danced by the slaves to celebrate a good harvest. Maculelê, due to its potential for violence, was also used as a means of defense by slaves against their owners.

SAMBA DE RODA

Choreography: Walson Botelho
Staging: Walson Botelho and José Carlos Arandiba
Music: Bahian Folklore

The most popular dance and rhythm in Bahia, the samba first appeared in Brazil as an entertainment practiced by the slaves during their leisure hours.  

CAPOEIRA
Staging: Walson Botelho and José Carlos Arandiba
Music: Bahian Folklore

A form of martial art which originated in Africa and, during the colonial period, was brought to Brazil by slaves from Angola.  

 

 

AFIXIRÊ

Choreography: Rosângela Silvestre
Music: Antônio Portella and Jorge Paim

Meaning "Dance of Happiness" in yorubá, language of West Africa. This dance has influenced most of the cultural and religious celebrations in Bahia. A festival of sound, color and movement that shows the sensuality and spirit of the Bahian people.  

SAMBA REGGAE

Chreography: José Carlos Arandiba and the company
Music: from the songs of Bahia's carnaval

The most recent form of popular music to appear in Bahia, Samba Reggae is a mixture of Afro-Bahian rhythms such as afoxé, ijexá, and samba duro (with a Caribbean influence). Paul Simon was the first mainstream artist to introduce this new rhythm to the world when he performed and toured with the Bahian percussion band Olodum.

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