It is widely thought that the Samba dance originated in Bahia, where enslaved Africans would gather after long days of labour to perform their religious rituals of Candomblé, Capoeira and Samba dancing in a circle (Samba de Roda). With the abolition of slavery, black women who migrated to Rio brought the dance with them. One of them, Tia Ciata, became famous for hosting events at her house. The dance grew in popularity and over the years became the mesmerizing spectacle that we know today.
by By Foteini Foteinaki
1. Samba is the official music of Brazil, recognized by UNESCO as the ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.’ The Brazilian composer and researcher Nei Lopes described it as “the most impressive phenomenon of the twentieth century. In 100 years, it went from being a persecuted culture to the symbol of a nation.”
2. There are many different expressions of Samba styles according to geographic location and social trends. To name a few, the traditional Samba de Roda from the heart of Bahia, Jongo from South East, Samba no Pé and Samba Enredo from the schools of samba, the choreographed ballroom Samba de Gafieira, Chorinho from Rio de Janeiro, Samba Rock, a fusion of Samba and Soul that developed in the 60’s, and Samba-reggae and Pagode, which are very popular nowadays.
3. Samba schools are cultural but also economic and social institutions, providing for families and communities, who dedicate their lives to them. Putting a Carnival parade together means employing dancers, choreographers, musicians, dressmakers, carpenters, and painters for a year. A traditional Samba school has on an average 4000 members. […]