Balé Folclórico da Bahia Took Spectators on a Culture Rich Journey to Bahia, Brazil Through Dance

Balé Folclórico da Bahia, a one-of-a-kind, professional folk dance company, delivered an amazing performance. The 27-member dance company consists of dancers, musicians, and singers that all showcase the best in Bahian folkloric art. Formed in the culture rich city of Bahia, said to be the most African part of Brazil, the company took the spectators in Eisenhower auditorium on a cultural journey through Bahia, Brazil through Bahia of All Colors, presented by the Center for the Performing Arts. The event took place Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

The event consisted of seven different cultural dances. Each dance show cased a different aspect of the diverse and culture rich city that Bahia is. The dancers were so full of life and energy, it has hard to look away from the stage. Their dance moves were detailed, each  sprinkled with African influences throughout.

The clothing was unique, colorful, and intricate. They featured rich colors, interesting textures, and distinctive styles and patterns. Every dance provided those watching the opportunity to get another glimpse of the Brazilian culture.

The drums and special instruments played, like the berimbau, showcased the talent and expertise each person had. The songs that were sung were not only catchy, but they evoked a feeling of happiness and almost made me feel like one was walking through the  streets of Bahia.

The dances had the audience absolutely captivated and held their attention until they end. The dancers even came into the audience and had a few people come on stage and dance with the crew. Many of those watching enjoyed themselves so much, they stood up and started dancing in place.

The first one was DANÇA DE ORIGEM, or the Origin Dance. This dance is based on a legend depicting the creation of the universe.

The second dance was called PUXADA DE REDE or Fishermen’s Dance. It is popular in Bahia and depicts the goddess of the sea invoked by the fishermen and their wives, asking for a bountiful catch.

The third dance was called MACULELÊ, which originated in the sugar cane plantations of Bahia and was danced by the slaves to celebrate a good harvest.

The fourth dance was SAMBA DE RODA, which is one of the most popular dance and rhytm in Bahia. It was first practiced by slaves during their leisure hours.

The fifth dance was CAPOEIRA, a form of martial art which originated in Africa.

The sixth dance was AFIXIRÊ, meaning “Dance of Happiness” in Yoruba, this dance pays respect to all of the African cultures that influenced and help create the Brazilian culture.

The seventh and final dance was SAMBA REGGAE, the most recent form of Bahian Carnaval’s rhythm, this dance is a mixture of Afro-Bahian rhythms.

If you didn’t get the opportunity to make it out to this breathtakingly amazing performance, be sure to keep you eyes open for the next!

Photo credits: Madison Starr, Alex Markow