Nobody said Samba is an simple dance one can sleep-walk through. It takes your whole being, all your energy, your whole body. When you get it, when you really get how to samba, its a fever.
Poor Marie Osmand. Not sure she gets it yet.
millions of east-coasted Dancing with the Stars fans watched
as Marie Osmond fainted during judge Len Goodman's appraisal of her
samba, a dance apparently so physically draining that it was impossible
for Osmond to stay conscious long enough to signal the show's producers
to cut away from a coming swoon in time to avoid unnecessarily
upsetting America. But don't worry: we're told the Dancing crew returned after the impromptu break to let everyone know she's fine.
Try out your real samba (no ballroom pressure!)....Get down to Roccapulco in San Francisco on Halloween and Samba with Energia do Samba and DJ Papi Chocolate spinning Salsa, Samba, Soca, Reggae, Afrobeat and Hip Hop.
Root Magazine will be covering the event. Be there in costume!
I bought your September issue with Giselle on the cover in the hopes of reading a brilliant and exciting article about Brazil, as promised on the cover.
I'm half-way through your sensationalist article, and rather pleased with the photographs as they build in energy and show off a lot of leg.
Here is a simple request: You feature one of the most beautiful Carnaval headdresses I've ever seen and it
stands out as the focal point in one of your full-page photos. While all fashion designers are properly credited down to the shoes and belts, all that is mentioned of the headdress is, sadly, "in a carnaval headdress".
Did you not LOOK at this thing? You think that is something Brazilians pick up at the mall or put together in an afternoon? You think this piece takes any LESS effort to create than one of these lousy little cocktail dresses that a designer clearly sleep-walked into sketching as a filler for their summer collection?
Carnaval is couture. PERIOD. It takes an insane amount of craft and patience. And the work is no less intricate a process than what takes place in the revered houses of seamstresses in Paris.
If you doubt this I invite you to revisit our article on Jair Oliviera.
Hopefully you will print this in your letters section next month with proper credit to the creators of the headdress that adds so much beauty to your fashion feature on Brazil.
Mayor Gavin Newsom and the City of San Francisco will declare Friday, May 18 2007...
Mestre Carlos Aceituno Day
in gratitude to the artistry and dedication of our beloved teacher
Founder of Fogo Na Roupa and Mestre of Omulu Guanabara
The ceremony will be in conjuction with the Annual SFCarnaval Reception
Friday, May 18 2007 @ noon
San Francisco City Hall
Plan on coming in full Carnaval regalia with a previous Fogo Na Roupa
carnaval costume (preferrably Fogomorphosis) email metziquez@aol. com for further
All of Mestre Carlos' students and friends who wish to support please come
wearing red and white in solidarity with Mestre's work. Lets show the city how
many of us he impacted!
For our friends around the world... a short bio of Mestre Carlos Aceituno:
Carlos Aceituno’s artistic
background encompasses various forms of music and dance study: Latin, Afro-Brazilian,
Jazz, modern, and African. In 1989, he formed the award winning Carnaval Group Fogo Na
Roupa; consisting of both a performing company and a Grupo Carnavalesco (Carnaval Group),
Fogo embarked on what is now more than a decade of Afro-Brazilian parade, performance and
The group’s repertoire has broadened through his strong 27-year commitment the
study, training and teaching of Capoeira. Carlos is currently working with the leadership
of his teacher, Mestre Preguica, a first generation student of legendary Mestre Bimba, the
founder of "Capoeira Regional". In May 2000, he received
the prestigious title of "Mestre", the first one achieved outside of
Brazil in the United States.
Carlos Aceituno stems from a legacy of Afro-Brazilian dance and music culture,
pioneered in the San Francisco Bay Area by Jose Lorenzo’s Batucaje. He continues to
be a stalwart in the community with the consistent programming of annual travel study
tours to Brazil. He has worked directly with such master artists as Jorge Alabê, Mestre
King (renowned pioneer of Afro-Brazilian Dance in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil), Rosangela
Silvestre, and the Bale Folklorico da Bahia.
While educating and encouraging others, he conducts annual study tours to Brazil with
Fogo Na Roupa. These tours serve to enhance his knowledge of Regional Dance and Music Art
Forms while keeping abreast of ever-changing popular trends. He trains children, youth and
adults throughout the Bay Area and currently teaches at the Mission Cultural Center in San
Francisco, and Citicentre Dance Theatre in Oakland.
Under his artistic direction, Fogo Na Roupa’s performance highlights include Bay
Area opener for Brazil’s popular Olodum and collaboration with prominent Bay
Area jazz ensemble, Mingus Amungus, opening for Carlos Santana. He also
directed Fogo Na Roupa’s performance at the annual KMEL Summer Jam during the
‘96-’97 season. In 1999, he led Fogo Na Roupa in the opening of internationally
acclaimed Brazilian recording artist, Carlinhos Brown, at the Galleria Trade Show
Center in San Francisco.
Under his direction, Fogo Na Roupa has earned the grand prize of "Best Brazilian
Contingent" in the San Francisco Carnaval Parade for multiple years. Additional Performances: Brazilian Independence
Celebrations in San Francisco, the Afribbean Festival, Oakland’s own Carijama
festivals, Chinese New Year Parade, and TV appearances on KGO, Channel 7.
We were deeply saddened by the devastating news of the untimely passing
of Carlos Aceituno on September 27, 2006.
Some of you may know her as Swan Lake Samba Girl. Tonya Plank won us over with her light hearted style of writing and earnest, humorous attempts at a new dance.
"Skinny White Girl Tries To
Feeling stressed at my
job lately, I needed desperately to bring my anxiety level down a
notch. I’ve been taking Latin ballroom classes in New York for two
years now for just that reason. Samba quickly became my favorite –
because of the mad-fun beat of the exotic-sounding drums and the
mellifluous Portuguese -- though it’s by far my hardest dance –
those pelvic undulations are just so foreign to straight-hipped
former ballet-student me! Ballroom lessons have become quite
expensive, so I opted for a street Samba class, which the Alvin Ailey
studios recently added to their open adult curriculum. I normally
hate open classes, but figured I might actually know something about
street Samba from ballroom.
Wow, I never knew how much I didn’t know! Class was taught by this
other-worldly, seemingly beyond human, absolutely impossibly amazing
dancer, from Brazil of course, named Quenia Ribeiro. Without teaching
us any stationary basic in front of the mirror, Ribeiro started with
a dance line, beginning with these wild hip-swaying,
pelvis-contorting, inexplicably impossible traveling moves. The class
was supposedly for beginners! Very first step was an African-based
one where we had to open arms and legs widely stepping sideways while
bouncing forward, which Ribeiro somehow did while also rocking her
pelvis back and forth and front to back in this beautifully sexy way.
I tried and tried and TRIED to imitate her, but couldn’t in any
way, shape, or form compel my midsection to do anything at all
approximating hers. I at least managed to figure out where my feet
were supposed to go on the floor. The second I was thinking “okay,
I look like an enormous idiot, but at least I know which direction to
go,” the drummers began (they had a live Brazilian band — how
they managed not to laugh themselves silly watching us, I’ll never
know) and Ribeiro started moving AT THE BEAT THEY WERE BEATING TO —
basically, the speed of light. In trying like crazy to keep up, I
flailed about wildly, smacking this poor Asian woman next to me right
in the face. She later stepped on me, though, so I didn’t feel so
badly! Those of us in back were spending more time apologizing to
each other than anything else.
about two turns down the line for me to realize it was just not going
to be happening with me. Ribeiro moved in ways that I didn’t know
possible. Her pelvis was darting every which way so fast it was just
a blur. I had to grab onto the back barre to steady myself while
watching her. This was NOTHING like the ballroom Samba I know! In
ballroom, every movement is so contained – it has to be lest you
whack your partner’s face with your arms or crotch with your rear.
Street Samba was so exotically intriguing to me, but I just felt
that, as a thin white girl, I will never be able to move like the
After I finished my rotation squirming down the floor I stood back
and watched. And, apart from a few advanced students, no one was
really dancing Samba. Everyone was, however, rocking out madly, and
laughing hysterically and obviously having great fun — unlike me,
who just couldn’t get over the fact that I couldn’t do it
properly. They may not have been dancing Samba but they were most
definitely dancing. I, on the other hand, looked like a girl put
together with Popsicle sticks, sullen and sad in the back of the
room. I realized then that so much of dancing is about having fun,
letting loose, and feeling the music, not about stressing over
getting it just right.
Though I felt like giving up, I forced myself to see it through —
just kept assuring myself that, though I was making a gigantic ass of
myself, people were having far too much of a blast to fixate on me.
This reasoning worked until I looked out the window and saw, to my
horror, about twenty people outside staring at me, bemused looks
covering their faces. Turns out the covering on Ailey’s
ground-level windows is not really a curtain — if outsiders walk up
close, they can see everything inside. And since Samba is so much
blasted fun, the music pouring out through the windows and onto the
sidewalk, we attracted the attention of nearly every passerby. Ugh,
I’d thought I was smart to stay in the back by the window and far
from the mirror!
About ten minutes until the end, when everyone was applauding the
band and I thought we were done, Ribeiro announced we’d completed
the Bahia part of the class; now it was time to learn the Rio style.
Good lord, I thought; there’s more? Funny thing was, Rio turned out
to be much closer to ballroom! There was still a lot of upper-body
arm and torso movement, and hips were looser and steps bigger, but I
actually recognized some of the moves! I saw bota fogos, voltas,
cruzado walks and bachacatas — my favorite! I nearly peed my jazz
pants! Legs were kept a little closer together than in Bahia, and Rio
was, to little white ballroom me anyway, more familiar to my body,
more jazzy, more Latiny, just more me. And I swear, Ribeiro looked
right at me when I was coming down the line this last time. She just
kind of smiled, as if to recognize that (though there were a good 25
students in class), she could see how much trouble I was having with
Bahia (you’d have to have been blind not to); and now here I was
doing something not completely ludicrously wrong! So, at least now I
know that Rio is the kind I like, that I can aim towards even if,
with my body type, I may not ever look completely right doing it.
Throughout class, I kept thinking how much I just wanted it to end,
how I’d look back on this and laugh but would never ever come back.
But after Rio, I reconsidered. Maybe I will visit Ribeiro again,
especially if she spends more than the last ten minutes on Rio! And,
during Bahia, I will try to let loose and just have fun, and hence,
Brazilian journalist MdC Suingue (Portuguese for "Swing") & Kika Serra bring you Brazilian music without the cliches. Special for Carnaval, the CAS kicks off with part one of a three part series.
The idea is to create an environment open to the appreciation of this
diversity that Brazil has to offer. The Caipirinha Appreciation Society
is an introduction to a different Brazil, in opposition to the clichés
presented in the infamous samba-for-tourists shows. We skip the
feathers, sequins and fixed fake smiles for a more grassroots approach.
The policy of our djs is to play GOOD Brazilian music, from old gems to
the most cutting-edge underground stuff. The dance-floor code is to
move as you feel like with no "samba class" to spoil that freedom.
But our intention is to take Brazilian music out of the ghetto and
place it in a universal context, so even if our output is 90%
Brazilian, we play anything good that we come across, whatever
So let your hair down and try out our musical caipirinha. It can be addictive, we're told.
Editor's Pick - I am already addicted to the Caipirinha Appreciation Society