Preserving the Rhythms of Resistance: Dances of Afro-Brazilian Heritage

A Journey Through Hidden Cultural Treasures and Empowering Movements

May 17th, 2023
Joana Sakaj, News from Berlin
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In Brazil, a multitude of cultural resistances has emerged among the oppressed black population, born during the era of enslavement. Within this context, some individuals managed to escape their slave owners and seek refuge in hidden settlements known as quilombos, where people of African heritage and their descendants could thrive in their cultural identity and develop forms of resistance. These enclaves not only served as shelters but also birthed lesser-known traditional dances, distinct from the widely recognized samba. Presently, these dances can only be found in a handful of rural regions in Brazil and face the risk of disappearing in the coming decades.

Each lecture performance commences with an introductory session, offering a historical overview of various Afro-Brazilian cultural manifestations and the specific history behind each dance style. Subsequently, the entire historical and theoretical discourse is brought to life through a performance, allowing participants to actively engage in the experience. The ultimate goal of these lecture performances is to not only impart knowledge of the dances' historical context but also provide firsthand encounters and enable participants to dance these forms themselves. Each of the three events will focus on a distinct dance.

Murah Soares, accompanied by two percussionists and a dancer, will guide participants on this brief artistic voyage across Brazil. Through their music and dance, they will create an educational space that facilitates the embodiment of these dances for each participant.


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