Music and Dance Repertoire

Aché Brasil has an extensive repertoire of music and dance, therefore every performance is carefully organized to meet the demands of each venue and its audience. We take in consideration who the audience is and the type of venue to present the most suitable performance. Bellow you will find examples of our music and dance repertoire. For detailed information on types of shows see, “Types of shows”


Capoeira:Acrobatic martial arts/dance performed to music

The two styles of Capoeira that we perform are Capoeira Regional (fast, agile, acrobatic, speed turns feet into weapons) and Angola (contortionist movements, low to the ground, mimicking animals) Capoeira is an astonishing display of acrobatics, breath-taking kicks and self-defense tactics performed to special music of drums and Berimbau (an ancient stringed bow-like instrument).  Originating out of North East of Brazil, by slaves from the African continent, Capoeira had to be practiced in secrecy after the lethal potentials were discovered by the slave masters. Although Capoeira was created as a way to free the slaves from their oppressors, it has evolved into one of the most hypnotic and interesting art forms yet to come out of Brazil. Capoeira is practiced by two people who dance and strike at each other in a whirring circle of movement and acrobatic maneuvers. Around them, in a circle or semi-circle other Musicians play a variety of instruments, such as drums, pandeiros and the most important Capoeira instrument the “Berimbau.”


Samba

The samba is the most popular musical genre and dance in Brazil, well known and associated abroad with soccer and “Carnival“. It’s captivating rhythm personifies the Brazilian Carnaval, meaning “Mardi-Gras.” The Samba music rhythm has been danced in Brazil since its inception in the late 19th century.  It’s high energy rhythms give the basis for the dance which uses lots of hips and foot movements. Dancers dress in bright, colourful, dazzling costumes with huge feathered headdresses. There is actually a set of dances, rather than a single dance, that define the Samba dancing scene in Brazil; thus, no one dance can be claimed with certainty as the “original” Samba style. Carnaval is the biggest festival of the year in Brazil where people prepare all year to take the streets for several days and nights. The whole country shuts down for this event and there is lots of dancing!  In reality, the “Samba schools” are large organizations of up to 5000 people which compete annually in the “Carnival” with thematic floats, elaborate costumes and original music.


Maculele

Originally created in the sugar cane fields by the slaves while they were cutting the cane, this dance utilizes sticks and machetes (sharp, large knives) with acrobatic and choreographed movements. Hailing from the interior of Pernambuco, Bahia state, Maculele imitates the movements of cutting cane, intricately choreographed to a special rhythm especially for this dance. The leader sings, two people enter the circle, and to the rhythm of the “Atabaque“, they begin striking their own and each other’s sticks together.  Traditionally in Maculelå, the dancers wear dried grass skirts and ornaments.

 

 


Maracatu

Maracatu is a term common to two distinct performance genres found in Pernambuco state in northeastern Brasil: maracatu de nação and maracatu rural; both symbolic of the Black Kingdom.  It has become a popular rhythm throughout Brazil.  Traditional nações perform by parading with a drumming group of 80-100, a singer and chorus, and a coterie of dancers and stock characters including the king and queen. Dancers and stock characters dress and behave to imitate the Portuguese royal court of the Baroque period.

Maracatu de nação (also known as maracatu de baque virado) is an Afro-Brazilian performance genre. The term, often shortened simply to nação, meaning “nation,” refers not only to the performance, but to the performing groups themselves. Maracatu rural is also known as maracatu de baque solto. It is rooted in the Pernambucan interior and evolved in the early 20th century as a fusion of pre-existing forms of Carnaval revelry. It is considered to be Afro-indigenous in origin. Its members, typically sugarcane workers, are involved with the native-influenced Catimba religion.


Samba de Roda

Samba De Roda, is the most traditional form of samba. Daughter of Semba dance; brought to Brazil by the slaves from Angola and evolved on the sugar cane plantations. It is danced by women inside of a circle made by the public and musicians. The women improvise their steps with a variety of hip movements and wear big skirts of the traditional Bahian dress. The term referring both to a dance and to the style of music which evolved to accompany that dance. This proto-samba has unfortunately fallen into the wayside of hard to find and hear.

 


Coco de Roda

This rhythm and dance originated in Maceio, North East of Brazil and it resembles the sounds of breaking coconut shells. People would gather around and dance to the sounds of coconuts being broken. Musically speaking, there is a predominance of percussion instruments. Within its general characteristics it is possible to notice one distinct distinguishing feature – community spirit. There is always a very happy atmosphere where men, women, children of all social classes sing and dance together without distinction. In what is referred to as its ethnic influences, the African influence is most prevalent, mainly in its rhythm, and most certainly in its movements. However, there is also a very strong native contribution to the choreography. Both the circle and the lines are aspects that were inherited from our natives. This traditional rhythm is now very popular in Brazil and it has been adopted and popularized by famous musicians such a Caetano Veloso. Dancers were hats and colorful clothes.


Afoxé

Rhythms and dance from Candombla popularized and played on the streets where all becomes Carnaval (mardi-gras). Contrary to popular belief, Afoxé is far from being a mere carnaval attraction. It has strong roots in the religious manifestations of the candomblé (an Afro-Brazilian religion). The principal rhythm associated with afoxé is ijexá (ee-zheh-SHAH) . The anthropologist Raul Lody further states that “The practioners are fundamentally linked to celebration of the orixás (“deities”). This is one of the reasons that afoxé is very often referred to as ‘Street Candomblé” and is used to honor one of the deities, normally the god relevant to that particular group. In Pernambuco, afoxé reappeared with the Negro Unification Movement at the end of the 70’s, as a way of reaching the majority of the population through music.

 


Frevo

This frenetic rhythm and dance originated in Pernambuco, and is now popular during carnaval. Its vibrant rhythms push the dancers to make sharp and acrobatic movements while holding an umbrella. The word frevo is said to come from frever, a misspeaking of the Portuguese word ferver (to boil). It is said that the sound of the frevo will make listeners and dancers feel as they are boiling inside. The word frevo is normally used interchangeably either to mean the frevo music or the frevo dance.

 

 

 


Samba Reggae

Samba-reggae is a music genre from Bahia, Brazil. Samba-reggae, as its name suggests, was originally derived as a blend of Brazilian Samba with Jamaican reggae as typified by Bob Marley. Samba-reggae arose in the context of the black pride movement that occurred in the city of Salvador, Bahia, around the 1970s, and it still carries connotations of ethnic identity and pride for Afro-Brazilians today. Bahia’s population has a large proportion of dark-skinned Brazilians who are descendents of African slaves who were brought to Brazil by the Portuguese in the 1700s and 1800s. Samba-reggae represents an effort by black Brazilians to develop a Carnival parade music that they could call their own, and to form all-black or mostly-black blocos with which they could parade during Carnival. The dance has movements from Orixa’s dance, samba and others popular dances.

 


Gangazumba Dance

Zumba was a slave who escaped bondage on a sugar plantation and assumed his destiny as heir to the kingdom of Palmares and the title Gangazumba. Gangazumba became a powerful warrior and the first leader of the Quilombo dos Palmares (a refugee camp for the slaves) in the state of Alagoas, Brazil. He fought for the freedom of his people and the preservation of this camp. This is a dance in honor of him.

 

 

 


Caboclinho

This is a beautiful choreographed dance and rhythm preserved by the Caboclo Amazonian Indians. The existence of this dance, now practiced by many people in Brazil, shows the importance that is given to the Native culture as a form of identity to this country of mixed race. Experience the sounds of the magnificent Amazon Jungle come alive with this rhythm and dance piece.

 

 

 



Orixas

Celebrant dances from the Afro-Brazilian mythology derived from the Yoruba religion. The dances are in honor of the deities of the sun, the ocean, thunder, lightning, etc. Each orixa (Xango, Yansa, Ogun, etc.) has a specific dance that manifest their particular characteristic. Orixa’s dances are the roots of all Afro-Brazilian Dances.