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The Cougar Chronicle

A Celebration of Roots and Culture

Cesia Cano, Staff writer

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On April 14, CSUSM hosted “From Africa to Brazil” in Arts 111, the final event in the spring Arts & Lectures Series. Marcos Mariano Silva and Bahia Magia Dance Co. displayed the exuberant and rich cultural traditions of Brazil. The vibrant performance based on Bahian folkloric dance of African origin included Samba, Capoeira, Dance of the Orixas, Maculelê and Candomblé.

Each dance performance was introduced by the rhythm of the drums, played by Silva and other group members. “I hope people were moved by the performances and inspired to learn more about Afro-Brazilian culture,” said Vika Hernandez, a dance performer and fitness instructor at CSUSM.

The show began with the Candomblé religious ceremony, a ceremony developed in the creolization of Yoruba beliefs brought from African slaves.

Afterwards the Dance of the Orixas was performed, introducing several goddesses who are believed to control different forces of nature.

Capoeira accompanied by a percussion instrument called berimbau, is a mixture of martial arts and dance served as a disguised practice of self-defense in the 19th century.

The Maculelê, a warrior dance from Brazil’s sugar plantations, where a number of people gather in a circle called roda and one person leads the rest in a chorus while they rhythmically strike sticks together.

The lively and heart-pumping show closed with a Samba ensemble, getting audience off their seats and onto the stage where they danced along with drums and the Afro-Brazilian performers.

If you are interested in learning more about Brazil’s culture and rhythm, Afro-Brazilian dance and Capoeira classes will be available in fall 2017 to students through the recreation program located at the Clark Field House.

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