African samba: dance movement based firmly on African dance technique and style, in which the interrelationship between the drummers and dancers is central.
WHAT IS SAMBA?
There are differing views as to the roots and styles of samba in terms of the music and the dance. Many claim it was the African slaves in the 1500s that brought the rhythms with them to Brazil. Samba is said to evolve from ʻbatuqueʼ, an African musical style based on percussion instruments and clapping.
Others relate Samba to ʻkusambaʼ (the Ngangela word for ʻto skipʼ) or they believe it originates from the word ʻsembraʼ (meaning ʻnavels bounce togetherʼ), an Angolan fertility rite.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF BRAZILIAN CARNIVAL
Samba is Brazilʼs national music and dance form and its biggest musical export. Samba is also the lead dance form for carnival and comes in many different styles, each district having its own particular carnival style. Samba reggae, Afro-samba, maracatu and Rio carnival samba are the most well known forms in the UK. In
1928, the first samba school was formed and in 1932, the first carnival parade took place; this has been the main feature of Rio carnival ever since.
THE MAIN INSTRUMENTS FOR SAMBA
• Surdos: big bass drums numbered 1 to 4. The name is of Portuguese origin and comes from the word for deafness.
• The caixa: a snare drum with a metal frame – often played by the band director/leader with a whistle to give cues.
• Tambourines, shakers, bells and rattles.