Batucada Blog

Beginners dance and drumming course 2019

Come and join us!

Beginners dance and drumming course 2019Come and learn to drum and dance alongside members of Wellington Batucada. Sign up for the Beginners courses now for 2019.

Dates have been confirmed for 3 x two-hour workshops to be run every second Sunday for both Dancers and Drummers on the following dates: 11th & 25th August and 8 September.

Dancers will be in the Pipe Band Hall and the Drummers up at the Cook Island Society Hall. On the alternate Sunday beginners will be invited to visit band practice and watch.

Cost of workshops to beginners will be $60 for all 3 x two-hour sessions, to be paid up front. There’s also a special price of $25 for current Batucada members.

Sign up here!

Wellington Batucada wins Arts & Culture category at Wellington Community Awards 2019

2019 Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards 2019

All the winners onstage at the Wellington Community Awards 2019

Wellington Batucada is thrilled to announce that we are the winners of the Arts & Culture category in the 2019 Wellington Community Awards.

Woohoo! Go us!

Bene, Hillary and Charlene at the awards ceremonyIt’s an awesome recognition of the effort and dedication of our wonderful directors who have guided many hundreds of Batucada members over the years, sharing with us the beauty of Brazilian music and dance.

From Wellington City Council – Good Bitches Baking win icing on the cake at Wellington Community Awards (1 August 2019):

The Wellington chapter of Good Bitches Baking won the Supreme Winner award for baking things better in the capital at last night’s 2019 Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards.

The annual Community Awards celebrate volunteering and the contribution made by hundreds of people every year in and around Wellington – recognising those who are making a difference in our communities across the arts, heritage, and environment…

Our award certificate…The other category winners were: Arts & Culture – Wellington Batucada; Education & Child/Youth Development – InsideOut KŌARO; Health & Wellbeing – Good Bitches Baking; Heritage & Environment – Predator Free Miramar; Sports & Leisure – Lazy Sneakers.

Wellington International Airport, Wellington Community Trust, and the five local councils come together for the awards every year, with nominations submitted by the public online for the categories. The category award winners go on to represent Wellington in the regional awards.

The Wellington City Council Accessibility Awards were held in conjunction with the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards last night.

These awards recognise businesses, initiatives and people who help make Wellington City more accessible for everyone.

A million thanks to our current directors Darryn Sigley, Tim Cooke, Hillary Reid, Arawhetu Berdinner and Tim Ganley, and to past directors too – and to all the members of Wellington Batucada past and present who bring passion and joy to the band.

Thanks also to Charlene who put our name forward this year, and to Roger who got the ball rolling by entering us for the first time in 2018.

The Menagerie Variety Show

Fun and frolics on-stage at the Opera House

Practising our active bitch faces for serious dancing (2) - photo by Sarah JaneThe last time we were on-stage at the Opera House was for the DANZdance20 gig back in 2013 – so it’s been a while.

25 drummers and 10 dancers from Batucada took to the stage for The Menagerie Variety Show – invited as the “intermission entertainment” – and a brilliant time was had by all.

It was a long day – beginning with a stage walk-through at 3pm. It’s always reassuring to be able to experience the stage and plan how you’re going to get on and off before you do a big gig like this one – and producer extraordinaire Rachel Rouge and her team made sure that every one of the multiple acts in this fabulous Variety Show were able to do just that.

The Opera House is such a beautiful old building – a perfectly grand and decorative old-fashioned theatre – with a veritable rabbit warren of dressing rooms on multiple levels behind the scenes. When you reach the bottom of the many flights of stairs from your dressing room you step through the door from the light-filled stairwell into a dimly-lit and cavernous backstage area. It’s another world.

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We are finalists in the 2018 Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards

Arts & Culture – Enhance and increase participation in arts and creative leisure activities

Wellington Batucada is honoured to have been selected as one of the finalists in this year’s Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards for Wellington City – in the Arts & Culture section.

Our veteran agogo player RJ Henderson put together a compelling application for the Award, and we were absolutely delighted to hear that all his hard work had paid off and that we were one of the finalists.

The awards ceremony on July 27 was attended by RJ and our committee chairperson Lise Hutcheon.

The Winner in the Arts & Culture category was The Performance Arcade, and the Runner Up was Out Wellington Incorporated (Wellington Pride Festival I Tū whakahīhī e Te Whanganui-ā-Tara).

Compassion Soup Kitchen Wellington were honoured as Supreme Winner for their commitment to helping vulnerable people.

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners. We love Wellington!

Batucada beginners’ dance course starts 5 August 2018

Who’d like a piece of the Samba action?

Arawhetu and Hillary lead the dancers at Newtown Fair 2018 - photo by Paul Taylor

Our next Batucada beginners’ dance course begins 5 August 2018.

You will get to dance alongside members of Wellington Batucada while our Dance Directors teach choreography from our Samba repertoire. No dance experience required and everyone is welcome (all genders).

The cost for the beginners’ course is $80 for 6 weeks. Or you can pay $20 per individual session.

Dance course dates

Venue: Thistle Hall, 293 Cuba St, Te Aro Wellington.

Our beginners’ dance classes will be held every Sunday for 6 weeks, in two 3-week blocks. Classes run from 1pm to 3pm as follows:

Week Date Time Venue
Week 1 Sunday 5 August 1-3pm Thistle Hall
Week 2 Sunday 12 August 1-3pm Thistle Hall
Week 3 Sunday 19 August 1-3pm Thistle Hall
NO CLASS Sunday 26 August NO CLASS
Week 4 Sunday 2 September 1-3pm Thistle Hall
Week 5 Sunday 9 September 1-3pm Thistle Hall
Week 6 Sunday 16 September 1-3pm Thistle Hall

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Batucada beginners’ drumming course starts 10 June 2018

Learn samba drumming with Wellington Batucada!

Tamborims and agogos onstage at CubaDupa 2018

Once a year we run an 8-week block of beginners’ drumming classes. These are held on Sundays from 1pm to 3pm, before our regular band practice.

Our next Batucada beginners’ drumming course begins 10 June 2018.

Overview of the course

This is an opportunity learn the basic techniques and patterns on a number of instruments and cover the rhythms of Brazil including samba, samba reggae and merengue. You will be guided by our directors Darryn Sigley and Tim Cooke into the wonderful world of samba, and we aim to have at least one experienced Batucada member supervising each section so that whatever instrument you’re playing, there’s someone there to help you.

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CubaDupa 2018 – day 1

Or…how to stop the rain at the perfect moment through sheer force of will

We adore CubaDupa. In the four short years that it’s been running it has become one of the best festivals on Wellington’s annual calendar, and it’s one that we put a huge amount of effort into in terms of costuming and trying out new performance pieces.

Highlights of our main stage performance.
Video footage by John Conly and Michael Sloley, compiled by Michael Sloley.

This year we did two things we’ve never done before. We designed our own patterned fabric especially for CubaDupa and made our own costumes with it; and we introduced two fabulous singers into the mix – Alda Rezende and Nikkie Rich – who sang traditional Brazilian songs while we accompanied them on our drums.

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Newtown Fair 2018

Drumming and dancing in the sun

What a beautiful day for a mad drumming and dancing session through Newtown. A perfect (actually, incredibly hot) day in the middle of The Best Summer Ever – and here we all are at the Newtown Fair, one of our favourite gigs of the year.

We had a ton of first-time performers with us for this gig, as the band is busy preparing for CubaDupa. We’re giving our most recent intake of drummers the opportunity to get a bit of parade practice in before the night parade down Cuba Street in a couple of weekend’s time. Exciting!

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Batucada beginners’ dance course starts 27 August 2017

Learn to dance samba with Wellington Batucada!

Newtown Fair 2016

Our next Batucada beginners’ dance course begins 27 August 2017.

Dance course dates

Our beginners’ dance classes will be held every Sunday for 6 weeks from 2pm to 4pm as follows:

Week Date Time Venue
Week 1 Sunday 27 August 2-4pm Thistle Hall
Week 2 Sunday 3 September 2-4pm Thistle Hall
Week 3 Sunday 10 September 2-4pm Thistle Hall
NO CLASS Sunday 17 September The band will be away at the Hastings Blossom Festival
Week 4 Sunday 24 September 2-4pm Whitireia Performing Arts Centre – Studio 1 on Level 2
Week 5 Sunday 1 October 2-4pm Whitireia Performing Arts Centre – Studio 1 on Level 2
Week 6 Sunday 8 October 2-4pm Whitireia Performing Arts Centre – Studio 1 on Level 2

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