2014 Wellington Sevens waterfront parade – day 2

On playing in the rain, a duet with Niko Ne Zna – and dancing with Elmos!

Batucada, Te Papa, and the cloudsYup, 2014 is definitely going down as one of the wetter Sevens weekends we’ve been involved in. But hey, the show must go on, and so it did.

Lisa and Nige abandoned their beautiful handmade wood-and-goatskin surdos in favour of having a shake on the chocalho for the day (they’d checked the weather forecast in advance), and the rest of us prepared in whatever way we could for a gig that was probably going to end up with us playing in horizontal rain… Continue reading

2014 Wellington Sevens waterfront parade – day 1

Posing as pirates in the torrential rain

Wellington Batucada at the Wellington Sevens waterfront parade, day 1 - photo by Michael SloleyDarn it! I knew I shouldn’t have mentioned how well the weather turned out in my previous post.

So – this year’s Sevens will go down in the annals of history for a) really crappy weather and b) really awesome costumes by Wellington Batucada.

And really, when you look as fabulous as this, who cares about a bit of rain? At least on Day 1 it started out OK and only became torrential at the very end… Continue reading

Wellington Sevens Parade 2014

Newbies, busted heads and a new ending…

At the Wellington Sevens 2014 - photo by 111 Emergency
Looking at the long-range forecast for Sevens Week a couple of weeks ago, one could be forgiven for feeling somewhat disappointed in Wellington’s upcoming weather. Wind, rain, cloudy and cold… except of course that the Welli Weather Gods have now realised their error and sorted it out for us.

Wednesday dawned sunny and calm (of course it did! This is the Sevens!), and we had a great parade. Continue reading

Te Rā o te Raukura 2014

Peace, love and harmony

The band at Te Rā o te Raukura 2014We were delighted to have been invited to take part in Te Rā o te Raukura for the first time this year. The festival is a family orientated event with a focus on health, art, and education; with kids’ amusement rides and over 100 stalls with a massive array of foods and crafts.

The name of the event, Te Rā o te Raukura, is significant to the people at Waiwhetu and the tangata whenua in the Wellington Region. The ‘Raukura’ was used as a symbol of peace, love and harmony by the prophet Te Whiti O Rongomai at Parihaka. Te Rā o te Raukura commemorates the day in 1881 when Parihaka was invaded, and celebrates unity in Lower Hutt City and the wider Wellington Region. Continue reading

Wellington Santa Parade 2013

Fun in the sun (and wind!)

Our beautiful Batucada dancersHaving not had the chance to do the Johnsonville Christmas Parade this year (it was cancelled due to high winds and inclement weather), we were all looking forward to our last parading opportunity of the year.

Dear old Wellington put on a sunny day (hooray!) with a serious side-order of wind (well it wouldn’t be Wellington without a stiff breeze, would it?) and we came out in force to drum, march and dance our way through Wellington’s city streets. Carin and Tim G shared directing duties, and both did a sterling job of keeping us in-time and on-course. Continue reading

4 gigs in one day – all for a good cause

Kapiti Strawberry Festival for Mary Potter Hospice

Kapiti Strawberry FestivalAn enthusiastic Batucada crew made their way up the coast to Paraparaumu Beach on the hottest day of the year so far (hooray! summer’s here!) to take part in the Kapiti Strawberry Festival, which is a fundraising and awareness event for Mary Potter Hospice.

We were scheduled to do two 15-minute sets at the festival, and our first set was timetabled for 10:30am. At 10:20am there were about five of us there, ready to play. Uh oh! I think next time we’ll need to a) set off from Wellington earlier and b) assume we’ll have to park miles away from the stage and take that into account…

I think the Strawberry Festival must be the first festival gig I’ve ever done anywhere where they were actually running to schedule – brilliant organisation – which didn’t help us either. By 25 past 10 there were a few more of us, and on the dot of 10:30 we marched onto the grassy area in front of the stage – here we come, ready or not! Continue reading

All Whites vs Mexico

FIFA Soccer World Cup Qualifier game, Wellington waterfront parade

Batucada dancers lead the band onto the Stadium walkwayThe second leg of the All Whites’ World Cup qualifier games against Mexico, with Mexico up 5-1 after the first game.

A massive hill to climb for the All Whites, but a capacity crowd nonetheless, all hoping for a miracle and looking forward to an enjoyable match, whatever the outcome.

Wellington Batucada was invited to do one of our waterfront “Pied Piper” parades, leading the crowds along the waterfront from Queen’s Wharf to the Stadium, and then doing a bit of a show on the walkway once we got there. Carin and Tim G shared the directing, and a great time was had by all. Continue reading

DANZdance20 – celebrating 20 years of Wellington dance

Opera House, 16 November 2013

DANZ poster featuring Wellington BatucadaWe were quite honoured to be invited to close the show at the DANZdance20 celebration concert at the Opera House. I think they were looking for a crew that could get the audience up and dancing, and we were certainly able to do that.

We did a technical rehearsal in the early afternoon (I assume it’s the first time any of us have ever been on stage at the Opera House!) and then we headed off to the waterfront to do a bit of a warm-up / ninja gig / live rehearsal before our proper stage appearance at just after 5pm. Continue reading

All-girl gig at the MIA Latin Festival

Batucada laydeez kicking ass again!

MIA Latin FestivalLast year, for the first time, we were invited to play at the MIA Latin Festival. As it’s organised by a women’s group, we thought it might be nice to send an all-female version of the band in recognition of this. Last year we didn’t have a female #1 surdo player, so Nigel became Nigella for the day and helped us out.

This year, Anny switched codes for the day and became our official #1 surdo, with Lisa holding the fort on the #2. It was Marion’s first-ever gig, having been called on by Kate about 40 minutes before we were due to go on, so that our only other repinique player would have some company. Carin did the honours as director, and she did a brilliant job – both in directing us, and in getting the crowd going as well. Our dance director Hillary was Principal Dancer, and she was just wonderful. Continue reading

A teeny tiny audience

Batucada at the Island Bay Playcentre Fundraising Gala

Island Bay Playcentre Fundraising Gala - a very small audienceThis is the second year we’ve played at the Island Bay Playcentre fundraiser, and we really enjoy it. The audience may be small in stature, but they are large in enthusiasm – especially when they get a chance to have a go on our drums!

We did a 15-minute warm-up down the street outside the Empire Cinema (how sad that it’s closed down!), attracting a few curious onlookers as we played. Once we were fully warmed-up, we paraded along The Parade (how appropriate!) to the Playcentre, drumming as we went. Continuing to drum, we made our way single-file down the side alleyway and into the back garden, where we gathered in formation and completed our first piece, Samba Reggae. Continue reading