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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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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Lions Tour, July 2017 – All Blacks game

Oh the excitement and the heartache

Lions Tour 2017 - All Blacks game gig 1, the dancers, the band and the big screen - photo by John Bosomworth

In addition to our gig on Tuesday night for the Hurricanes game, we were also asked to double down for the All Blacks game on Saturday with a total of five gigs, spread throughout the day and into the evening. Of course we said yes.

Wellington Batucada perform for the Lions Tour – playing Samba. Video by John Bosomworth.

Whereas the weather for the ‘Canes game had been really quite friendly for a winter’s evening – cold but not too cold, no wind, no rain (fantastic!) It was an altogether different story on Saturday night. Wellington served up a hefty dose of seriously crappy weather – cold, windy, and rather a lot of rain. Oh joy!

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Batucada beginners’ drumming course starts 2 July 2017

Learn samba drumming with Wellington Batucada!

CubaDupa day 1 - Batucada in the street - photo by Alex EfimoffOur next Batucada beginners’ drumming course begins 2 July 2017.

It will be held on Sundays from 1pm to 3pm at our rehearsal space, Whitireia Performing Arts Centre – 25-27 Vivian Street – Studio T1, Level 3.

The course runs for 6 weeks, dates as follows: Sunday 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 July and Sunday 6 August.

 

Screenshot of Wellington Batucada in the All Blacks Rugby World Cup 2011 victory parade - TV3Please make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes early on the first day (2 July) so that we have time to register you.

Fee is $80 for all 6 sessions if paid in advance, or $18 per session.

Existing Batucada members are welcome to come and help or try out a new instrument, $20 Batmember special price for the full course.

PLEASE NOTE that we are asking you to pay for at least the first session in advance in order to secure your place.

Here’s the info:

Make a deposit into the Wellington Batucada bank account ($18 if paying for individual sessions, or $80 for the whole 6 week course).

Account no. 38-9012-0348830-00
Please put your name and “Beginner” in the payment detail fields

We are a community group that rely on the income from the beginners course, so you can cancel up until 2 weeks before the start, but no refunds after 18th June.

We are looking forward to sharing our music and rhythms with you. SEE YOU THERE!

If you’d like to register your interest, and receive more info about the beginner’s course, please visit our Join page and fill in the online form.

Newtown Fair 2015 - all roads lead to Batu-Ne-Zna - photo by the Renegade Peach Project

Batucada beginners’ drumming course starts 12 June 2016

Learn samba drumming with Wellington Batucada!

Bledisloe Cup waterfront paradeOur next Batucada beginners’ drumming course begins 12 June 2016.

It will be held on Sundays from 1pm to 3pm at our temporary rehearsal space, Community Music Junction, Level 1, 4 Hopper Street, Mt Cook, Wellington.

The course runs for 6 weeks, dates as follows: Sunday 12, 19, 26 June and Sunday 3, 10, 17 July.

Please make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes early on the first day (12 June) so that we have time to register you.

Fee is $60 for all 6 sessions if paid in advance, or $12.50 per session. Existing Batucada members are welcome to come and help or try out a new instrument, $20 Batmember special price for the full course.

SEE YOU THERE!

Farewell to Thistle Hall

The end of an era

Day of the Dead Wellington Batucada team photo. By Alan Shuker

Batucada at Thistle Hall, dressed up in our Day of The Dead costumes, ready for CubaDupa 2016

It’s been our home and our heart for 15 years, but today we had to say goodbye to Thistle Hall – our headquarters at the top of Cuba Street in Wellington (the Coolest Little Capital in the world).

We’ve had a thousand and one band practices at Thistle Hall, got dressed up for many a Sevens gig, prepared for CubaDupa and Cuba Street Carnival there, said farewell to our dear friend Sanny there, stored all our gear, held get-togethers and parties, meetings and AGMs, learned together and played together and shared our love of music together, laughed and cried and drummed and danced there.

Batucada superheroes at Thistle Hall - Wellington Sevens 2016

Batucada superheroes at Thistle Hall – Wellington Sevens 2016

We don’t know where we’re going to end up – our needs are somewhat specialised – we need space to rehearse, a wooden floor to dance on, storage space for our drums, disabled access, some kind of cooling system (drumming is hot work!), not too expensive (we’re a self-sustaining voluntary community group), heaps of parking space, loos and water, inner city if possible – and of course, somewhere where we can drum for 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon and make a reasonable amount of noise without annoying the neighbours.

2015 Sevens waterfront parade day 1 - family photo by Alan Shuker

Steampunk Batucada family photo outside Thistle Hall, ready to play at the Wellington Sevens 2015

Our short-term temporary home until we find somewhere more suitable will be Community Music Junction, Level 1, 4 Hopper Street. As it’s carpeted our dancers can’t dance there without risk of injury, so we hope we’ll be able to find somewhere else really soon. We really don’t want to be separated from our beautiful dancers any longer than is absolutely necessary.

If you know of anywhere that might be suitable, or have any ideas, please contact us at wellingtonbatucada@gmail.com or call Lisa on 021 112 1619.

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