Batucada Blog

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 – Netherlands vs USA

An orange extravaganza

Wellington Batucada at FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 - Netherlands vs USA. Photo by Alison Green.

It’s quite tricky finding orange clothing. It’s just not that popular a colour these days (oh to be back in the 1970s!) – but I really think it should be making a comeback, because it’s quite spectacular – especially en masse. As you will see from the photos.

The reason we needed orange gear – not a colour generally associated with our Batucada uniform – is that we were invited by the Dutch Embassy to lead their fan parade from the Shed 6 Fanzone to the Stadium. The game was a BIG ONE – featuring the two finalists from the last Women’s World Cup – Netherlands vs USA. Of course we said yes – how could we not? How exciting!

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FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 – Spain vs Costa Rica

Kicking off the FIFA Women’s World Cup in style

Wellington Batucada at FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 - Spain vs Costa Rica. Photo by Carolina PratoCasanova.

We were rather thrilled to be asked to provide entertainment for those in the Fan Zone at the FIFA Women’s World Cup this year. We’ve done our share of waterfront performances and parades for big sporting occasions over the years – and it’s great to be able to add another fantastic event to our collective CV.

Our first game was Spain vs Costa Rica – on a super-cold winter’s late afternoon/early evening in late July. What fun! At least if you’re a drummer you can layer multiple undershirts, thermals and vests under your band uniform t-shirt (I was wearing six layers in total, plus scarf, hat and gloves) – but pity the poor (super-staunch) dancers who have much less of a uniform under which to hide extra layers – I’m in awe, quite frankly. They are amazing.
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CubaDupa 2023 – day 2

The mass samba bloco

Wellington Batucada at CubaDupa 2023 day 2 - mass samba bloco. Photo by friends of Jennifer Montgomery.

Over the years, the various samba schools around Aotearoa have developed their own styles, arrangements and choreography, based on the rhythms of Brazil. But we still all share a few patterns, mainly those taught to us a few years ago at the Jambalaya Festival and our own Sambanui immersive workshops.

On day 2 at CubaDupa we were given the opportunity to showcase a couple of these arrangements, with all the samba schools drumming and dancing together in the mass samba bloco. It’s a fantastic experience.

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CubaDupa 2023 – day 1

It’s great to be back!

Wellington Batucada at CubaDupa 2023, day 1 - the parade. Photo by Varun Konikkara.

Oh CubaDupa, how we have missed you!

Our big CubaDupa performance this year was a little more low-key than in previous years – being off-stage at Swan Lane instead of on – but that gave us a fantastic opportunity to include all our signed-off drummers and dancers, rather than having to select only as many as we could fit on-stage.

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Island Bay Festival Parade 2023

The long parade along The Parade

Wellington Batucada at Island Bay Festival Parade 2023. Photo by Deborah Shuker.

We’ve been doing the Island Bay Festival parade for a few years now – it’s one of just a few local parades in suburban Wellington, and we always enjoy it. This year was an earlier start than usual – with heaps of festival activities planned for later on in the afternoon, the organisers had decided to kick things off nice and early on Sunday morning.

It’s a long way down The Parade to the waterfront, and perhaps saving the best until last – or maybe it’s because we’re not particularly speedy – we always get placed almost at the end – just in front of the horses (poor things!).

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Summer Sampler 2023

A dramatically grey-sky day on Wellington’s waterfront

Wellington Batucada at the Summer Sampler 2023. Photo by Tom Etuata.

One of the good things about our 2021 uniform (the red and yellow one) is that it’s visible from space, pretty much. When you’re sitting outside at Mac’s Brewery having a quick beer before the gig, you can spot your fellow band members walking along the waterfront from miles away. It’s quite handy.

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