What a great gig at simply the best Street Festival (again).
Blazing sun, kaleidoscope of colours, plenty of assorted Newtown randomness, keen crowds, a great Taiko collaboration (with some very cool dance-group improvisations for the Taiko beats), and a whoppa turnout (up to 70 performers in total perhaps?). What else to say except WOW!
For those on their first time – now you know what us older hands have been going on about in the lead-up to all this eh! We’ve also had a huge number of enquiries from people wanting to join up especially as dancers after seeing us at the Festival.
Was an epic day and well received by the community. 🌞
Gordo, Batucada’s gig co-ordinator
Part One. Wellington Batucada drummers and dancers perform in the streets at Wellington’s iconic Newtown Festival. Video by Tom S Etuata.
Wellington Batucada drummers and dancers perform in Wellington’s Island Bay Festival Parade. Video by Tom S Etuata.
Thank you from Island Bay Festival:
Hi everyone! Slightly belated, but still heartfelt thank you to you all and your groups for yet another fantastic parade!
Couldn’t do it without you all, and your enthusiastic participation, marching, singing, dancing, trike-riding, acrobat-ing, instrument playing and marshalling really makes it an awesome event. Please pass on my thanks to everyone from your groups who was involved. Til next year… Mel
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!
The 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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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!