As we write this blog post during our first weekend of New Zealand’s Level 4 total lockdown, we reflect on what we should have been doing today – performing on-stage at CubaDupa – our biggest and most anticipated show of the year.
The theme of this year’s CubaDupa was to have been “Beautiful disruption”, which is pretty apt, considering where we are now.
Although the sun has come out this afternoon, the Weather Gods have pretty much slammed the weekend with continuous heavy rain and a cold Southerly. That, at least, makes staying at home today instead of celebrating on the street with the CubaDupa massive, slightly more bearable. You have to look for silver linings where you find them these days, eh?
So let’s take a look back at CubaDupa (and the Cuba Street Carnival) from previous years – and get inspired and motivated to unite and beat the coronavirus – and get back together for CubaDupa 2021.
Thanks a million to our resident (official!) photographer and videographer Tommy Etuata for taking the time to put this gem of a video together of Wellington Batucada’s Cuba Street journey through the years – Enjoy!
Wellington Batucada performing at the Cuba Street Carnival and CubaDupa. Video by Tom S Etuata.
Wellington Batucada drummers and dancers perform at the 50th Birthday Celebration for Coastlands Mall in Paraparaumu. Video by Tom S Etuata.
This was a fun gig that got a lot of people moving. The organizers have given us great feedback and apparently the crowd was good over the whole event. Here is a thank you from Jenny who was the main organiser (and a fellow sambista herself from Samba Ao Vento in Palmy).
Thank you all so much for helping put on such a great event on Saturday. We reckon about 4000 people over the five hours. It was such a large space it never felt like that but food trucks sold out and those who were there had a good time. The MC, production, stage, sound and music were exceptional. Thank you!
Pride is such a wonderful gig to be a part of. We’ve watched this fantastically inclusive event grow over the years to become quite epic, and it’s one of the band’s favourite parades – probably the craziest parade we do. The crowd and all our fellow paraders are so much fun.
Wellington Batucada drummers and dancers perform live at the Opera House, Wellington, New Zealand – as part of CubaDupa 2019. This year we celebrated the life and music of Mestre Moa do Katande, who was an inspiration to us all.
Jamming with our samba-loving mates from around NZ
Wellington Batucada host a samba jam party at the Cook Island Hall for all our samba-loving friends and bands from around the country. Video by Tom S Etuata.
Featuring Samba Ao Vento (Palmerston North), Sambatron (Hamilton), Tauranga Samba (Tauranga), Bay Batucada (Napier/Hastings), Nelson Ambassadors (Nelson), and Wellington Batucada (Wellington). With a bonus glimpse of Wellington Batucada’s Opera House stage performance the following day.
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
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.