Coastlands Carnival 2019

A birthday celebration up the coast

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!
Jennie Gutry

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CubaDupa weekend 2019 – samba jam party

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.

Newtown Fair 2019

Newtown does it again!

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.

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Island Bay Festival 2019

Fun in the sun by the sea

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

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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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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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