Changing Minds – Palliative Care Conference 2023

A joyful interlude

Wellington Batucada at Changing Minds – Palliative Care Conference 2023 - photo by AliG

Te Omanga Hospice run this conference as part of their education programme for professionals in the sector. As the subject matter is so serious, they felt that having some entertainment during the conference break would give everyone a lift. They are also always keen to involve the arts in their work whenever possible. We felt quite honoured to be invited to take part.

It was a lovely, warmly received performance – a brief and joyful interlude. The conference attendees were super-enthusiastic, with some joining us as we drummed and danced.
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Society of Diversional and Recreational Therapists Conference 2023

Drumming up a bit of a storm at the James Cook Hotel

Wellington Batucada at the 2023 Society of Diversional and Recreational Therapists Conference - photo by Rebecca Routhan

Diversional and Recreational Therapists have contacts with a wide range of the community, including those with physical disabilities, both healthy and frail elderly, people with developmental disabilities, people with mental illness, children and youths.

Wellington Batucada was asked to provide a bit of entertainment during their Annual Conference – which we were delighted to be able to do.
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FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 – Netherlands vs Spain

A quarter-final in shades of orange (and a bit of red)

Batucada team photo at the FIFA Women's World Cup, Spain vs the Netherlands - photo by AliG

Following the huge success of our Batucada-led fan parade for the Netherlands team a couple of weeks ago, the Dutch Embassy asked us to do it all again for their quarter-final clash with Spain. Of course we said yes! What fun!

It was a beautiful sunny day, and the sky was the most intense midwinter blue you’ve ever seen. It was hot! And the crowds of fans carrying orange flags ready to parade along the waterfront were, if anything, even larger than last time.

Once again we made it onto the ONE News bulletin (go us!) and a quite magnificent time was had by all.
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FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 – Italy vs South Africa

Freezing our socks off down at the waterfront

Wellington Batucada drummers at the FIFA Women's World Cup, Italy vs South Africa - photo by Satya Priyomarsono

Our second evening gig for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 was on a blustery, utterly FREEZING night in early August. Truly the middle of winter – and it felt like it.

I still can’t quite believe our dancers didn’t just keel over with the sheer bitterness of the weather. They don’t get to wear thermals hidden under their costumes like the band can, and I could see the icy wind just whipping their flimsy outfits around like frozen autumn leaves as they danced in front of us.
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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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Relay for Life 2023

A purple day at the races

Wellington Batucada at the Relay for Life 2023 - photo by AliG

Relay For Life is an inspiring community experience that gives everyone a chance to celebrate cancer survivors and carers; remember loved ones lost to cancer; and fight back by raising awareness and funds to support the work of the Cancer Society. It’s a great cause, and one we’re honoured to have been invited to play for once again.

It’s an event full of energy and emotion. Whether you have a connection to someone who has been or is going through cancer, or you just want to make a difference – Relay For Life is for you. The event was again held at Trentham Racecourse – and we were happy to be back after last year’s event was cancelled due to COVID-19.
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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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