CubaDupa 2021

We waited 2 years for this – and it was well worth the wait!

Wellington Batucada drummers and dancers parade at CubaDupa. Photo by Paul Taylor.

What a weekend! Sunday in particular was a very big day for us…

Mass Samba Carnival Bloco

Every year we get together with our sister samba schools from around the country who come down to perform at CubaDupa, and we play a Mass Samba Carnival Bloco together. Over 200 drummers and dancers, doing their thing. Love it.

This footage includes our one and only rehearsal together in the morning, together with the gig later that day.

Drummers and dancers of the mass bloco – CubaDupa 2021. Video by Tom S Etuata.

The parades

This year we did a parade down Cuba Street to our stage show, and a parade from our stage show to the Samba HQ at Whistling Sisters – and then for good measure, a mini-parade from Samba HQ all the way back up Cuba Street again. Awesome!

Wellington Batucada drummers and dancers – CubaDupa parade x3 2021. Video by Tom S Etuata.

Wellington Batucada drummers and dancers – CubaDupa parade x3 2021 – Super-duper hi-res version.
Video by Tom S Etuata.

Stage show

The full video of our 30-minute stage performance on Sunday afternoon.

This gig felt amazing to be a part of – and the mixing desk guy was a complete genius, managing to capture voices and drums with the same mikes – impressive.

We LOVED doing this show – we think it’s one of our best CubaDupa performances ever – and when the sun broke through the clouds and shone down on us all – we got chills. Enjoy!

Wellington Batucada drummers, dancers and band – the full CubaDupa stage show 2021. Video by Tom S Etuata.

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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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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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Batucada beginners’ drumming course starts 10 June 2018

Learn samba drumming with Wellington Batucada!

Tamborims and agogos onstage at CubaDupa 2018

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.

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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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Newtown Fair 2018

Drumming and dancing in the sun

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!

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