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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Lions Tour, July 2017 – All Blacks game

Oh the excitement and the heartache

Lions Tour 2017 - All Blacks game gig 1, the dancers, the band and the big screen - photo by John Bosomworth

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!

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Mary Potter Hospice street appeal 2017

Warming up Cuba Street for a good cause

Mary Potter street appeal 2017 - the dancers doing their thing - photo by Deborah ShukerOn a freezing cold day in May, Batucada drummers and dances warmed up Cuba Street with our rhythms and beats. We were taking part in the Mary Potter Hospice street appeal once again, and a great time was had by all.

A week or so later we received this lovely message from the Mary Potter Hospice:

Thank you so very much for volunteering your time for our Mary Potter Hospice Street Collection. … You will be happy to hear we raised $84,762 over the two days of our Street Collection. We really couldn’t do it without this support – so thank you!!

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