The History of Samba Dance

in Ballroom Dance - Samba

samba-dance-historyThe History of Samba dance which is an ancient Brazilian style with many variations can be traced back to Africa. For almost a hundred years for the Samba dance history, Samba has been notably performed at the pre-lentern celebrations which is a street dance done at carnival. Several Samba versions, such as Marcha and Baion, are usually performed in Rio’s local carnival. The carioca samba and ballroom samba is primarily derived from the rural type, “rocking samba” that has been in existence for very many years. Carioca refers to a small sized river that passes through Rio de Jenerio. Carioca therefore refers to Rio residents. To date, Samba still remains a very famous dance within Rio. At carnival time a number of Samba schools are established and they consist of many dancers elaborately costumed to present the country’s themes based on Brazil and Rio’s typical music.

The history and origins of samba dance reveals that prior to 1914; Samba was referred to by the Brazilian name of “Maxixe”.  By 1923, an international dance professors meeting noticed the fact that Samba dance was gaining popularity especially in France.

In 1928, Paul Boucher published a French dance book that comprised of Samba dance instructions. In 1933, the samba dance was introduced in the US movie audiences when Dolores Del Rio and Fred Astaire performed the Carioca in ,”Flying Down to Rio” and a number of years later Carmen Miranda performed in “That Night in Rio”. During the New York Society of Teachers of Dancing Meeting, which was held in November in 1938, a Samba exhibition was presented as well. However, according to the history of samba dance, major interest in Samba was sparked during the World fair held in New York in 1939 when the music was played in the Brazilian pavilion. Some years later, Ary Barroso, a Brazilian composer wrote down classic samba known as ‘Brasil’, which was an instant hit. Thereafter  in 1944 Baroso left for Hollywood so that he could write the musical Brazil’s score.

Samba’s rhythm is very specific and its best characteristics are highlighted to their very best using the musical instruments from Brazil: originally known as cabaca, chocalho, tamborim and reco-reco. Most of the Samba music was adapted from Rio’s daily life; the very first popular example being the “Pelo Telefone” that was composed by Donga. A dancer is required to give an exuberant, flirtatious and happy interpretation of the Samba for it to bring out its true character. Majority of the figures that use samba today need a samba tic or a pelvic tilt action. The action is normally quite a task to accomplish but very vital because its absence makes the dance lose effect. Some of Samba’s principal characteristics include rapid steps that are taken on the rocking motion pronounced; the couple’s dancing sway and the quarter of a single beat

The Samba also referred to as Brazilian Waltz, is a fairly popular type of ballroom dance that is mostly limited to ballroom dancers who are experienced .According to the history of Samba dance; this comes about because of the speed involved in the dance.

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