Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bahia Drums

Tiggy wrote back from Bahia:
Drums, the heat of Salvador,
Moister in the air from a hundred mouths
Cheering the dancers, descendants of the black slaves
Reliving their history .
The club I sit in is an old sugarcane plantation
A mansion of Portuguese masters and African slaves
The lower basement where slaves were kept is where the venue is, people local and tourist flock to see the dance of the pagan gods and the fighting of the slaves.
Young bodies slicked with palm oil
Delicious chocolate girls, fluid and sensual
Shaking their wild manes at the audience
The young men, proud cockerels
Stomping and preening
Light as feathers in a fury of the fight choreography
Kicking at each other’s heads to an escalating
Tempo of tam-tams under the ham like hands of an
Amazingly huge drummer .
Somersaulting in the air, the young men strut to the edge of the stage to shout at the audience who’s female part react with shrieks and flirty shouting ,
This from the darker side of the stage, for even in this day , there is a white side and a black side.
As a second phase begins, the young men start to shuffle and shove each other, the reason becomes obvious as one of the girls walks to the center
Starts to dance, then picks one of them and dares him to keep up with her.
As the young man leaps to defend his prowess, she leads him through a series of provoking moves as they move around the stage to the instinct rousing music and the crowd pounding on the tables.
The girl clearly disqualifying the young man, casually
Kicks him off the stage and with a last shake of her hips gives the floor over to the next girl before leaving.
On it goes , and as the show continues the blood of the crowd warms and not even the white tourists can keep themselves from being lured into the dance, butchering the moves with the comic abandon of a people who have no concept basic instinct.
Capoeira Angola: Fluid, dance like movements done close to the ground. With shifty rythmic movements, combined with the look of playfulness or vulnerability an adversary is brought to defeat. The basic technique through which the Capoeira Angola player develops the game is the Ginga, a shifty side to side movement. At the heart of the art is the music lead by the Berimbau, a steel stringed bow instrument with a gourd resonator. When Capoeira Angola is played the Berimbau signals the beginning and the end of each game, and governs the style and speed of the play. The Berimbau is usually joined by the Pandeiro (Tambourine), the Agogo (African bell), and the Atabaque (a conga-like drum).

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