Brazilian Samba: What is it and why is popular in the culture?

“Energetic” is the ideal word used to describe a popular Brazilian dance form known as Samba. Considered to be extremely “rhythmical”, this style of dancing is said to have its roots embedded in a dance form known as Maxixe. Furthermore, this dance is performed to a music also known as Samba. In addition, Brazilian Samba usually comprises of a number of “dance styles” and not just one. Now, the questions to be asked is, What exactly is the Brazilian Samba, and why is it popular in the culture? And so, here is presenting the appropriate answers.

Brazilian samba
A female Brazilian samba dancer

a. The “Brazilian Samba” what exactly is this South American dance form all about: 

“Afro-Brazilian” elements is what this dance style called Samba mainly comprises of. Historically speaking, this form of dancing was created by the “African slaves” who first arrived in South/Latin America during the early 16th century. It was eventually during the late 16th century that “Samba” music was developed, which then led to the development of this dance form. It was within “ghettos” where the black slaves lived that this style of dancing first took shape. However, this dance was officially first used during the “carnival” which was first established during the 1700’s. Furthermore, this carnival  originated from within a church known “Our Lady of Rosary” that was constructed by the black slaves. It was therefore in order to “celebrate” in a grand way the abolishment of slavery that the “carnival” was organized in Brazil by the slaves. So, popular is this festival that according to “The Rio Times”  this “carnival” attracts about 1.1 million visitors annually, while about 5.3 million population of people actively participate in street parties where Samba is performed live. There exist a number of styles of this dance form, and they include Samba no pe, Samba de gafieira, Samba Pagode, Samba Axis, Samba Axe, Samba Reggae, Samba rock, and Samba De Roda.

b. The “Brazilian Samba” why is it so popular in the culture: 

“Average to very fast” is usually the rhythm used by a dancer to perform the Brazilian Samba. Furthermore, it is  a solo dance that can be easily performed, and involves simple basic movements wherein the performer’s right leg moves slightly to the right while, the left leg is brought slightly towards the front in close proximity to the first foot. In addition, the left leg is bent slightly at the knee in such way that while the left hip lowers it is the right hip that appears higher. Apart from possessing a few easy basic steps, and a relatively fast rhythm, this dance form also comprises of extremely colourful costumes that are worn by the performers, thereby making it extremely popular in the Brazilian culture as well as around the world . It is mainly performed during the annual “Carnival” organized in Brazil and is even performed at festivals organized to exhibit this dance form around the world.

And so, it is essentially the simple and the lively fast basic movements as well as the colourful costumes worn by the dancers that makes Brazilian Samba not only popular within the culture but also around the globe, a feat that few international dance forms can claim to have achieved.

 Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons and Wikimedia Commons

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