Tag Archives: BrasArte

Washing the blues away with Lavagem in Berkeley

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Everyone knows about Brazil’s famously exuberant carnival celebrations, which bring millions of people onto the streets for all-night samba-soaked revelry. In Salvador da Bahia, the heart of Afro-Brazilian culture, the Lavagem do Bonfim rivals carnival when it comes to communal celebration, though it’s not nearly as well known. On Sunday, the Casa de Cultura at San Pablo and Hearst is hosting a festival marking Brazilian Independence Day with a Lavagem inspired by the traditional blessing ceremony that culminates on the steps of the Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim after a long percussion-powered procession through Salvador. (Watch the video above to get a taste.)

The celebration opens in the morning with free dance classes and features performances on the main stage from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Lavagem procession and blessing takes place at 2 p.m. For Conceição Damasceno, the founder and guiding spirit of the Casa de Cultura, the ritual is more about staying connected to her Bahian heritage than with summoning the orixás, the syncretic deities of Candomblé that combine Yoruban and Catholic mysticism. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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Out in Berkeley: From Brazil, a street party, a songstress

Kenia: Brazilian xxx playing the Jazzschool on xxx
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No one is likely to mistake Berkeley for Salvador de Bahia, the northeastern Brazilian city famous as the heartland of Afro-Brazilian culture. But on Sunday, at least for a day, San Pablo Avenue will resound to the thundering pulse of samba drums and the springy twang of berimbaus, as the BrasArte’s Casa de Cultura celebrates Brazilian independence day with a Lavagem.

Founded and run by Conceição Damasceno, BrasArte is a dance studio and concert venue that serves as the … Continue reading »

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