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Scholars Day 2007, Wednesday, April 11

From the Roda to the Dance Floor: Capoeira's New Home in the Underground Dance Scene

On New Year's Eve, underground dancers, dressed in white, attend the neo-Brazilian fusion dance party in New York City known as Alma. This unique venue features an eclectic mixture of house music, samba, and the traditional sounds of capoeira. Alma is testament to the recent influence of capoeira on underground house dance in New York. While house has a codified vocabulary and related sensibilities, movement influences from capoeira are seen frequently on the dance floor today. How is it that capoeira, played in organized gatherings of practitioners, has found a home in underground dancing? What historical forces have brought together the music and dance of house (orininating in gay African American dance clubs in Chicago) with Brazilian capoeira (originating in African slave communities in Bahia, Brazil)?

Presenter: Mark Schmidt (Graduate Student)
Topic: Dance
Location: Hartwell Strasser Dance Studio
Time: 10:15 am (Session I)