Sunday, 7 December 2014

Praia, Santiago island - Cape Verde - Batucadeiras da Achada de Santo António at Quintal da Música - The 26th of November 2014 (evening)

We decided we would go back to Quintal da Música that evening as there would be a performing group of "batucadeiras". Difficult to define, let alone describe this type of Musical performance pertaining to this particular island is explosive and contagious. It very much depends on the background tapping of the "musicians", the voice of the singer and eventually the frenetic dancing (or rather thigh moving) of the dancers. 

As evening fell we made to Quintal, where we had a rather tasty "risoto" like plate (Cape Verdian style) before the performing act of the Batucadeiras da Achada de Santo António.

... And what an act it was ... - The voice of the female "caller" of the group was powerful, melodious and at times "raw". She interacted with the public in a rather straight forward way, which inevitably had an impact on both those who could understand what she was saying and the ones who couldn't. (The "batuco" lyrics are almost always life and social politics related, which further enhances the power of this type of "song/dance). The tapping was frenetic at times and as we were led into the "crescendo" the young female dancers would step in and move their thighs in an equally frenetic way.
At one particular moment throughout the performance a physically impaired lady dancer made her way onto the stage literally dragging herself on the ground and had us all speechless the moment she started dancing (... yes, because tha's what she did, she danced beautifully despite the physical "limitations" ...).
Then it was time for the dancers to invite guests onto the stage by handing them the white scarves they would have to put around their thighs before starting to "move" them. I was the first one to be handed a scarf, together with a French male guest ... and I feel we didn't do too bad at moving our thighs (the overall atmosphere must have played its part, as it was an ambiance of pure excitement in the room), others followed, from Cape Verdian origin guests to strangers, including the lady who had been serving us.


It was a magic evening none of those who "participated" in it will easily forget ... 


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