Friday, February 4th at 8 PM

Newark, NJ – Garnering international raves from critics, as well as tens of thousands of audience members, for its performances of Brazilian folk dance based in Bahian folklore, Balé Folcórico da Bahia returns to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Prudential Hall on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 8pm for a program entitled “Sacred Heritage,” paying tribute to the rich cultural traditions of Bahia, one of the 26 states of Brazilian.  Tickets are $21 $36 $44 $52 $62 $82, and may be purchased at 1-888-GO-NJPAC (1-888-466-5722), at or at the NJPAC Box Office at One Center Street in downtown Newark.  This performance is made possible, in part, by The Judy and Josh Weston Fund for Artistic Excellence.

Samba de Roda.  Photo: Marisa Vianna

On February 4, Balé Folcórico da Bahia brings seven works to Newark: “Sacred Heritage” (chor. Walson Botelho and José Carlos Arandiba) was created for the company’s 20th anniversary and celebrates the Afro-Brazilian religious tradition through a series of dances honoring the most important African deities in the pantheon; “Puxada de Rede” (Fisherman’s Dance) (chor. Walson Botelho) is a popular demonstration still seen on the beaches of Bahia in which Iemanjá, the Goddess of the Sea, is invoked by the fishermen and their wives who are asking for an abundant catch; “Berimbau” (chor. José Carlos Arandiba), expressed through music and capoiera, is based on an African legend of a young couple from warring tribes whose love is forbidden by their people; “Samba de Roda” (chor. Walson Botelho) is a celebration of the samba, the most popular dance and rhythm in Bahia; “Capoeira” (staging: Walson Botelho and José Carlos Arandiba), showcases the form of martial art which originated in Africa and was brought to Brazil during the colonial period by slaves from Angola; “Afixirê” (chor. Rosângela Silvestre) is a dance that pays homage Africa’s influence on Brazilian culture; and “Samba Reggae” (chor. José Carlos Arandiba and the company) mixes Afro-Bahian rhythms such as afoxé, ijexá, and samba duro with Caribbean influence and reggae.

Founded by Walson Botelho with Ninho Reis in 1988, and now under the artistic direction of José Carlos Arandibathe, Balé Folcórico da Bahia is based in the city of Salvador in the northern Brazilian state of Bahia. The 38-member troupe of dancers, singers, and musicians performs a repertoire of works based on Bahian folkloric dances that include slave dances, capoeira, samba, and the celebration of Carnival.   The company’s many national and international tours have earned it a prestigious reputation throughout the country and abroad, where it has performed for audiences of up to 50,000 (at Berlin’s Alexander Platz International Festival).  This is the third NJPAC performance for the company.


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At the N JPAC performance:


Estevam Alves, Alan Dias, Diogo França, Nildinha Fonseca (soloist in “Fishermen’s Dance” and “Afixirê”), Rafael Leal, Glauber Lima, Joice Nogueira, Reinaldo Pepe (soloist in “Afixirê), Valfredo Pereira, Luana Pessanha, Adeilton Ribeiro, Jair Santana, Edileuza Santos, Darlan Silva, Rose Soares (soloist in “Afixirê”), Agatha Souza, Priscila Vaz


Alcides Morais, José Ricardo Sousa, Fábio Santos (berimbau and conga soloist in “Afixirê”), Mário Sérgio Santos, Joel Souza


João Gonzaga, Dora Santana


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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...