Five must-see (and do!) events at the Colorado Brazil Fest

Brazilian music and dance are taking over Boulder for the first annual Colorado Brazil Fest, hosted by the Boulder Samba School. The three-day Brazilian culture immersion festival, from Aug. 2-4, will feature music and dance performances showcasing local talent, a variety of workshops, Capoeira demonstrations, and, of course, traditional Brazilian cuisine.

Join in the fun of dance and percussion classes--and find out what Brazilian music is all about. Boulder Samba School president Greg LaLiberte weighs in on which performances and workshops you shouldn't miss, from Boulder-based Brazilian music groups to Samba dancing.

"What's unique about Brazilian music and culture is the commencement of energy and the liveliness in music and dance," LaLiberte says. "We resonate with that energy and want to share that with people here in this country." The Colorado Brazil Fest is the first of its kind in this region. With the help of local bands Ginga and Sambadende as well as the Boulder Samba School, Brazilian culture has gained traction in this area as more and more people discover the exciting and engaging qualities of the music and dance.

Page down for a list of what to see and do at the Colorado Brazil Fest.

Colorado Brazil Fest Must-Sees

5. Orixás Movement with Kamilah Turner Kakes Studios, Thursday, Aug. 2, 6-7 p.m.

Before the movement dance class, at 5:30 p.m., Carmen Nelson will give a talk on the Orixás and how ritual dances of the African diaspora inform today's popular social dances of the Caribbean region and Latin America.

4. Samba no Pé (Solo Samba Dancing) with Luciana da Silva Kakes Studios, Saturday, Aug. 4, Beginners from 12-1:30 p.m.; Intermediate/Advanced from 1:30-3 p.m.

Beginners: "In this class, first time students will learn the basic steps of Samba no pe, body position, arms, hip circles and some simple combinations. An introduction of the elements of the dance will be presented to help dancers to expand the dance vocabulary. Slow tempo music will be used for practice and then medium and faster tempo added for more challenge. Bring comfortable clothes and good attitude, we are going to have fun."

Intermediate/Advanced: "A series of movements, like walks, jumps, turns and much more, specific to men and women will be used to make combinations in addition to samba no pé. We will start dancing with slow tempo music to develop the confidence necessary to execute the sequences gradually moving up to faster tempo."

3. Samba de Gafieira (Samba Partner Dancing) and Forró with Kamilah Turner Shine Restaurant, Friday, Aug. 3, 6-7 p.m.

From the Colorado Brazil Fest website, "Kamilah Turner is a professional ballet dancer with Cleo Parker Robinson. Her entire life is dedicated to dance she has studied Capoeira, African Dance, Latin Dance, Samba, Axe, and the Orixás of Brazil, just to name a few. She brings her rich experience and unconquerable energy to every class she teaches at the studio."

2. Roda de Samba concert featuring Ginga The Laughing Goat, Thursday, Aug. 2, 8 p.m.

The informal roda, featuring Boulder-based ensemble Ginga, is "the traditional way that this music is performed," LaLiberte says. "It's has a backyard, or in the streets kind of feel," filled with energy and "alergria," or joy.

1. Finale Show featuring Sambadende, Ginga, Bateria Alegria, Corpo do Samba dance troupe, Capoeira Carnaval and special guests Boulder Theater, Saturday, Aug. 4, 7 p.m.

The evening show will feature several local bands and dance troupes, a Capoeira performance (a Brazilian martial art that fuses elements of dance and music) as well as dancers in traditional feather costumes "It's incomparable," LaLiberte says. "It's the kind of sound that would easily fill Red Rocks." Tickets include a dance lesson for festival-goers to join in.

Tickets for the Colorado Brazil Fest workshops are $10 each or three for $25; finale show tickets are $17 and include a dance lesson; visit for more information.

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Melody Parker
Contact: Melody Parker