World Arts West
SF Ethnic Dance Festival


Fogo Na Roupa Performing Company

GENRE: Baile Carnavalesco
ARTISTIC DIRECTORS: Jose Rivera, Metzi Henriquez
First Appearance in SF EDF: 2013

Founded in 1989 by Mestre Carlos Aceituno, Fogo Na Roupa is a Bay Area, award-winning, Brazilian Carnaval dance and percussion company and carnaval group, a diverse community of dancers, musicians, and carnavalescos rooted in the study of Afro-Brazilian dance and percussion.

Before his untimely passing in 2006, Mestre Aceituno developed one of the largest, strongest San Francisco Carnaval contingents. Fogo Na Roupa, under the artistic direction of Jose Rivera and Metzi Henriquez, continues to fire up the crowds.The group has won multiple San Francisco Carnaval Grand Championships, most recently in 2011, as well as Best of the Bay 2011, and a 2012 “Corazon Del Barrio Award” from Mission Cultural Center.


TITLE: Carnaval do Fogo
GENRE: Baile Carnavalesco
ARTISTIC DIRECTORS: Jose Rivera, Metzi Henriquez
CHOREOGRAPHERS: Alicia Brooker, Metzi Henriquez
DANCERS: Helen Alfaro, Renee Ananda, Alicia Brooker, Belen Bohan, Alexandra Candia, Angelica Dewitt, Mariko Drew, Princess Adjahni Fields, Rafeah Alexander-Fields, Asatu Hall, Metzi Henriquez, Lisa Lopez, Tara Love, Rosa Machuca
MUSICIANS: Hector Benitez, Victorino Cartagena, Pedro Marroquin, Kimberly Moore, Jose Rivera, Ki Won Yoon, Marcos Zaragoza


In a performance called Carnaval do Fogo, Fogo Na Roupa brings their unstoppable street party to the stage, dancing clothes-on-fire samba, a full contingent of drummers and dancers parading together—and their shared goal is euphoria.

The style is urban-derived, funky samba, inspired by Brazilian samba-reggae. It features the company’s unique, signature parading style, regalia, and movement—coined “Fogolystic” by loyal fans. Samba-reggae is a music and dance form from Salvador, Bahia. It was developed by Brazilians of African descent as carnaval parade music they could call their own, with elements from the reggae rhythms of Jamaica and Afro-Brazilian samba.

The dancers wear full carnaval regalia. Red, green and yellow represent Africa; headpieces of coque feathers honor Brazil’s indigenous people; and the regalia reflects the influence of both cultures.

The Brazilian Carnaval is an annual spring festival, held just before the period of Lent, when Catholics traditionally abstained from eating meat. As Carnaval was the final party before over a month of religious discipline, prayer, and repentance, it had to be a big one! Today, Brazilians are famous for their enormous, six-day, city-wide extravaganzas of dancing and singing in the streets. In southeastern Brazil, and in Carnaval celebrations around the world, small parties called blocos invite everyone to dance, but the parades are filled with skilled, extravagantly decked-out, and minimally-dressed samba schools. In San Francisco’s own Carnaval—celebrated the Sunday before Memorial Day—Fogo Na Roupa is known for fantastic and lively contingents, some two hundred dancers and drummers deep!

The dances and rhythms in this performance were inspired by the teachings of Mestre Carlos Aceituno, which artistic directors Jose Rivera and Metzi Henriquez continue to study and teach to company members. This piece was created and set for stage in 2012 by choreographers Metzi Henriquez and Alicia Brooker. The music is played by the Fogo Na Roupa bateria led by Jose Rivera, a full ensemble of parading drums playing Afro- Brazilian rhythms in “Fogolystic” style.

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