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Aguas da Bahia

Performances in
World Arts West Programs
Instruments Used
Agogo bells
Tumbadora (Conga)
Aguas da Bahia

aguas at EDF festivalAguas Da Bahia was created in 1998 whose mission is to share the rich, invigorating and spiritually vibrant cultural dance and drumming traditions of Central and Northeastern Brazil. The company presents lesser-known dances from the deep well of Brazilian art and culture, showcasing a panorama of original choreographies from traditional Orixa and folkloric dances to the hip urban dance of "samba reggae."

In 2000 at ODC San Francisco, Aguas Da Bahia collaborated with Axe Abada, a capoeira performance group, to combine dance and theater for a visceral exploration of the history and influence of African culture in Brazil. Aguas Da Bahia also performed at the San Francisco Carnaval and Oakland Carajama Carnaval parades in 1998 and 2001, and at the S.F. Cow Palace and Stanford University. In 2002, Aguas Da Bahia performed for the first time at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, with "Conto Nordestino" a work that showcased the "Xaxado" dance, a light-hearted and energetic folk dance, and "Bomba Meu Boi" a traditional dance/play from Brazil's Northeast interior.

taniaTania Santiago, the choreographer and Artistic Director, is a native of Bahia, Brazil. She studied at the FundaŽao Cultural Do Estado Da Bahia, receiving a degree in dance from the SESC Association and School of the Arts, located in Salvador. She has taught, danced and choreographed for the most well known companies in Brazil including Shama, SESC/SENAC, Grupo Pastoril da Bahia, Viva Bahia, Bale Folclorico da Bahia and the Afro Bloco Olodum. Tania choreographed and performed for Olodum on television, at concerts and at music festivals in Europe, Asia and North America. She also taught dance at the Olodum Creative School for Youth in Bahia, choreographing and directing seasonal performances.

While her specialty is folkloric and contemporary Afro-Brazilian dance Tania has studied Jazz, Ballet, West African, Afro-Cuban and Modern dance as well. Residing in California since 1997, Tania teaches workshops throughout California as well as in New Orleans, Hawaii, New York, Florida, Seattle, and Vancouver, Canada. Sponsored by the California Arts Council in 2001 and 2002, she has been a featured guest artist, teaching and choreographing performances for the Axe Abada performance group, and has been an artist in residence at after school programs and in the S.F. public schools serving the Bayview, Mission, Western Addition, and Visitation Valley neighborhoods.

Musical Director
Gamo Da Paz

gamoGamo is a native Brazilian who has traveled the world performing and teaching Afro-Brazilian music. He was musical director of Bale Folklorico Da Bahia from 1991 to 1993. Gamo has performed in Carnaval in Salvador, Bahia with the largest Blocos Afros (Bahian Carnaval contingents which showcase African-Brazilian culture) and with Gilberto Gil and Carlinhos Brown.

Gamo has participated in three CD recordings. In 2000 Grupo Ofa released "Odum Orim, Festa da Musica," a CD of Candomble music for the Orixas arranged by Gamo on which he sings lead vocals and plays lead drum. Gamo has taught courses in North American Universities, and at the annual California-Brazil music camp. He is an expert in the folkloric and religious aspects of Afro-Brazilian music, and is sought after in the U.S. for his profound knowledge of Candomble rhythms and songs.

First appeared in People Like Me 2003


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