Last night we went to the Bloco Escuta Levino gathering, which was essentially a huge dancing parade through the streets of Recife, from the Praça Maciel Pinheiro to Recife Antigo. Maestro Lessa’s orchestra played and the Guerreiros do Passo performed. The Guerreiros created a roda at the beginning of the parade and gave a taste of what frevo might have looked like in the 1940s, in full costume and dancing in the style of the time.
This was the first bloco I’ve been to where, despite the crowds, people made space to dance full out. We would walk for a bit, and then, once the mood hit us, we would “cair no passo” again, finding a space to kick and jump and swing. Every so often, a roda would form amidst the crowds, and some amazing dancers showed off their tricks, maneuvering their sombrinhas and some full-sized guarda-chuvas (umbrellas) under their legs, between their legs, behind their backs, and up above their heads.
Indeed, the umbrellas came in handy. It poured down rain, which only made the frevo dancing more fervent! We didn’t have umbrellas, so we were soaked…and happy.
Yesterday we saw some great frevo performances at the roda de frevo com Maestro Spok in front of the Paço do Frevo! We saw Otávio Bastos, of the great YouTube channel Mexe Com Tudo, Wilson Aguiar of Brincantes Das Ladeiras, dance master Ferreirinha do Passo, and Jae Shin, the champion of the 2017 European frevo competition, among many others. Check out the video to see their individual styles and nuanced interpretations of the music!
Paço do Frevo, Recife Antigo. 4 de fevereiro de 2018.
I have a lot of work to do to learn the lyrics of the songs that the frevo de bloco groups sing! This Bloco da Saudade event was filled with people in elaborate costumes and holding decorated flabelos to represent their group. The dancing to this slower style of frevo was more staid, but the energy came from everyone belting out the lyrics to the songs.
Later in the event, Mestre Lessa came out to lead the band in some exciting frevo de rua and frevo canção (the faster styles of frevo, the latter having lyrics). This was my moment to try some of the steps I’d been learning at classes with the Guerreiros do Passo. I think I still have some practicing to do! Luckily there will be countless opportunities this carnival season.
AABB (Associação Atlética Banco do Brasil, Graças, Recife). 19 de janeiro de 2018.