Monday, 4 February 2008

Carnival at the Island

As I said before, here at this Island, Carnival is celebrated in a very peculiar way.

People create groups, with some musicians to tell a story, about every day life, normally with social critics.
Carnival dances – “Danças e Bailinhos” – are the name given by the locals to this form of folk theatre.
The dances are composed by two rows of eight dancers, a "Master" (with a sword or tambourine and a whistle) and a variable number of characters for the "plot", together with a group of musicians who sometimes also take part on the “plot”.
Until some years ago women weren’t allowed to participate in those dances. When there was a female character it was a man dressing like a woman. Now women also take part of that, but men still do female characters, just for more fun.
These groups perform during the Carnival celebrations at theatres, clubs and associations all over the Island, which are full of people to see them, almost all days and the most part of the nights of the Carnival period.
Also islanders and visitors follow the dances’ itinerary around the island.
The people from The Island find in these dances the magic needed to tell what goes on in their souls.

Below there’s a YouTube video that I found, in which you can see a bit of the music part, and another one with a bit of a "plot".


  1. Beautiful and wonderful. Thank you for sharing!

    I'm glad to hear that women are now part of the festivities, and I hope the role of women will grow in this part of your culture.

  2. It sounds quiet interesting. Please, tell us more.

    Now I awarded you too. You make my day too. :)

  3. I love the idea of this; people around dancing on the island. I love the sound of Portuguese and the people. I've been to Portugal once (Lisbon) and I had a great time there.

    Thanks for this festive post!


  4. Uma das minhas grandes paixões... ;-)


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