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            The Samba (or Mesemba) which means 'to Pray' is an Afro-Brazilian dance from Bahia, Brazil. Was considered the dance/ music of the slums with an estimated 4 million Africans who were forcibly moved to Brazil in it's slavery days.

    It is said to have been derived from the traditional Brazillian tap challenge dance called the Lundu, (by adding a ballroom hold and using the basic rhythm), The West African-Slaves, Portuguese songs and Indian rituals. When different body motions and carnival steps were added to the Lundu dance, it would be called the "Zemba Queca," which was described as "a graceful Brazilian dance" way back in 1885 and later became known as the Mesemba and finally mixing with the Maxixe during the 1900's became known as the Samba, but didn't gain any real recognition in the USA till around 1940 replacing the Boomps-A-Daisy dance from England.

There are different versions done today such as:

  • Samba de umbigada (most authentic),
  • Samba no Pé (main carnival type),
  • Samba de Gafieira which is a type of 'Brazillian Tango' or Maxixe done to Samba music,
  • The Pagode (partner) and Samba Rock (uses modern music). In 1976 during his tour of Brazil, Bill Haley met a rock group called Lee Jackson. This group mixed rock and roll   with samba music, creating "rock samba" [Format: 12" LP, Label: Copacabana, Catalog #: COLP12037 (Promo)].
  • Carioca Samba, Hollywood's version.
  • Baion or a Batucado = (AKA).
  • Samba Syncopata (Carmen Miranda style)

The Samba was also nicknamed 'The South American Waltz' by the middle class in the late 1930's who liked a newer more sophisticated version, rather than the previous poor version that was then popular. The Bossa Nova (the new way), Lambada and Zouk is a variant of the Samba.

    The Maxixe (bresilien tango) was the first Brazilian folk dance to hit the states in the 1910s. Then came the Samba and by 1924 it found Europe. Historically, a Musician named "Donga" sang the first Carioca Samba titled "Pelo Telephone" in 1916 and is considered to be the first Carioca Samba song. The ballroom Samba was introduced to the States about 1917, however most early American Samba's were written as Two-Steps. It has been reported that Virginia Goletz, (Pasadena, CA), brought the "authentic Brazilian Samba" from Rio to the U.S. However, she probably more of "reintroduced it" to a few Californians.

    The samba is the main dance done at Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Carnival is held Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday) since 1935, altho disguised as Candomblé to get around the ban, however, its roots go way back with the Saturnalias and Bacchanals (see Bacchus) of ancient times. The dance, party's, Samba Schools and music were outlawed in the late 1920's in Brazil, namely Rio until Brazillian president Getúlio Dornelles Vargas started using it in his radio campaigns and by 1936 the ban was lifted with restrictions on it's public presentations and schools (namely must include its country's history.)

Around 1939 Vargas was getting friendly with the United States and Carmen Miranda was about to hit the stage with Fred and Ginger introducing a "new dance"... a ballroom adaptation called"the Carioca" which was named after a small river in Rio de Janeiro became popular in the United States in 1933, although it was a Hollywood creation, with Astaire saying it was based on another dance in Rio, was choreographed by Fred Astaire for the movie "Flying Down to Rio."

    Today during Carnival (kar-knee-val) the samba is no longer danced as a couple dance in Brazil, but more a a stage and group performance with wildly beautiful, flamboyant and alot of sexy costumes, magnificent parade floats and lots of people. The dance usually consists of a "Long Quick-|-Short Quick-|-Slow" rhythm ("one_and-ah-two") done in 2/4, 4/4, 6/8 time with 2/4 being the main signature, done around 100+ bpm's and was said to be the bridge between the dignified forms of ballroom dances and Jitterbug (Chujoy - 1940s). Carnival today is heavily commercialized for tourists, but still holds a huge place for it's music, Singers, Dancers and musicians.

    The Batuque: during the Afro-Brazilian jam sessions the Batuque dancers form a circle around one performer. This solo dancer chooses his successor for the exhibition spot while shouting the word "sama." This dance is said to be connected to the Samba.

 

Birth Place

Creation Date

Creator

Dance Type

Bahia, Brazil 1880s/1916 n/a Latin
 

Posters, Lobby Cards etc.

Sheet Music Covers

CD Compilations

Banana Samba 1914 - Brazilian Maxixe Jazz Samba [CD] (Getz, Byrd)
Flying Down to Rio Rio Brazilian Maxixe Brazilian Portrait [CD] (Bonfa)
Samba a te Rio        
That Night in Rio        
             
 
Music preview clip

Samba and Related Music Titles

Video Clip not available at this time Africano Video Clip not available at this time Meu Samba REGUÉ
Video Clip not available at this time Ain't It Funny (Lopez) Video Clip not available at this time Mocoto Beat
Video Clip not available at this time Brasil Video Clip not available at this time One Note Samba (Fitgerald, Ella) 1969
Video Clip Pop-Up Window
Caramba - It's the Samba (Peggy Lee) Video Clip not available at this time Pelo Telephono (Donga 1916) 1st Carioca Samba
Video Clip not available at this time Carinhoso (Pixinquinha) Video Clip not available at this time Porque Si Porque No
Video Clip not available at this time Carnaval de Paris Video Clip not available at this time Rock around the clock-Brasileirinho (Haley)
Video Clip not available at this time Carnavalera Video Clip not available at this time Samba de Orfeu
Video Clip not available at this time Chico, Chico (Miranda, Carmen)
Video Clip Pop-Up Window
Samba de Uno Nota (Stan Getz)
Video Clip not available at this time Degraus da Vida Video Clip not available at this time Samba Do Aviao
Video Clip not available at this time Glorita (Morales) Video Clip not available at this time Samba Pa Ti
Video Clip not available at this time Hip Hip Chin Chin ( Club Des Belugas) Video Clip not available at this time Samba Rubro Negro
Video Clip Pop-Up Window
Jive Samba (Aderly, Cannonball) 1963 Video Clip not available at this time Party Time (You'll Be Mine)
Video Clip not available at this time Manana Video Clip not available at this time Vamanos (Passion Fruit)
Video Clip not available at this time manhã de carnaval    
 

Night Clubs, etc.

Theaters

Locations

Copacabana São João Teatro 1939 Worlds Fair
Samba Schools       Bahia, Brazil
Tia Ciata's Home       Portugal
            Rio de Janeiro, (Brazil)
            USA
 
Video Clips (pop-up)

Films / Movies

Video Clips (pop-up) Television

Ballets / Stage

Video Clip not available at this time 1927 - Samba (may not be dance related) Video Clip not available at this time 1/1936 - Hora de Brasil (radio show) Street Carnival (1920s) 
Video Clip not available at this time 1929 - Samba (may not be dance related)
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
Milton Berle Show (with Carmen Miranda)  
Video Clip not available at this time 1932 - Truc du brésilien, Le Video Clip not available at this time        
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1933 - Flying Down To Rio [DVD] Video Clip not available at this time        
Video Clip not available at this time 1936 - Alô Alô Carnaval (Carmen Miranda) Video Clip not available at this time        
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1941 - That Night In Rio Video Clip not available at this time        
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1942 - Springtime In The Rockies [DVD]          
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1944 - Popeye - Were On Our Way To Rio          
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1944 - The Three Caballeros          
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1948 - Blame It On The Samba (Donald Duck) Video Clips (pop-up)

Related Dance clips

Publications

Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1948 - Melody Time (Disney)
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
Lambada (Kaoma video) 8/24/1940 - Port Arthur News (Samba w/ Romero & Ryan)
Video Clip not available at this time 1948 - Samba Mania (Paramount Short)
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
Lundu Marajoara
Video Clip not available at this time 1948 - Samba Rhythm
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
Macarena, the (Los del Rio) 9/22/1941 - Life Mag.
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1950 - Nancy Goes To Rio [DVD]
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
Partner Lundu (modern)      
Video Clip not available at this time 1950s - Copa Cabana Review (w/ 6 Samba Sirens) Video Clip not available at this time            
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1955 - Carnival in Rio              
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1959 - Quem Roubou Meu Samba              
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1960 - Black Orpheus              
Video Clip not available at this time 1965 - Samba        

Instructional Videos

Video Clip not available at this time 1977 - Beat of the Heart [DVD]: Samba of Brazil         Samba Funky Moves [DVD] (Kunitz)
Viewable thru a Youtube Video Pop-up window.
1979 - Bye Bye Brasil (Salome)              
Video Clip not available at this time 1979 - Maxixe, a Dança Proibida              
Video Clip not available at this time 1980 - Brazil [DVD]              
Video Clip not available at this time 1982 - Spirit of Samba: Black Music of Brazil [DVD]              
Video Clip not available at this time 1999 - Samba Master              
Video Clip not available at this time 2001 - Samba Riachão              
Video Clip not available at this time 2004 - Samba in Mettmann              
 

Other Related Dances of the time...

Bambuco Carioca danzon' Mambo Rhumba
Batugue (sama) Cateretês Embolada Maxixe Salsa (See Mambo)
Bolero Cha-Cha Lambada Merengue The Son
Bossa Nova Chorro Latin Dance Masemba Tango
Capoeira Conga Lundu Night Club Two Step Two-Step
Carimba | Carimbó Contradanse Macarena Paso Doble Zemba Queca
 

Dancers, Choreographers etc.

Political

1914 - Del Rio and Luis Delores Del Rio 1950s - Princess Margaret
1928 - Paul Boucher Hermes Pan Manuel I
1933 - Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers Lamar & Rosita Getúlio Dornelles Vargas (Brazilian President)
1940 - Cesar Romero w/ Betty Grable, Sheila Ryan Marge and Gower Champion  
1950s - Pierre Levelle (he formalized it) Vernon & Irene Castle (Maxixe)  
1950's - Six Samba Sirens, the Betty Hannon  
Carmen Miranda    
 

Books, Magazine Articles on the dance...

Title Author Date Published Publisher
unknown dance title (My Cover Missing) Boucher, Paul 1928 (in France)
Dance Encyclopedia Chujoy, Anatole 1949 A.S. Barnes & Co.
Let's Dance (The Champions) Taylor, Bob 1954 Grosett & Dunlap
History Of Ballroom Dancing Stepenson 1980 Doubleday
$ Samba Guillermoprieto, Alma
1991 Vintage
$ The Brazilian Sound Pessanha, McGowen 1998 Temple Univ. Press
$ Social History of Brazilian Samba
Shaw, Lisa 1999 Ashgate Publishing
$ Samba y Lambada - Bailes de Salon
Bottomer, Paul 2000 Susaeta
 

Musicians | Composers

Singers

Poets / Writers

Alfredo da Rocha Vianna (Pixinguinha) 1920s Carmen Miranda n/a
Ary Barroso Dorival Caymmi Pescaria  
Donga Elza Soares    
Dorival Caymmi Pescaria Peggy Lee    
Garito (Anibal Augusto Sardinha)        
João Gilberto        
John Phillip Sousa        
 

Misc. Research Words that may be related ... to help your searches

Baccanalia Carioca (White Houses) Malandros Sambodromos
Batuque Carnival mangue beat Tamoyo tribe
Bloco Entrudo maracatu ceremonies Tupi Indian Tribe
Bota Fogo (dance step) Forro Masemba | Mazembe Zabumba
bresilien' Kazumba (Pray) Portuguese Zouk
Candomble (outlawed version) Lambada Samba Schools Lundum (Para lundu)
Carnival History Link

Other...

Basic Step
(Leader starts with left foot, Follower does opposite feet / motion in opposite direction).
Timing: (6/8) or (2/4) Count: 1ah2--3ah4
Position: (Closed Ballroom Hold)

1) Move forward with left foot on count 1,
2) Step together with right foot on count "ah",
3) Step in place with left foot on count 2,
4) Repeat above going opposite direction, starting with opposite foot, can also go sideways and angles.

Note:
dance is done with a slight rocking motion back and forth. Clasped hands held high.
Samba Foot Placement Diagram
 
April 10, 2013 http://www.Streetswing.com/histmain/index.htm
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