Community Arts Night with Bloco Afro Brazilian Dance

Viver Brasil company member Shelby Williams-Gonzalez will teach an Afro-Brazilian dance class in the style of Bloco Afro at CCUSD’s FREE Community Arts Night at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 26. This interactive workshop will include family-friendly movements that celebrate joyful community and African heritage. So, get the family together, jump into some comfy clothing, and create some space to move around so everyone can join in the workshop!

Bloco Afro style is a particularly interesting style of dance. During Brazil’s 1964-85 military dictatorship, Bloco Afro formed in Salvador da Bahia’s black neighborhoods as a means of resistance by creating new dance and music forms that affirmed equity and celebrated African heritage, inspired by the US Civil Rights Movement. These dances, songs, and rhythms engage participants in the fight against the oppression of people of color, not just in Bahia or the US, but within the entire African Diaspora. The black arts leaders of this movement took a broken system of oppression and injustice and, with the power of creativity, inspired communal art that exalts African heritage. Bloco Afro creators took to the streets singing, dancing, and resisting through art together as a community. Utilizing the Bloco Afro with today’s youth of color simultaneously acknowledges contemporary social justice struggles and honors the ancestral efforts of the originators, offering a platform for healing as a community through the joyful power of dance, song, and rhythm.

CCUSD Community Nights are made possible by a generous grant from Sony Pictures Entertainment.

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