This past weekend, Jacaré Brazil and Agbedidi teamed up for a lively performance in Downtown Gainesville’s Bo Diddley Plaza that brought the audience to its feet. The diverse pieces in the show brought together Brazilian and African dance in a way that demonstrated their distinct and similar features. While in the crowd, you could feel the joy these performances brought attendees because with every new song, audience members got up and danced with their friends and family. It was inspiring to see cultural music and dance move people the way it did at this performance on Friday night.
“Working with Mohamed (DaCosta, director of Agbedidi) on this West African Guinean piece was a beautiful, culturally rich experience,” said Rachel Galt, a senior dance minor at UF.
“I loved dancing with such an energetic group of dancers and wearing the vibrant costumes!”
As Galt noted, this performance made everyone involved appreciate different ways of life across the world. When sitting in on the West African dance class, you witness all of the hard work and dedication not only the dancers put toward the show, but also DaCosta, who choreographed the African dance, and Juliana Azoubel, who visited from Brazil to choreograph the Brazilian piece.
As Larry Crook of Jacaré Brazil noted about the show, “It was great showing the Gainesville community some of what the UF School of Music and School of Theatre and Dance have to offer. The highlight for me was playing maracatu for our visiting artist and UF graduate, Juliana Azoubel.”
The Jacaré Brazil and Agbedidi performance was a beautiful combination of Brazilian music and Brazilian and African dance that celebrates art, culture and experiencing life.
“I have really enjoyed working with my dance students on this performance,” DaCosta said. “They try hard and that is all a dance teacher can ask for. I love seeing students who have no African dance experience before the semester get good. We are one big family.”