Photos by Linsy Hunsaker
The night began with slow tempo dances of the Orixa, Afro-Brazilian gods and goddesses of nature; including a sword dance by Ogún, the god of technology and war. Even though I didn't understand the words, vocalist Carla Arancibia's performance was my favorite part. She belted out Afro-Brazilian compositions for over an hour, at times dancing with the drummers across the stage.
The theme of the night was "Inspiração Do Fogo," meaning "breath of fire," which the dancers took literally. They twirled fire on sticks and battons, occasionally eating it.
The fire may have been the most exciting aspect of the show, but the martial arts were a close second. If you haven't seen a Capoeira demonstration, catch Samba's next performance. You won't find a more graceful fighting style.
Unlike other dance performances, Samba Fogo is not just a spectator sport. The audience was urged to clap along, shout when it suited, and even get up and dance at times. Needless to say, the energy was contagious.