Samba is Brazil's most well-known musical form and most widely played kind of Brazilian music. Samba evolved in Rio de Janeiro by the early 20th century and grew to become the quintessential music and dance form associated with Rio's carnaval. With its rich and syncopated rhythm and its often voluptuous dance moves, it has become the most popular music and dance style of South America. Brazilian musicologists argue about the origins of samba. The word samba most likely is derived from the Kimbundu (Angolan) term semba- the belly bump or navel thrust in dancing. According to Silvio Romero (1954), the term was associated with a Bahian (one of the twenty-six states of Brazil) dance in the second half of the 1800's, when Bahian ex-slaves brought it to Rio de Janeiro. Kazadi wa Mukuna (1979) argues that it may have developed on the coffee plantations of the Paraiba Valley before reaching the capital. Jose Ramos Tinhorao (1986) argues that samba was a product of a middle-class elaboration of Afro-Brazilian musical practices by professional musicians in Rio.
This series we'll focus on the characteristic bounce of the Samba and the intricate rhythms used throughout the dance. Samba is one of the few Latin dances that actually move around the floor.
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