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Rhythms and Rhymes of Resistance

Date: 23rd November 2022.

Location: Theatre 1: IWAMD, University of Limerick

Masamba Samba School has been working with the Brazilian Embassy in Ireland and a small team of Brazilian artists based to develop a programme of cultural events that celebrate the bicentennial, and strengthen links between Ireland and Brazil.

This event, called Rhythms and Rhymes of Resistance (Ritmos e rimas de resistência) will seek to investigate the use of culture in the colonial and post-colonial context:-

(i) To maintain identity under cultural oppression, and organise resistance;

(ii) The formation of new post-colonial national identities

This, in turn leads to the modern disruptive use of culture in ex-colonies, in the taking of existing paradigms and re-purposing them.

IIn Ireland we especially see this in the use of language, both Irish and English, through prose, poetry, and drama. However, it could be said that this spirit of cultural resistance can be found throughout the arts in Ireland and the Irish diaspora.

In Brasil, this also happens with language, but artforms such as music and dance, were likewise used as tools in the maintenance of cultural identity and the creation of a new national identity in a post-colonial age.

Perhaps, as countries with this experience, we can lead the way in some of the current debates around race, immigration, gender identity, and decolonisation. From being oppressed, we have learned to become world leaders, or perhaps more correctly world ‘facilitators/negotiators of change’.

Rhythms and Rhymes of Resistance will be a blended experience, presenting a mixture of academic presentations and practical skills workshops in dance and music. This event is supported by the UL@50 initiative, the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, and the Embassy of Brazil in Ireland.


Breandán de Gallaí, Course Director, BA Irish Dance at the IAWMD.

Title: ‘La faux lieu de memoir: Auto-fetishization in Irish dance performance and a cry for cultural rebellion.’

Angela Domingos Peres is a researcher, actress and writer with a PhD in Anthropology and Art. PhD. Angela is an activist of the anti-racist struggle, through theatre and writing which focuses on the intersections of gender, race and class experiences.

Title: ‘The crossroads of knowledge in a decolonial perspective.’

Luciano Tosta Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Center for Global & International Studies, school of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Kansas.

Title: Afro-Brazilian Music and Citizenship: The Work of Ilê Aiyê and Olodum.’

Alessandra Azavedo, Dancer and Choreographer, Criola Dance, Ireland. Alessandra is a native of Salvador da Bahia, the key port of the slave trade, and the area of Brazil most associated with all expressions of negritude in modern Brazilian culture. Alessandra grew up steeped in local traditions and they deeply influence her work. Alessandra will lead a participatory dance workshop, touching on the styles of Afro-bloc, maculêlê, and capoeira.

Simeon Smith, Musical Director, Masamba Samba School. Simeon Smith. Simeon holds a BA is Arts and an MA in Community Development, both from NUIG. He is currently finalising a PhD on his percussion teaching in Irish primary schools at the IWAMD. In his participatory workshop, Simeon and his team will introduce rhythms associated with resistance in Brazil, including, samba reggae/Bloco Afro, maculêlê and maracatu.

The Brazilian Ambassador to Ireland, Sr. Marçel Biato will join us for the wrap up of the academic presentations, and for a short reception at lunchtime.

Running Order

10am - Welcome and introduction

10.15am – Presentation 1: “La faux lieu de memoir: Auto-fetishization in Irish dance

performance and a cry for cultural rebellion”, Dr. Breandán de Gallaí

10.35am – Presentation 2: The crossroads of knowledge in a decolonial perspective, Dr. Angela Domingos Peres

11.00am - Presentation 3: "Afro-Brazilian Music and Citizenship: The Work of Ilê Aiyê and Olodum" – Dr. Luciano Tosta

12.00pm - Q+A - group discussion

12.30 - Lunch/Reception for the Brazilian Ambassador to Ireland, Sr. Marçel Biato

1.30pm – Afro Brazilian Music of Celebration and Protest – Simeon Smith, Masamba Samba School

2.30pm - Decolonising the Body through Afro Brazilian Dance, Alessandra Azevedo, Criola Dance

3.30pm wrap up, possibly with a small performance by workshop participants.

How to participate

The academic presentations will be streamed live on youtube at the following link: The link will go live at approximately 09.45am

The practical skills workshops are free of charge, and are open to practicing musicians and dancers.

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