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Kate Spanos at PCA/ACA conference
April 19 @ 4:45 pm - 6:15 pm
Kate Spanos will present her paper, “A dance of resistance from Recife, Brazil: carnivalesque improvisation in frevo,” at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA) annual conference in Washington, DC.
Frevo is an energetic dance from Recife, the capital of Brazil’s northeastern state of Pernambuco. Frevo is a dance of resistance because it narrates complex notions of identity that contribute to social empowerment through strategic processes of liberation for marginalized groups. The carnivalesque dance originates from the Brazilian martial art of capoeira and it participates in the kinesthetic disruption of power hierarchies as it is performed during carnival’s crowded, unpredictable, and often violent streets. Through this ethnographic research, I consider how frevo practitioners engage in cultural resistance using a practice that I call “carnivalesque improvisation.” Such strategies of resistance are transmitted through distinct teaching methods, allowing dancers to engage in improvisational processes of self-liberation. This paper will focus specifically on the work of Edson “Vogue” Flavio, creator of the frevogue (frevo + vogue) style and member of the frevo dance troupe, Guerreiros do Passo.