Drawing on rich Afro-Brazilian traditions and mythology, Samba Fogo presents high-energy music and dance performances that bring the fire, joy, and intensity of Brazilian Carnaval to audiences young and old.
Performances feature an array of Brazilian cultural arts, including dance and music forms such as Samba, Samba Reggae, and Afro-Brazilian folkloric dance, as well as the beautiful and lethal martial art of Capoeira.
Samba Fogo seamlessly blends traditional with contemporary, adding contemporary dance, fire dance, and diverse instrumentation into the mix to create a unique, exciting, and culturally rich audience experience, fueled by the pulse of live music.
Samba Fogo is a glimpse into a culture and arts organization that has been cultivated in Salt Lake City through the vigor and charisma of its directors, dancer Lorin Hansen and her husband and musical director Mason Aeschbacher.
Samba Fogo performs and teaches in a multitude of settings, from outdoor arts festivals to proscenium theatres, schools, stadiums, and community events. Roaming or stationary, Samba Fogo adds an exciting Carnaval atmosphere to any event. Since getting their start as a community performing arts group in 1990, Salt Lake City-based Samba Fogo has been captivating audiences throughout the Western United States.
In 2012-2014, Samba Fogo sold out Salt Lake City’s 550-seat Jeanne Wagner Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, headlined at the Salem, Oregon Worldbeat Festival and Utah Arts Festival, and performed at widely attended events such as EVE Salt Lake City, Rock Springs International Day, and the Utah Brazilian Festival.
Throughout the performance, I sensed I was witness to some very sacred, native ritual. I watched not as a voyeur, however, but as a member of humanity and participant, these dances somehow tying us all to our ancient, tribal roots. It was as magical as the boy beside me believed it to be, a hallucinogenic, primitive Cirque du Soleil of incantations, celebration and ceremony.
Samba Fogo maintains a strong connection to community and a commitment to education by offering guest classes and workshops to various schools and programs in the Western United States, in addition to maintaining weekly music and dance classes in Salt Lake City, year-round.
Samba Fogo’s high-energy performances and educational residencies offer communities the opportunity to experience the deep-rooted culture, infectious enthusiasm, and celebratory spirit that makes Brazil famous.
The curtain rose, revealing a young woman in white. She and the other dancers seemed oblivious to one another, each performing her own movements separately against the silence. With the first martial drumbeats, the members of Samba Fogo showed themselves to be a powerful force combining ritualistic dance and dynamic energy for a spectacular display of Brazilian culture.