Although our group had its ups and downs being part of this great experience was certainly unforgettable. The performance consisted of Brazilian orixa dances which have been commonly practiced in the Afro-Brazilian communities in Brazil since the beginning of the colonial period. This tradition was brought over by the African slaves during the early 16th century as a way to keep their African roots and culture alive in the New World. Although our dance was not one of the most elaborate and well constructed it was with no doubt very interesting and relevant to our theme and subject-matter. Our dance consisted of ten oriza dances and even though most of our group used American music to dance and incorporate our theme into the parade, our dances dealt with the way the deities moved and what their moves actually represented. Orixa is the word for spirits that reflects ones manifestations in the Afro-Brazilian religion of Candomble. Our parade intertwined Orixa movements with pop culture music and or movements. The theme of our project was water conservation and we used 5 different ways good and bad that we can either preserve water or show how much we are wasting it and how we are doing it.
Water conservation sis something that now-a-days is one of the greatest concerns dealt with in international meetings and gatherings by the superpowers and scientists. Water is the base of life and without enough water, we simply just could not live the way we would need to. In order to show how wasteful humans are, the group came up with five different ways to show how we waste water carelessly. One of the five is the waste of water while drinking water from a water bottle. Most of time, water left in a bottle, in other words, and a water bottle left unfinished is just tossed out or simply played around with especially during the summer. We incorporated the Orixa of Yemanja which has movements similar to the movements portrayed by the waves of the ocean and water in general. We not only performed the actions when water is being wasted but also found a way to include something we could do to try and stop being so wasteful. The second orixa dance was the dance of Ogum which was portrayed through the car wash section. The car wash is something that most people do; often leaving out the water hose running when in fact one could simply get a bucket of water and wash it step by step without wasting so much water. The third way people are so wasteful is the way people water their driveways. Driveways should definitely never be watered, why one should water the driveway when one can simply scoop up the dirt with a broom and/or mop and clean it then. There is no rightful reason to water the driveway when by the next morning, dirt, dust, leaves and other debris will be on it again.
The fourth way people are so water wasteful is by showering; showering usually takes no more than 15 minutes. 15 minutes is more than enough to rub all that dirt off of you. Although we can shower in about average 15 minutes, people shower for hours, playing with their toys, relaxing in the tub, etc. We portrayed this through using a rubber ducky while one showers while another person, the average person would take about 5 minutes showering and coming out quickly. Finally the last way people waste so much water is by using sprinklers. Sprinklers used to water the lawn, especially in UC Riverside create a dilemma. Although they are used to water the plants, many sprinklers here in UCR have gotten broken and by the time they are programmed to go off, they simply soot up or begin watering the cement rather than the plants and grass. So our theme is basically determining and trying to help out our society as well as trying to educate them and teaching them to use water carefully and wisely as well as moderately. The group consisted of 12 people, two leaders which eventually became the singers during the performance whom were Yaheema and her friend. Then came the people who portrayed the scenarios in a good and the bad way, which followed Aracely and Avneet. After then came Evelyn and Sindy for good and bad, then came Diana Jonathan and Depika, followed by Diana and Monique and finally Carol and I at the end of the parade followed by Noeh which was the rain God of Axe.
Our jobs were divided up into choreographer, person in charge of scheduling, props and costumes, photography and recording, director and assistant director and last but not least, the person in charge of the music. The music was my duty as a group member. I was told to find songs for each orixa dance to try to incorporate the song into the dance and the movements for the performance. I had to download songs in order to get them to work on the laptop. The songs used for the performance were, “car wash,” “smoke on the water”, two random orixa dance songs, “skull and crossbones”, “the clean up” song, the “rubber duckie” song, “samba de janeiro” and “mas que nada.” The music was finally mixed into one entire song and played over and over until finally combined with a Michael Jackson intermission which gave the next dancer a chance to step and get ready for their own dance following the dancers before them. Being part of this project helped me realize how badly we are wasting water without taking an instance to look back and determine what could happen if we really do lose water. The performance over all was lovely, I had never performed in something so special to me and not just to me but to the entire group. Water is something we must all treasure, as well as friendship and even though some of us had some arguments, we pulled out of it and kept working on something which had become all there was to our lives during these past few weeks. The performance as well as the class was fun, exciting and as hard to say, interesting. The professor and Ryan’s advice was truly helpful and without them we simply could just not have made it to the point of finishing the performance let alone having me write this evaluation. Keep! Keep! keep it up! Keep that water level up! As annoying as that sounds and sounded all those two weeks of hard work follow it and live up to it. Samba was out of the ordinary for me, if it was not for the CHASS connect class, I would just not have ever touched this dance or subject in my life.
posted by DAVID GARCIA