If There Were a Single Bahian (Brazilian) Dance Culture…

Author: Flaviana Xavier Antunes Sampaio, Bahia Southwest State University, Brazil
Email: fxasampaio@uesb.edu.br
Published: January 31, 2023

Citation: Sampaio, F. X. A. (2023). If There Were a Single Bahian (Brazilian) Dance Culture…. IAFOR Journal of Cultural Studies, 7(2). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijcs.7.2.04


How might culture be embedded in artworks? As a Brazilian artist performing abroad, I often receive feedback suggesting that my solos are deeply related to my “roots”. Such experience led me to three reflections: 1. It is tempting to reduce a dance experience by seeing only; 2. It is ambitious to pinpoint someone’s culture through a dance; 3. Stereotypes prevent the exchange and flourishing of innovative ideas. In this paper, I will refer to my performance Sombreiro (2018) to explore how shadows can be used to connect people to culture. By sharing dance, psychology, history, and anthropology references, I will discuss how shadow aspects of Bahia served as choreographic strategies to suggest a sense of unknowing and otherness in the audience.


Brazil, Bahia, culture, dance, shadow