Tisbury celebrates Brazilian culture

Ana Nascimento and Ana Martins: Photo by Ralph Stewart
Ana Nascimento, 13, does the Salsa with friend Ana Martins, 14. Photo by Ralph Stewart

By Eleni Collins - June 22, 2006

In addition to the World Cup games of the week, Brazilians had something else to celebrate on the Island recently.

Last Tuesday, Tisbury school students and faculty had the opportunity to delve into the colorful Brazilian culture during the first Brazilfest. In the closing ceremony at the end of the school day, the classes performed numbers from their different areas of expertise, from dance and folklore, to a martial arts dance called the Capoeira.

With all grades participating, the entire day was dedicated to different cultural activities divided amongst the grades. The first and second grade classes decorated the auditorium festively, the fourth graders learned the art of mask making, and the sixth graders contributed a chocolate treat.

The day went smoothly as each class had their own individual schedule for the day. "We walked through the halls today, and saw that you all worked so hard," said Richard Smith, Assistant principal and assembly speaker. "We're all really pleased."

The ceremony began and ended with dances, and also included a folklore performance by the third graders and a song by the fifth grade class. The two different dances were performed first by the youngest, and then by the oldest of the school, the seventh and eighth graders.

The kindergarteners formed a large circle and danced to several different Brazilian songs, and the older students ended the performance with the Salsa and the Capoeira, two very lively dances. After a demonstration of the different Capoeira moves such as kicking and ducking, the students and the volunteer Brazilfest teachers performed the dance together.

The event ended with a song sung by Island high school sophomore Saymiton Alves, 16, of Tisbury. Within the first verse, the audience was on their feet and swaying back and forth to the young man's voice. Seventh and eighth grade teacher Christopher Abbot commented as he stood and watched his animated students cheering at the end of the song, "He apparently has quite a fan club."