If your life's been colourless and cold these February days, Saturday's your chance to uncover any sequins and feathers you have tucked away and wear them to the sixth annual Brazilian Carnaval. It's the third year Laura (Lulu) Healy is hosting the event (with help from volunteers, and added co-presenter JazzEast), as festival founders Paula and Azeitona da Silva were deported in 2008 after their refugee claim was rejected.
"I keep it going sort of in their honour, and also because it's such a good thing for our community," says Healy. She says the da Silvas started the Carnaval in 2004 because "it's freezing here in the winter, and they are so Brazilian---they miss it when they're here. They miss the heat and they miss the colour, and the culture, the music. So they wanted to show Halifax a little bit of where they came from."
While the da Silvas try to acquire Canadian citizenship, their Carnaval keeps Halifax's Brazilian community warm. Dende do Recife, the da Silvas' capoeira group that's run by Gypsophilia's Ross Burns in their absence, will ignite the night's fire with an hour-long performance at 8pm.
"It's a Brazilian martial art, but it incorporates lots of different elements," says Burns. "It's acrobatic and exciting movement wise, and it's always accompanied by music and song, so it's a pretty rich art form."
Halifax's Samba Nova, a 25-piece percussion band, follow Dende do Recife and will keep the stage warm for headliners Balako do Samba, a Montreal group that performs what Healy calls "traditional, really classic samba songs that if you were in Brazil everyone would be singing along."
Bring out the costumes, if you can. "Anything colourful...a little bit sparkly," says Healy. "You don't see a lot of the samba bikinis or anything like you'd see in Brazil." But no one's stopping you.
Saturday, February 13, 8pm
St. Antonio's Hall, 2455 Windsor Street