Frevo, performing arts of the Carnival of Recife


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Inscribed in 2012 (7.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© Acervo (PCR), 2010

Frevo is a Brazilian artistic expression comprising music and dance, performed mainly during the Carnival of Recife. Its quick frenetic and vigorous rhythm draws upon the fusion of musical genres such as marching music, Brazilian tango, square dance, polka and pieces of classical repertoire, performed by martial bands and fanfares. The music is essentially urban, and like the accompanying dance, ‘Passo’, is vigorous and subversive. The dance stems from the skill and agility of capoeira fighters, who improvise leaps to the electrifying sound of steel orchestras and bands. Practitioners of Frevo and Passo are part of associations, each of which participates in parades for the carnival. Their headquarters provide support for the development, preservation and transmission of knowledge and skills related to Frevo. The element also has a close connection to the beliefs and symbolic universe of the practitioners’ religion. Several associations have colours related to the members’ devotion and various embellishments have religious meanings. Frevo is formed through the creativity and cultural riches that comes from the great mix of music, dance, capoeira and crafts, among others, demonstrating the ingenuity and creative ability of its practitioners. This ability to promote human creativity and respect for cultural diversity is inherent to Frevo.