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Lesson 2: Learning “Requebra”

Aim: How is dance integrated with music in the samba?

Summary: Students learn basic samba movements and create their own dance. They will also explore the cultural context of Carnival in Brazil.
Materials: Musical Explorers digital resources, Musical Explorers Student Guide
Standards: National 1, 6, 7, 10, 11
Vocabulary: Carnival, samba reggae

“Requebra” was written by the samba school Olodum in Bahia, Brazil. In the middle of the 1980s, the group’s head drummer, Neguinho do Samba, mixed Afro-Caribbean rhythms with the traditional Brazilian samba. The result was a new style of samba that came to be known as samba reggae, and it ultimately came to dominate the Bahian Carnival.

Fabiana Teaches “Requebra”

“Requebra” Demonstration

Brazilian artist Fabiana teaches “Requebra.”

Sing “Requebra”

  • Listen to “Requebra,” Track 45.
  • Learn the lyrics to the different parts of the song using “Requebra” pronunciation, Track 46.
  • Learn to sing the chorus using “Requebra” chorus, Track 47.
  • Learn the clapping pattern using “Requebra” claps, Track 48, and add the claps when singing the full song.

“Requebra”

Text

Chorus:
Requebra, requebra, requebra assim
Pode falar, pode rir de mim
Requebra, requebra, requebra assim
Pode falar, pode rir de mim
Requebra!
(x2)

Deusa de marron, jeito sensual
Quando ela passa agita a cidade
Pois é carnaval
(x2)

Eu já falei que te quero,
Não tenho vergonha de te assumer
Pois o homem não vive
Se o seu sentimento não admitir
(x2)

Pode Requebra! Pode Requebra!
(Chorus)
(x2)

Faça o que quizer,
Mas eu não vou te esquecer
Quero você, amor!
(x2)

Requebra
Até no chão!
Embaixo, embaixo, embaixo, ô
Em cima, em cima, em cima, ô
(x2)

(Chorus)
(x2)

Pode Requebra! Pode Requebra!

 

Translation

Chorus:
Swing it, swing it, swing like this
You can talk, you can laugh at me
Swing it, swing it, swing like this
You can talk, you can laugh at me
Swing it!
(x2)

Brown goddess sensual way
When she passes by she, excites the whole town
Because it’s Carnival
(x2)

I’ve told you I want you
I’m not ashamed to assume my love for you
Because a man doesn’t live
If he can’t express his feelings
(x2)

Swing it! Swing it!
(Chorus)
(x2)

You can do whatever you want
But I will never forget you
I want you my love!
(x2)

Swing it
Down to the ground!
Down, down, down, oh
Up, up, up, oh
(x2)

(Chorus)
(x2)

Swing it! Swing it!

Learning to Dance the Samba

  • Learn the steps for the samba in the teaching video above.
  • Once students have learned the steps for the samba, use “Requebra,” Track 44, to dance the samba.

Create Your Own Dance

In this activity your students will create their own dance, including “instructions” in the lyrics just as they are included in the lyrics of “Requebra.”
  • Review the lyrics, noting that “requebra” means to swing or wiggle. Notice how the song practically commands people to get up and dance!
  • Note that, at the end of the song, the instructions get more specific, instructing people to move down (“embaixo”) and up (“em cima”).
  • Using “Requebra,” Track 45, ask your students to follow the instructions as they dance along to the song, swinging and wiggling each time Fabiana sings the word “requebra,” and going up and down when directed in the last verse.
  • Using “Requebra,” Track 45, stand in a circle, and ask for a volunteer to lead from the center. The leader will call out and demonstrate different movements (jump, hop, wave your arms, etc.) in place of “requebra.” The rest of the students will follow the lead. When they get to “embaixo” and “em cima,” they can choose to go in different directions.

Carnival in Brazil is a national party—a six-day festival leading up to the start of Lent, a solemn season in the Catholic church. There are massive parades through the streets with music, dance, costumes and revelry; percussion bands can number in the hundreds of players! Community groups and samba schools spend the entire year preparing—writing songs, creating dances, rehearsing, making costumes, and building floats. Each city or region has its own customs and traditions for Carnival, from Bahia, where Afro-Brazilian roots predominate, to Rio de Janeiro, where the Portuguese influence is stronger.

Creative Extension

Design a Carnival Float

In Design a Carnival Float (PDF), your students will have an opportunity to choose their own Carnival theme and imagine what their parade float might look like. Brazilian Carnival themes run the gamut; recent examples include everything from the beauty of Rio de Janeiro, to the origins and mystery of life, to personal hobbies, to criticism of the Brazilian government.

This activity can be done individually or in small groups. Brainstorm ideas with your students about the different ways they could represent their theme, from costumes to props to setting.

Literacy Extension

The Dancing Turtle: A Folktale from Brazil

Along the Amazon River, a clever turtle befriends local children with her flute playing and dancing in The Dancing Turtle: A Folktale from Brazil by Pleasant DeSpain and illustrated by David Boston.

Book cover depicting a dancing turtle and a parrot

Musical Word Wall

Add the words Carnival and samba reggae to the Musical Word Wall.

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