Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Brazil’s Balé Folclórico da Bahia celebrates cultural heritage through dance and music Feb. 14 at Eisenhower

For almost 30 years, Brazilian dance company Balé Folclórico da Bahia has been devoted to celebrating the heritage of its region’s indigenous, African and post-colonial cultures. The company comes to Penn State on its eighth world tour with “Bahia of All Colors” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

Purchase tickets, which are $38 for an adult, $15 for a University Park student, and $28 for a person 18 and younger. A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

Brazil’s only professional folk dance company is made up of dancers, musicians and singers who perform a repertory based on cultural manifestations in the northern state of Bahia. The troupe made its debut in 1988 with “Bahia of All Colors,” and with this program, Balé Folclórico revisits its African origins with nods to traditional slave dances, capoeira, samba, religious rituals and Carnival celebrations.

“Exuberant, indefatigable and virtuosic, the dancers, singers and drummers of this superb company exploded with the Afro-Brazilian rhythms that are its special heritage,” wrote a New York Times critic.

In addition to a display of colorful costumes and high-energy choreography, an Otago Daily Times reviewer called the company’s performance “a great study of the human form and an exultant celebration of the interplay of its masculine and feminine forms through the ages.”

The company performs in traditional clothing that occasionally reveals partial nudity.

Find more information about the company and the performance.

Watch a preview of the performance.

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring Balé Folclórico de Bahia General Director Walson Botelho, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

Shirley J. Coploff, Nancy S. Gamble, and Lam and Lina Hood sponsor the performance. The Penn State International Dance Ensemble Endowment provides support.