From the 'Terreiro' to the 'Paço' - The extraordinary journey of a dance form in colonial Rio de Janeiro

The year is 1807. Threatened by Napoleonic invasion, the Portuguese Prince Regent D. João VI flees and settles his court in Rio de Janeiro. As the courtiers mingle with the locals (in surreal ceremonials and liaisons which reflect how unusual the royal family was), we witness how the lascivious 'Lundu', formerly prohibited by the church, gradually made its way into the noble salons. This paper will accompany its continuing mutation over the centuries - from the initial absorption of Iberian influences to the later recapturing of its African roots - in a living proof of the melting pot and cultural blending that permeates Brazilian society to this day. The paper will be complemented by a practical workshop on the first conjectural historical reconstruction of the Lundu, by the author. 

Ricardo Barros
Author affiliation
Royal Academy of Music