_ Conceição Damasceno:
_ A well-respected choreographer, performer and instructor, Conceição Damasceno studied Brasilian folkloric, modern, jazz and Afro Brasilian dance from an early age. Her dance education included Castelo Branco, Ebateca, Funacao Cultural da Bahia, Teatro Castro Alves and Sesc (the best dance schools in Salvador, Bahia, Brasil).
She did extensive research in Afro Brasilian folklore and religion – especially from the Reconcovo region of Bahia (a location for early slave communities). Samba de roda and maculele originated in that region.
Over time, Ms. Damasceno developed her own signature technique. It preserves the authenticity of the folkloric forms while adapting the dance for stage performance. She performed and directed traditional dance as well as her own choreographies (which explore Brasil’s economic, political and social realities through her own experiences).
In the United States, Ms. Damasceno studied the Katherine Dunham technique – including taking workshop(s) with the legendary dance icon herself. Ms. Damasceno performed throughout Brasil, the United States, Europe and Asia. She performed at the opening of show for major artists, including Gilberto Gil, Margareth Menezes, Celia Cruz and Tito Puentas. She was a sought-after dance instructor for over 30 years.
Ms. Damasceno represented Brasilian culture for nearly 26 years in San Francisco’s annual Carnaval Parade. She staged several applauded local theatre productions, including Mixtura Brasileira, the Yemanja Arts Festival, CuBahia and the Sao Joao Festival.
Ms. Damasceno received a Certificate of Honor from the City of San Francisco for “25 Years of Artistry and Cultural Contributions to the Carnaval Community.”
See her featured in KQED/Spark