Like the music and song of the South American country of Brazil, its dance is varied and complex; hailing from centuries of external influences coupled with the deeply entrenched cultures of the local Amerindian tribes. Because dance is used by cultures old and new to express themselves, tell tales and convey messages in very personal ways, there are no real rules.
However, certain dances have been formalised and perfected, and continue to be popular amongst local and international dancers alike.
These include:• The Samba
Female Samba Dancer.
The Samba hails from ancient African beats and customs. For some time, the upper class Brazilians viewed this form of dance as being lewd and obscene, forcing the lower classes (in terms of social status) to perform the dance in private. This created a sort of underground culture. When slavery was outlawed in the late 1880’s, the Samba became more acceptable. However, it was during the 1920’s that the Samba became very popular, and evolved in terms of its styles and its more widespread acceptability.
• The Capoeira
This dance is believed originally to have been a form of martial arts that was also accompanied by music. It too has its roots in the African cultures. This art form was particularly well choreographed, displaying much discipline and skill, and was never performed without musical accompaniment. The dance that has developed out of this art, therefore, has a number of movements that are similar to the strikes and kicks of a martial art.
Some of the most exciting species to spot include the jaguar, Black Caiman, cougar, anaconda, wild piranha, vampire bat and the enormous hairy spiders that are fascinating, but rather intimidating.
The best way to experience the Amazon Jungle and its massive rivers are by boat. Trained guides can be hired (ensure that you are referred to a reputable guide) for individual travellers as well as larger groups. These ones will allow you to cruise along the deep waters, and spy into the dense rainforest. Many of the native villages have been built on the banks of the Amazon River, giving travellers the opportunity to catch a glimpse of their lives and communities, while not infringing on their privacy. These tours may last for a day, or can be packaged to encompass several days for a more detailed exploration of the area.
Tourism has certain negative effects on any destination, but is also beneficial for the local communities of the Amazon. It generates an income and decreases the necessity they may feel to smuggle valuable (and threatened or endangered) animals to other parts of the world for the financial gain they stand in line to gain. It also raises awareness regarding the importance of preserving the magnificent species that can be discovered within the lush foliage of the jungle.