March 11, 2019 by

Unidos De Sydney (United Sydney) Samba School was launched on December 2nd 2017 (International Samba Day) and is the result of a partnership between a group of dancers and the already existing drumming group Bateria 61 Grupo De Samba.

Working together they have formed a volunteer based, not-for-profit project which aims to unite Australia’s multicultural landscape through joyous and uplifting Brazilian music, dance and culture. In 2019 Unidos De Sydney will be delivering a Brazilian inspired Carnaval parade with the same rhythm, costumes, dance and enthusiasm as the renowned Rio de Janeiro Carnaval, a first for Australia!

"Samba translates over many cultures and nationalities, it's not only good for the body and spirit, it's a great way to socialise and connect with the community," says acting President Amie Baines. "I moved to Sydney in my 20s and Samba was my way to socialise and form new friendships in a new city where I only knew a handful of people"

The famous Grêmio Recreativo Escola de Samba (G.R.E.S.) or "samba schools" of Rio De Janeiro are essentially community centres where whole neighbourhoods come together to socialise and celebrate through samba music. Children through to the elderly sing, dance, play and have fun to the enriching beat. The samba schools provide an inclusive space for self-expression and social interaction. Each year, every school works tirelessly to put together a Carnaval Parade. Their dedication, community spirit, teamwork and passion results in the most spectacular showcase in the world which is Rio Carnaval. Unidos De Sydney will be replicating this in Sydney on Friday, March 15th 2019

“Samba is one of Brazil’s great gifts to the world. Besides the music, the dance and the sheer fun of it all, samba is about community. Regardless of age or skill, everyone can play a part in creating something beautiful together” Geoff Reynolds – Director of the Drummers

Since opening, Unidos De Sydney has united the samba and Brazilian communities and formed partnerships with the Sydney Portuguese Community Club in Marrickville which now acts as their ‘home base’ and BRACCA (the Brazilian Community Council of Australia), as well as, lead figures within the Samba and Latin dance community in both Brazil and Australia. We have 10 community groups and organisations that we partner regularly with and they span across cultural, musical and commercial dance organisations.

Starting with only two founding members, Unidos De Sydney has 49 members as of December 2018. Unidos De Sydney has shared samba with Sydney, Australia and the world through regular fortnightly training sessions and participation in 17 events and workshops. Some highlights include:
•Ritmo Brazilian Day festival, Darling Harbour
•Portuguese Consulate Six Continents Event,
•Return to Rio Music Festival, Wiseman’s Ferry
•Bondi Latin-American Festival, Bondi
•Sydney Samba Encontro, Marrickville
•Tokyo Samba Encontro, Tokyo, Japan
•UDS Enredo Launch Party, Marrickville
•Melbourne Samba Encontro, Melbourne, Victoria
•Samba do Volunatario (volunteer samba),
Marrickville – $650 raised for the Salvation Army

Unidos De Sydney wants to build our capacity to share more samba love with the community and deliver an annual parade. Currently only partially funded, the school is holding a series of 3 fundraising events throughout January, February and March. The first taking place 10am – 5pm, Saturday 19th January at Sydney Park Pavilion, Euston Road, St Peters

The team hopes to raise money in order to keep the project alive. It will be a family friendly community day of Dance and Drumming workshops, Carnaval culture, Brazilian BBQ, kids activities and dance performances.

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