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Show class:

Mariangela Valença Illustrations: �talo Cajueiro

Show class:

100 years of Frevo Mariangela Valença Illustrations: �talo Cajueiro

Secretaria de Cultura

This book is dedicated to ALL children, especially, to my godson, to my nephews of blood and heart, and cousins. To André Madureira, who taught me to walk through the universe of the culture of Pernambuco. TEXT Mariangela Valença ILLUSTRATIONS Ítalo Cajueiro TRANSLATION TO ENGLISH Hugo & Eugênia Caldas REVIEW IN PORTUGUESE Haidée Camelo Fonseca

To Anna Miranda, with whom I’ve learned the first steps of frevo. To Maestro Spok, “Frevo” (Giba) and the whole orchestra, of which I am a fan. To Zeneide Silva, for having shown to me that I was able to write a book.



Mariangela Valença Jorgeany Baracho GRAPHIC DESIGN DG Design Gráfico Germana Freire PRINT FacForm Gráfica V152c

Valença, Mariangela, 1972Show class: 100 years of frevo / Mariangela Valença; illustrations: Ítalo Cajueiro. – Recife : Author’s, 2011. 40p. : il. 1. JUVENILE FICTION – PERNAMBUCO. 2. FREVO (DANCE) PERNAMBUCO – COMMEMORATIONS. 3. FREVO (DANCE) – JUVENILE LITERATURE. 4. FOLK DANCING – RECIFE (PE) – JUVENILE LITERATURE. I. Cajueiro, Ítalo. II. Title. CDU 869.0(81)-93 CDD 808.899 282 PeR – BPE 13-082

I thank ALL these people who have always been by my side, helping me, believing in me, giving strength to me, energy and being patient, offering many suggestions, much love and affection. Especially thanks to Enaldo, Zany and Leopoldo França, Rossana Rameh, Jorgeany Baracho and Zeny Valença.

─ Hello! My name is MariFrevo. I am a passista. You know what a passista is? And frevo? No idea? It is very easy! If you want to know, just turn the page ...─



gain!– Stefane exclaimed, very exasperated.

– Yes... and this time they stole the water pump of the school – complained Andrey, with the same indignation. – Oh, my holy drop of water! I’m feeling in the caatinga! – Stop grumbling, Stefane! And let’s go to the gym. The Show class - 100 Years of Frevo - is about to start with Miss MariFrevo. They say she is a very nice person and the class is super amazing. Come on, let’s forget our thirsty.


– Eureca! – Stefane shouted with a smile on her lips. – Gosh! What profane word is this, young girl? – Relax... I have an idea ... ‘See... with so many difficulties here at school, with this library that has only one book for everyone... You know what could we do? Working on the one Hundred Years of Frevo, interviewing the teacher! – Fantastic! And that eureca, what does it have to do with all of it? – asked Andrey, wrinkling her forehead. – Ahah! It does have something, my lady! Let’s look up in the dictionary. Come on! Let’s go to the gym soon. I bet that everyone is already there! She turned and went out running. Andrey went after her.



tefane Capibaribe da Silva and Jose Andrey Arrecifes are students at a public school in Recife. A school where there is a covered and windy court... an ideal one for a great party.


As Stefane had imagined, many people were already in the court. All the teachers, ready in line, ending the decoration. There was a huge panel with phrases and drawings performing the frevo, colored fiber palm trees in the entire roof, masks and toy balloons everywhere. The famous Gigantic Puppets of Olinda and fans of several frevo associations enhanced all over the place. Some students and teachers were in disguise. Confetti and serpentine were their weapons for the fun. Some musicians came from the community just to show, the frevo alive. Everyone could feel that the festival was in the air , and everything would be very beautiful. Right the way that the frevo deserves. – Let’s get right to the front, I will take note of everything– said Stefane.




he clock strikes three o’clock p.m. It all began. Around three hundred children, between seven and thirteen years old, occupied the entire court, completely exultant. Even with the problem of the water shortage, they did not stop jumping and leaping for one second, to the sound of small but fervent, frevo orchestra of the community.

The energy was something unusual and contagious. The boys and girls responded to all the commands carefully in spite of the sun still be present in a small part of the court, it passed unnoticed and there were no grounds for disqualification of any activity. After that, a small demonstration of how to dance the frevo was made by the teacher and some passistas ...


– Good afternoon!! – greeted the teacher, loudly, in a happy tone. – Good afternoon!! – everyone answered happily.



y name is MariFrevo and I came here to celebrate with all of you the 100 Years of Frevo, this Brazilian rhythm which was born in Pernambuco. It’s February 9th. It’s birthday today! ‘You know why? Because it was in that day in the year of 1907, which for the first time, was published in the extinct JORNAL PEQUENO of Recife, the word FREVO. Some people say the name frevo comes from the old pans, where the honey used to boil (ferver) in the sugar mills. And so the people with their beautiful way of speaking replaced the position of the “r” and used to say “frever”. And we ended up winning that beautiful word: “frevo”, to name that effervescent music that makes people dance as if they were in complete boiling trance. And today, February 9th 2007, the frevo, in addition to completing 100 years, was recognized, officially, as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Brazil! – ‘See, Andrey, the two feet of the teacher bent inside – Stefane says, with her eyes wide open, referring to the step “Bailarina” (Ballerina). – It seemed that they’d break! – ‘Course! I did see ... And that one while she went running down, dragging her legs on the floor! – also surprised, Andrey spoke, referring to the step “Patinho” (Little duck). – I’ll get crazy but I can never dance the frevo – said Stefane, still amazed with what she has just seen.



nd today, that rhythm is already part of our cultural identity and to preserve it is the duty of every citizen of Pernambuco – emphasized the teacher during the class. – Do you happen to know that the frevo is a “potion” of life? I, for example, dance the frevo ever since I was a little girl and today I am seventy-two years old and I have lots of joy! – Ooooh!! – exclaimed everybody at the same time as in a choir. All the students were astonished, because she seemed to be not more than twentyfive years old and jumped more than a circus flea.... – Seventy two! No way!– said Stefane, suspicious. – Sssh... Pay attention! Stop chattering! – whispered Andrey.


y the way, it is good to know that frevo is the name of the music and who dances the frevo is doing the moves (It is a passista) – warned the teacher. – Every move of frevo is done at the tip of the toes and the heel, the only different one is “Abre-alas”, because the feet are plated on the floor. – I told you, I told you!! – Andrey, mentioned. – Yes, but to call the dance of frevo is not totally wrong, it is also accepted.– Stefane responded immediately.


– You’re really stubborn! The teacher just said that it is “totally true” and you come with a small talk that it is not “completely wrong”. Do you want to learn or what?




nd the umbrella? – asked MariFrevo, juggling a colorful one. – It is always there, close to the passista, giving balance and beauty to the movements, but that does not mean you can not dance if you do not have one. The important is that everybody dances the frevo whenever they wish, without concerning with accessories or costumes because, the binary heart of the frevo will never stop. So far it is unknown, who was born first ... the frevo (music) or the moves (dance). I guess they were born together!

Some children were dressed in passista costumes, totally recyclable: skirts of paper, umbrellas made out of plastic bottles, and arrangements of colored metal paper on their heads. They went up the stage and proved what the teacher has been saying in all her classes: “Everyone knows how to dance the frevo; sometimes they do not know they know, but they do!” – What a delight! The climate here is “frevendo”, it’s FREVO – said MariFrevo, cheerfully.



ack to our class... – said the teacher, looking into the bright eyes of the students –, the capoeiras gave their strikes, with a totally spontaneous choreography, ahead of military bands. This has caused the birth of the first steps of frevo. Today, it is impossible to count how many have been created, because almost every day a different move is born, but not everyone is aware of it. Certainly, we have already created more than two hundred ones!

– Gosh! More than two hundred!! –Andrey exclaimed. – I’ll be happy if I could learn at least three. – Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.. – Stefane burst into laughter, imitating her friend. – You’re really sluggish. I’d rather learn these two hundred and create one hundred more! – Cut it out! – said Andrey angrily. – Wanna bet?! – Stefane challenged him.





nd the greatest characteristic of a passista is the individuality. Each one makes his way – she continues. – Therefore, we can say that there is no right or wrong, it is only the will and the dance. It is also important to remember that you find a common move that receives different names. For example, the move “Cossaco”, some people call it “Trem bala” (bullet train), the “Barquinho”, the “Faz que vai, mas não vai” (go and don’t go), and the “Martelo aberto ou fechado” (open or Closed Hammer), to “Tesourão aberto ou fechado” (open or closed scissors), and there may be many other names for these moves, that I even don’t know. As far as music is concerned it will be different. It’s easy to know whether the performance is right or wrong. The frevo, while music, came from the junction of five rhythms: Modinha, Quadrilha, Dobrado, Maxixe and Polca. – And that fact of several names for just one move... Isn’t it a bit confusing?– asked Stefane. – Absolutely not!! – MariFrevo exclaimed. – The key is not giving names to the moves, but to make them. The frevo does not invite you, it DRAGS you! The atmosphere and the climate were contaminated by the microbe of frevo, and the children were amazed by the variety of moves: “Saci-pererê”,

“Tesoura” (scissors), “Ponta-de-pé-calcanhar” (point-of-foot-heel), “Trocadilho”, “Dobradiça” (hinge), “Ferrolho”, “Engana povo”... The magic was so great that students of the special group of the hearing impaired, performed with absolutely perfection, the moves that the teacher has taught them. Anyone who watched this scene could not believe that they have not heard. Actually, they did. The frevo is a binary rhythm, such as the heart beats, and those children could hear the most pure essence of frevo in their hearts.



he frevo is just like this: It enters in your head, and then takes your body and RESTARTS on your feet! – a smiling MariFrevo played with the children. – But now we are reaching the end of the lesson.... – Oh, no!! – with sadness, they all exclaimed. – But already?! – lamented Stefane. – Before I would like to make a review of all the moves that were taught. Who wants to come up on the stage? – asked MariFrevo. – I do!! – said, loudly, the children at the same time.


– I do not want people that dance their best, I want those who dance with more desire, with a smile on the face and the frevo in their hearts – required the teacher. – And there’s another thing: I must warn you all that my umbrella is magic, whoever is holding it will only stop dancing after one week, you will sleep and wake up dancing the frevo ... – smiled MariFrevo. – Are you ready for that? Unfortunately, only ten children could climb up... Look, isn’t it Stefane and Andrey dancing on the stage? That’s great! That microbe of frevo is real good... one gained a video-class of frevo.



y father will never believe it! – said Andrey, wheezing, with the eyes full of water, almost crying of so much happiness. – Why won’t your father believe it? – Stefane, asked, very curiously. – Because I am very shy and I went up the stage to dance the frevo! I heard that music and I didn’t know what has happened to me. And then, the next moment I was already there. – Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha...!! – Stefane smiled, pleased with her friend. – The Monday stress has gone! – Oh, my Gosh! That’s impressive! It is a DVD that teaches to dance the frevo!! – said Andrey, jumping full of joy.


– It really is! – Stefane agreed. – Now nobody holds me in this carnival, I will practice at home to make a good impression on the streets! – And there’s a site: – Andrey took note. – Today I will take a quick look at my neighbor’s. She has a computer and I don’t. – Quick Andrey, the teacher is leaving!



he participation of everyone was intense. At the end of the lesson, they sang “Happy Birthday to You” to the rhythm and extinguished the 100 Years candles and a big cake was divided among the students, along with delicious cups with water and passion fruit juice... As for the water shortage at school, the only hoping is that the mayor could buy another water pump. But this time, it will be secured with chains and padlocks. – Teacher, teacher! – It was Stefane screaming and running, almost out of breath, with Andrey also running beside her. – Well, hello! You’re ok? 30

– Could you, Mrs. Marifrevo talk a little bit with us? – asked, timidly. – Of course! But only stop calling me “Mrs” MariFrevo! The two, got red, with shy smiles, could not find a place where to put their hands. – You know what? – Stefane tried to be courageous and spoke. – We wanted to do an interview with Mrs... I mean, with you. It is for an assignment at school about the 100 years of Frevo. – How marvelous! With great pleasure, anytime!



ut first, we wanted to clarify something... – said Stefane .

– Two things... – said Andrey so low that almost Marifrevo couldn’t hear. – You go ahead! I am all ears! At your service. And you don’t have to be ashamed, Andrey. I guarantee that I will not bite you – she said, smiling. – I’ll be the first, I’ll be the first!! – said Stefane. – I wonder whether the umbrella of frevo has always been of this size, very small and colorful? 32

– Excellent question, Stefane! – said the teacher, very impressed. – From the very beginning when they began to raise the passistas and the frevo, people played and danced ahead of military bands. By that time there were no orchestras of frevo as we know today. There were many rivalries between some groups of capoeira and troublemakers. So many fights happened in the middle of the game. To protect those who did not want to fight, the police banned all kinds of knives and pocketknives. Then, some people started using a stick of wood and also an umbrella, which, besides protecting from the sun and rain, were used as weapons.


ow! It was dangerous and, at that time, playing in front of military bands – regarded Stefane. – Yes, It was quite different from today. – And where was the small umbrella, in the midst of all this? – asked Andrey, frowning the forehead. – Well, the years were passing by, the games were increasing and the fights decreasing. At that point, from the competitions emerged the frevo and the moves. And to make the best stunts, the passistas of the season started to reduce the umbrellas. Since then, each passista invented a new fashion: covered the umbrellas with different colors, embroidered, hung with gadgets. – How nice! This means that I can make a frevo umbrella of the size and the way that I imagine – noted Stefane without taking their eyes and hands off the umbrella of the teacher. – Exactly! You are smart students, you learn fast – MariFrevo said with a smile on her face and continuing to talk. – There was also an “Umbrella Butterfly”. It was only the frame of the umbrella decorated with things hanging. It really seemed a butterfly with open wings.



am already thinking on how I am going to decorate my umbrella for the next carnival. Nobody’s going to have one like mine. – While you think about what to do with your umbrella I’ll make another question – said Andrey. – Is it true that you are 72 years old? – Ah, ha, ha, ha... Yes. I am 72 years of joy! – answered the teacher with a colossal laughter. – Ah, come on. No kidding! – questioned Stefane. 36

– When you are doing something that makes you very, very happy, it seems that the time is flying, isn’t it? – answered MariFrevo. – It really is... – Andrey agreed. – When I am playing a video game time flies in a jiffy, and my mother always nagging at me says: “Son, get out the front of this television!”



aybe it’s because joy and happiness make the time goes by so quickly. Let’s make a deal. One hundred years of joy from today’s date we shall meet again here at this same place. You – she said looking in the eyes of Stefane –, will be wearing a red T-shirt and a colored lace in the head, and you – she said looking at Andrey –, wear a refined hat and a blue T-shirt. It will be easy for me to identify both of you immediately! – From here to one hundred years I will be one hundred and ten! – said Andrey terrified. – And I will be one hundred and eleven! – said Stefane also frightened.


– Fine! – said a happy teacher. – We shall create the association of the Everlasting Frevo. – How could we do that, Miss Marifrevo? – asked Stefane very bewildered. – I told you all during the Show class... If you make the necessary moves, having a beautiful smile on the face and the frevo in your hearts. Eternity is not the infinite time. Eternity is no time at all.



Now whoever wants to learn more about the frevo raise your hand! – In the Thirties the frevo was divided into three different rhythms: Street-Frevo, which does not have any lyrics; Frevo-de-Bloco (Group Frevo), with an orchestra of “Pau e corda” (wooden and strings) and the exibition comes with a choir of women (this one has lyrics); and the Frevo-Canção (song), which is the combination of Street-Frevo and Group-Frevo because it has an introduction of orchestral origin and also because of the kindliness of the lyrics of the Group-Frevo. – Whoops! Then “Passo de Anjo” (Angel Steps) of Maestro Spock and João Lira is a Street-Frevo! – exclaimed Andrey. 40

– “Oh! Bela”, of Capiba is a Song-Frevo – observed Stefane. – E “Evocação nº 1”, by Nelson Ferreira, is a Group-Frevo – concluded Andrey. – Very well, children that’s it! – said the teacher happy with the attentive and enthusiastic participation of the pupils. – And there’s more. On December 5th 2012, the Frevo was nominated Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Humanity ( frevo-e-eleito-patrimonio-cultural-imaterial-da-humanidade)! As home assignment I would like that all of you made a research on other Street-Frevos, Group-Frevos and Song-Frevos. I’ll give you a clue: If you visit the following site you shall find very rich information. ‘Deal?


AUTHORESS AND OPUS Ever since I was a little girl, I used to say to my parents, I wanted to be a singer and an artist. The singer has lost her voice in the privacy of her bathroom. But the other dream resulted in a great success; after all, we are all artists. Lives artists. I was born in Pernambuco, but I have never imagined how much I would identify myself with our culture. I can say that I am a privileged because The Lord has put the right person, in the right place, just to teach me to choose the ways which could contribute to my meritorious development. I am a choreographer, dancer, broadcaster, cultural producer, psychologist and an actress. Besides, I am passionate with this Brazilian rhythm which was born in Pernambuco and has become an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Brazil. It plays an important role in my life. In 2002 I launched the pioneer Video-Class of Frevo ( br). And from now, even when I know that there are books for children with theme “Frevo”, I have decided to produce this present one. I believe that it is important and has its function. This one is different from the others because of a peculiarity: it is a book of a historical redemption and also it is a pioneer one in Braille, direct to the children audience. From this one, we already have versions in French, English, Italian, Spanish and German. The book brings a little bit of my experience for more than twenty years, working with the culture of Pernambuco. I have written it with love and endearment. I am sure that the readers, adults and children, will have a great time, smiling and discovering incredible things with a little help from teacher MariFrevo, and also Stefane and Andrey. And as the teacher used to say: “Everybody knows how to dance the Frevo; sometimes they do not know they know, but they do! It requires no special secret to dance this peculiar rhythm. All you have to do is making the move with determination, with a beautiful smile on your face and the FREVO in your heart!”

Mariangela Valença

Show class: 100 years of Frevo Do you know what Frevo is? And passista? Don’t you? Then you should start reading this book right now. I am sure that with the help of teacher MariFrevo, Stefane and Andrey, you will have fun, you will smile and you will find incredible things. As she says: “Everyone knows how to dance the frevo; sometimes you do not know you know, but you do! Because it requires no special secret to dance this peculiar rhythm. All you have to do is “make the passo” with determination, with a beautiful smile on your face and the FREVO in your heart.” Mariangela Valença She is a choreographer, a dancer, an actress, a cultural producer and a psychologist. She is, above all impassioned with the culture of the State of Pernambuco. In her debut as a writer, she has dedicated this work to the children. And the issue could not be other than the FREVO, her great passion. Ítalo Cajueiro Ítalo Cajueiro is a publicist, filmmaker, illustrator, animator, screenwriter and visual programmer. His animations have traveled many countries and won 48 awards in film festivals in Brazil and abroad. This is the second children’s book he illustrates.

Secretaria de Cultura

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