2015 Carnivals


VoodooSamba: The Dark Cabaret

It is carnival Sunday. Midnight.
Without warning, you are pulled through a gateway into a nightmare world of primal and malevolent forces, where the normal rules of nature don’t apply. You are met at the entrance to this world by The Gatekeepers. Who are they? What do they want? You sense their awesome power, something ancient, and something from deep within the earth. They start to spin, dancing hypnotically, weaving their magic, captivating you, enchanting you…
slowly your conscious mind relinquishes its hold on your thoughts and actions. You are under their spell. Is this real? Or just a nightmare? You are afraid. Once again you are a child, clinging to your Twisted Innocence. All around you appear monstrous apparitions – stalking you, injecting terror into your very nerves… these are your Primal Fears, your nightmares given form. You try to flee, taking in your surroundings: the landscape through which you move is a twisted, grotesque parody, where superstitions take form, and myth becomes real. And at its centre, sensuous and dangerous, lies a malevolent feminine power…a Queen of Darkness, who embodies and commands the forces of life and death: beautiful and terrible as the morning and the night… all shall love her and despair!
In the distance you hear the sound of drumming. They are coming, you cannot turn back…drums…drums in the deep! Hopelessly enthralled to their mistress, marching relentlessly towards you is a bateria. Cursed by the ‘maldiçao do samba’, they are The Samba Damned, doomed to play samba for all eternity.
And what of you, o pitiful carnival reveller, lost in this nightmare world, are you strong of will or weak like the others? Suddenly, gracefully, like moonlight shimmering off a mountain lake, you are surrounded by beautiful, other-worldly beings, enticing you with their flesh, captivating you, seducing you, whispering that here, everything you long for can be yours: wealth, power, fame, lust… but their beauty hides a dark secret: they are nothing more than Soul Hunters: scavengers that feed on your guilt and darkest thoughts, and the price you must pay for their gifts is this: your mortal soul.
Consumed by your desire, you are drawn into The Dark Cabaret: a wanton and riotous celebration. Here you must make your choice. And what if you succumb, weak, fragile soul that you are? What then? In front of you now lie blood and bones, the empty shells of Lost Souls who have trod this path before you, victims of their own excesses – they did not survive the choices they made. But for you, there is still a chance… tick-tock-tick-tock…the Sands of Time are running out. Dawn is approaching. Ahead, you see what looks like another gateway… there may yet be a way for you to step back into the light… or will you be lost forever in the dark?

Taking place over the 12 hours of carnival night, VoodooSamba: The Dark Cabaret is a different sort of carnival. It is a journey beyond the grave, where death is simply a gateway to another form of existence: a chaotic, raucous world with characters that transcend the normal rules of nature and life – they reflect our inner fears and darkest secrets and desires. Here superstitions and myth become real, as do our very own nightmares. Death lurks in the background, laughing. Fear, malevolence, and the supernatural all play a part. It is a world where you must make a choice.

VoodooSamba shocks and scares, seduces and celebrates. It is beautiful, yet deadly. It is decadent. It is primal. It is sexy.

VoodooSamba has elements of burlesque (caricature, parody, travesty, extravaganza) and elements of the Theatre of the Grotesque (fitting somewhere between the real and the fantastic, somewhere between being funny and being frightening).

VoodooSamba isn’t a Halloween party – it is first and foremost a samba parade, with traditional samba costumes, sequins, feathers, jewels, lots of sparkle and glamour….but with a wicked twist.


Comissão de Frente – “Gateway to Another World”
Ala das Baianas – “The Gatekeepers”
Ala Afro – “Primal Fear”
Bateria – “The Samba Damned”
Ala dos Passistas – “Soul Hunters”
Dance Ala – “The Dark Cabaret”
Ala Índio – “Blood, Bones, Masks and Mardi Gras”


“Voodoo, Samba e Cabaret”
Composed by Xavier Osmir, Music and Harmony by Xavier Osmir and Paul Rumbol

O oo oo oo oo (Voodoo, voodoo, voodoo)
O oo oo oo oo
O oo oo oo oo (Voodoo, voodoo, voodoo)
O oo oo oo oo

Peço licença vou contar uma historia,
E profecia de arrepiar
Olho grande, tem magia
Orixás, sabedoria
E mistério secular
Ae, ae

Ae, ae, ae Voodoo,
O canto ecoou em Daome
Ginga, simpatia trago axé
No escuro cabaré
Pura dança, sedução
Do Congo e Benin, chegou no Haiti
Magia, culto, Ibo, feitiçaria
A sombra e Legba na passarela
Arrepia, acende a vela, vem sambar

Priye, priye (Guine) priye, priye
Reza e magia negra em noite de lua cheia
Priye, priye, priye, priye
Ritual feitiçaria e dia de carnaval

Oh, em gueto de negro Africano
Tem bruxaria, tem Santo
Abra o caminho, quero entrar
Sou, a London School na avenida
Brilho, cores, fantasias
Hoje VoodooSamba, vem brilhar

Baron Samedi, (aie)
Dr voodoo
que invoca Loas (aie)
Sonho macabro, encosto do mal
Passista em transe sua dança e sensual
Cachaça e Rum para o mestre Imortal
Tem o som da bateria, tem zumbis, tem ritual (Cachaça e Rum)
Cachaça e Rum, para o Mestre Imortal, curta o
som da bateria
E voodoosamba berço do carnaval – oo, oo

English Translation

O oo oo oo oo (Voodoo, voodoo, voodoo)
O oo oo oo oo
O oo oo oo oo (Voodoo, voodoo, voodoo)
O oo oo oo oo

Excuse me let me tell you a story
It is a hair-raising prophecy
The evil eye is magic
Orixas have wisdom
Masters of Mystery
Ae, ae

Ae, ae, ae Voodoo,
and the chant echoed in Dahomey
Swing, affinity brings Axe
In the dark cabaret
Pure dance and seduction
From Congo and Benin, reached Haiti
Magic, worshippers, black magic and sorcery
The shade is of Legba on the samba parade
It chills, light a candle, come and dance

Pray, pray (Guinea) pray, pray
Today there is black magic ritual, it is a full moon night
Pray, pray, pray, pray
Ritual, worship it is carnival day

Oh, in the African ghettos
Witchcraft and Orixas are present
Open the way I want to come in
I am the London School of Samba parading
Displaying shining colours of samba costume
Today Voodoo samba is going to shine

Baron Samedi, Aye
Dr Voodoo who invokes the Loas
Macabre dreams and mischievous spirits
Dancers in trance the way you dance is sensual
Cachaca and Rum for the Immortal Master
There is the sound of drumming; there are zombies and ritual.
Cachaca and Rum for the Immortal master
Enjoy our drumming sounds
It is Voodoo Samba cradle of the carnival – oo, oo


  • Axé = Paz – Peace
  • Loas = Orixás – Orixas
  • Legba = Porteiro do Loas – The loas’s Gard
  • Priye = Orar – To pray
  • Baron Samedi = Sr da morte – The death’s Baron
  • Zumbi = O vivo morto – The living dead


Notting Hill Carnival Results

We took 3rd place (of the 29 bands that paraded on Monday), achieving our highest ever score of 265 from the judges.


Photos on Facebook by Tristan Daws
Photos on Facebook by Mo Elnadi
Photos on Facebook by Brian Guttridge

Carnival Tour Events

  • Samba de Enredo Competition (was held at Floripa) Wednesday 22nd April
  • Carnival Costume Launch (was held at Guanabara) Saturday 30th May
  • Rainha da Bateria Competition (was held at Floripa) Wednesday 22nd July
  • Bromham Carnival (Wiltshire) – Saturday 20th June
  • Isle of Wight Mardi Gras – Saturday 27th June
  • Waterloo Carnival – Friday 3rd July
  • Leytonstone Festival – Saturday 4th July
  • Brazilica, Liverpool – Saturday 18th July
  • Elephant and Nun Festival (London) – Saturday 15th August
  • Notting Hill Carnival – Monday 31st August

Our design team was:

  • Mariko de Montalte: Comissao de Frente (Gateway to Another World), Baianas (The Gatekeepers), Ala Afro (Primal Fear), Ala Indio (Blood, Bones, Masks & Mardis Gras)
  • Edmilson Souza:  Passistas (Soul Hunters)
  • Mia Harris: Ala Dance (The Dark Cabaret), Bateria (The Samba Damned)
  • Diane Artis: Bateria production (The Samba Damned)
  • Glow Crawford: Ala Mirim (Twisted Innocence), Mestre Sala & Porta Bandeira
  • Chris Bicourt: 2015 Carnival logo
  • Emergency Exit Arts: Float 1 & 2
  • Comissao de Frente moving set: Patrick Bullock

Many thanks to our design review panel; Glow, Nathan, Danielle, Merle, Fiona & Chris Bicourt

Dance leads/teachers

  • Comissao de Frente: “Gateway to Another World” – Marta Scott, assisted by Hannah
  • Baianas: “The Gatekeepers” – Elsa Perez
  • Passistas: “Soul Hunters” – Orquidea Lima, assisted by Asia & Kanika
  • “The Dark Cabaret” (general samba dance ala) – Glades Cavalcante, assisted by Nathan
  • “Primal Fear” ( ala afro brazilian style) – Irineu Nogueira
  • “Blood, Bones, Masks & Mardis Gras” (ala indio, drop in ala) – Leandro Brizad
  • “Twisted Innocence” (children’s section) – Marta Scott

Carnival Manager

Our 2015 carnival manager/producer was Theah Dix