Tuesday, November 23


The common perception of the Portuguese fado is one of an emotionally distraught singer pouring out her woes - inevitably a departed lover - in some smoky late-night den. In truth, the fado is rather more complex, and its origin far from definitive. There are claims that the fado has Oriental roots, or that the plaintive songs were first sung by slaves brought to Brazil from Africa. More romantically, and this is the lore Wellenkamp finds more attractive, is that the fado was born out of the sound of rippling waves building into turbulent seas, which fired the imaginations of seafaring folk to tell their passionate tales of love and loss. Subsequently, Portugal's most revered poets wrote verses for fado, embodying themes of unlawful detention and other social injustices.

-- Emma Manning Dance Europe

Vasco Wellenkamp's Amaramàlia-Abandono is a a ballet homage to legendary fado singer Amália Rodrigues

Portuguese Amália Rodrigues site