Rhonda and MaraReggae Dancers, Carnaval 2007
Carmen dancing with MaraReggae, Carnaval 2007
MaraReggae stands for Movimento Artistico com Respeito aos Ancestrais (Artistic Movement with Respect to the Ancestors). Its mission is to create artistic expression and community through Brazilian music, dance, capoeira, and song, with respect to the teaching of the Ancestors.
As directors, Rhonda and Wilson Low have been able to create a style of dance and music that blends the "Soul of Brazil" with the American experience.
Mestre Wilson Low
Mestre Wilson Low was born in São Paulo, Brazil in 1960. He grew up helping his mother, Mae Nazare, in her terreiro (temple) of the Umbanda religion. As an initiate, or Filho do Santos (son the of Saints), Low was responsible for knowing the sacred dances, drumming and traditions of the Orixas (Gods). A natural acrobat and musician, he studied capoeira, and Brazilian culture and folklore with renowed Mestre Suassuna of the Cordao de Ouro Academy, graduating in 1988, and receiving his Mestre 1st degree in 1993.
A featured Capoeirista/dancer with Oba-Oba, the renowned Brazilian cultural extravaganza troupe, he toured the United States and Canada, relocating to San Francisco in 1991 to pursue his capoeira, music, dance studies and teaching. He has performed in Brazil, the United States and Europe with Gingarte Folkloric Group, The Brazil Dance Revue, Amen Dos Santos & Ballet Folklorico Do Brazil, and the Band Vivendo de Pão. Mestre Low has created capoeira/dance programs for children of all ages in public and private schools throughout the Bay Area. His special mission is working with children of all ages to learn the beauty, discipline and cultural respect and traditions of Brazilian capoeira.
Rhonda Stagnaro Low
Rhonda Stagnaro Low has had a passion for Brazilian dance and music since 1986. She has studied with Mestre King, Ballet Folklorico do Bahia, Olodum, and Ile Aye from Salvador, Bahia and with Jorge Alabe from Rio de Janeiro. She has performed with Escola Nova de Samba Folkloric group for eight years and has danced for Sergio Mendez, Pete Escovedo and Tito Puente. She has performed in four San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festivals and has been teaching dance in the Bay Area for the past 15 years. She has also been artistic director for the award-winning MaraReggae Carnaval contingent, for the past 10 years. She enjoys studying music and other movement forms such as ballet, jazz, yoga, pilates and capoeira. Her mission in life is to “Get the World to Dance!!!”