Dancas Ocultas (Portugal)

Four magical accordions from the edge of Europe

Danças Ocultas are four accordionsts from Agueda near Porto who are among the most innovative and most exciting representatives of contemporary Portuguese music. For some years now they have been rising on the international world music scene – with an apparently very simple concept: quiet, lyrical, more or less traditional, with only four diatonic accordions.

The quartet’s name has nothing to do with esoteric spheres but means that Dancas Ocultas play music for dances that still have to be invented. Famous Fado plays a minor role, the band’s inspiration comes rather from traditional village music, Tango Nuevo and the chamber music e.g. of the Russian Terem Quartet. They neither indulge in virtuosity competitions, nor do they play pure folk music. “Impressionist Folk” is maybe the best label for this timeless art music: minimalist, profound sound paintings full of unexpected turns and noble melancholy. Very special music – impossible to escape its magnetism.

One of the first supporters of Danças Ocultas was Gabriel Gomes, the accordionist of Portugal’s most famous world music band Madredeus. He motivated them to explore their own sound worlds. Their collaboration with choreographer Paul Ribeiro and the Gulbenkian Ballet, regular appearances at international festivals and a highly acclaimed showcase at Womex 2010 have brought them international recognition far beyond the Portuguese borders.


Line up

Artur Fernandes – diatonic accordion
Francisco Miguel – diatonic accordion
Filipe Cal – diatonic accordion
Filipe Ricardo – diatonic accordion


Current Projects

Danças Ocultas (accordion quatuor)
DENTRO DESSE MAR Danças Ocultas feat. Jaques Morelenbaum
ARCO Danças Ocultas feat. Dom la Nena
AMPLITUDE Danças Ocultas with orchestra (possible collaboration with local orchestras)


Discography

2018 dentro desse mar (Sony/Galileo Music)
2016 Amplitude (Uguru/Sony/Galielo Music)
2014 Arco (EP Uguru)
2011 Alento (iplay / Galileo MC)
2009 Tarab (Numerica)
2004 Pulsar (Magic Music)
2002 Travessa da Espera (L’Empreinte Digitale)
1998 Ar (EMI VC)
1996 Dancas Ocultas (EMI VC)


Press

“Danças Ocultas have managed to leave the circuit of mere accordion lovers and to perform on big stages, which is best proved by Amplitude.”
JazzThing, DE, Amplitude, 2016

„Amplitude is a powerful album that opens your heart.”
Sound&Image, DE, Amplitude, 2016

“It was less of a concert but much more a musical lecture, a collective
breathing that you’re being part of and that you’re carried away with, in an
emotional, meditative dimension”.
Il Giornale di Vicenza, IT, 2011

You walk into the darkened main concert hall and suddenly, all that falls away, there are four men on stage, and they are creating a space where you can relax, breath and luxuriate in beautiful sounds.””
Michal Shapiro on The Huffington Post, USA, 2010

„Inventive and creative instrumental music by one of Europe’s best art music ensembles. Highly recommended!“
CD Roots 2007

“Danças Ocultas are very special – the interaction of these four accordionists is amazing. Their music is so full of tension that you did not realise how the time goes by. The music is excellently arranged and acts between very slow bits, where only one accordion is playing – creating an atmosphere of very loud silence – up to quite fast and very lively pieces. It is not easy to describe their music – you simply have to see them live to get an idea of what they are doing (or at least you should listen to their CD…) My personal highlight of the festival.”
Folkworld 2001