Fábio Reis: “Love changes!”

Fábio Reis (37) has it Forro shaped like no other in Europe in recent years. He comes from São Paulo (Brazil) and currently lives in Mannheim. At his first Forró parties around the turn of the millennium, as a shy teenager, he did not do a single dance: He just didn't dare. 

Nevertheless, he quickly became a Forró addict and, fortunately for us, fell in love with working as a Forró ambassador/dance teacher. Today (as of 2020) he gives Forró lessons in Stuttgart (Dança Bonito), Tübingen (TüBe Forró) and Karlsruhe (Forró in Karlsruhe), as well as at the moment Online classes! Now he was our guest at the Forró interrogation and talked about it.

Fábio Reis im ForróVerhör von Forrówelt

"The funniest thing that has ever happened to me!"

Fábio's dance style, however, did not cause enthusiasm everywhere, we learn when asked, 'What is the funniest thing that happened to you in Forró?': “Daiara [also a Forró ambassador] was a teacher at the festival in Stuttgart Guest and I wanted to go there too. I asked them, 'please show Terra [the organizer] my video so they can invite me!' Terra saw the video and answered her: 'I don't want this forró [the fábio dances] to come here.' Several years later I was in Aachen and got to know Terra. When there was the possibility that I would live in Europe, he invited me to move to Stuttgart. He's responsible for my living here. Terra is a good friend today, like a brother to me and a kind of European forró papa. But at the beginning he said, 'I don't want the Forró that you dance here!'

Forró Electronico

But what kind of forró was that that he danced there? Fabio was involved in ballroom dancing for a long time and finally discovered the Forró Electronico. He liked that there are many movements there that can be easily danced musically and that musicality has a high priority. This is extremely important to him then as now: Without music there is no dance, and therefore everything that appears in music must also appear in some way in dancing. " But there are reasons why Forró Electronico is hardly danced in Europe: The type of dance is much wilder and, depending on the style/dancer, often has something provocative-macho about it. This also applies to the texts, which unfortunately repeatedly contain misogynistic views (Source: da Silva, 2012)

Eventually he turned his dance style inside out and fell in love with the Forró Universitário again. He learned more from the styles like Itaúnas or Pé Descalço and in Europe arrived he was enthusiastic about the mixture of styles.


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From Brazilian master to culture translator

Unlike in Europe, there are also competitions in Forró in Brazil. In each of these competitions Fábio cleared two first places as best dancer and as dance teacher away. Nevertheless, he now likes Forró better without competitions: “DAs a result, the focus of the events is much more on the social. Nowadays I like this social a lot more than choreographing, recording videos and doing shows. I like it better to interact with people and focus on dancing and being happy. " In his opinion, competitions are not generally bad and can raise the level. However, the atmosphere at Forró is unique in the dance world - and that is something that, in his opinion, should be preserved. 

In Europe he also sees his role as a cultural translator:  With Forró he would like to improve the quality of life of his dancers by making the Brazilian perspective understandable. This translation does not only work with steps and figures. “It takes more to show this culture of Forró.” Hug and music are two pillars of his teaching. Aspects in which the Brazilians are way ahead of the Europeans. He wants to prepare his dancers as best he can for the universality of Forró, for which a lot is worked on these deepest foundations in his lessons. If he had to give it a name, he would use his style “Estilo Gostosinho” (translated by Fabio as 'Tasty Style') to name. But it does not want to be “pigeonholed” and is “open to different languages of Forró”. This is also reflected in his life motto: "Love changes!" That's why everything he thinks is cool comes in his tool case. Fabio therefore believes that in a few years he will dance very differently again.


In Forró you can be who you are!

You still don't see him on the dance floor all the time, because if you just dance you don't get to know people. As a newcomer to Germany, this is particularly important to him in order to make connections and understand how his dancers move on the dance floor. You don't have to dance all the time: “In Forró you can be who you are!” You don't have to adapt to a movement style like in tango or salsa. Forró is for everyone, this applies to both the clothes worn and the type of people. Only mutual respect is not negotiable. In the event that discomfort or pain nevertheless arises, he recommends: "It is normal and should be normal to address this openly but in a friendly manner."

"I never stop dealing with Forró."

When asked what his recipe for success in dancing is, Fábio says: "Practice every day, or almost everyone. It doesn't always have to be long, but it helps if you come into contact with the music and your body every day! " You should dance with different people of different levels of experience and also like to dance alone. As a leader, when working on a more difficult character, try to "repeat it as often as possible before dancing it with someone you don't know so it doesn't get uncomfortable for my dance partner". "I would never do a character like Repique just once in a workshop and then immediately try it at the party!" It's not about getting better there, it's all about having fun TOGETHER. "I want to develop myself in training!"

The scene also has to develop further, especially since it has grown rapidly in recent years. For this he takes all Forrozeir @ s to account: "We need the help of everyone to make Forró events more welcoming events. Everyone (not just the professors) should try to create a nice atmosphere. Especially the dancers in the intermediate or advanced courses often forget that they were beginners and only dance with people they know and who they know are good at dancing. " He also has a wish towards the musicians: “Connect more with the professors. [...] At Forró, you can't separate music and dance!“This also applies to the Forró ambassadors, who often only teach steps and movements, forgetting what he calls the essence of Forrós (e.g. music and hug).


Fábio, what is Forró for you?

“Forró is change, development and meditation for me, only that it is a meditation for two. Nice to listen, to watch and to dance (Quote from 'Não ha nada igual ao Forró' - Bicho de Pé). Forró is nothing to eat, but it feeds me (Quote from 'Eu Gosto Desse Assunto' - Trio Dona Zefa). The Forró is the opportunity to go to a party even as a newcomer, to dance without much previous knowledge and to meet new people. Forró is practically barrier-free. I've learned a lot of other dances and I haven't found a dance that is as true as it is with Forró. "

Thank you Fabio Reis for the interview and for your great work for the Forro in Germany and the world. 

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