At the beginning of the year I received the bitter diagnosis: If I want to keep working with my body (as a competitive soccer player & Forro-ambassador) a hip surgery is inevitable - including 7-12 months of rehabilitation. I've been struggling with my left hip since the end of November 2019: jogging was no longer possible, football certainly not and forró dancing only at reduced speed (Xote & break after each dance).
In the meantime, my way back to the soccer field and dance floor has already begun. I'm making good progress and I can dance with crutches (see video). But it may take a while before everything is back to how it was. And what if everything doesn't go back to how it used to be?
Set priorities during forced breaks
Don't worry, this post isn't an attempt to get pity, it's more about what I marked in bold in the introduction. Corona is a forced break comparable to an injury in competitive athletes. It will take a long time for Forró to be like it was before Corona (see last post). Current developments at Tönnies (source). However doesn't mean that the (Forró) world has to stand still.
As a teenager I broke my thumb playing football (I play in goal). Continuing to play would have made the situation worse, but my coach would still not have thought of giving me time off: "Does that mean you can no longer walk, no longer fit, no longer do sit-ups?" I couldn't go straight back into the competition, but I was able to continue training – with other focuses. So one becomes not constantly confronted with what is not possible (and what cannot be influenced). That was even a chance, because I'm the game forced to get to know from another side.
With all the creativity that has shaped the Forró scene in recent months - have we really tried to get to know Forró from a different side?
'Mousike', Forró and the famous box
In a forced break you need to think outside the box. But many shy away from this, because the unknown lies beyond this edge (unknown = imminent stress). You can only do that if you think outside the box discover new passions. Can you remember what it was like when Forró dancing was still unknown to you?
My thoughts on this are as follows: Most non-Portuguese-speaking Europeans have discovered the Forró dance, but not the music. It's just another side of the same cube: "The Greek word for music, 'mousike' actually meant music and dance together" (Christensen, 2018) and forró (= an umbrella term for party, music & dance) is not different.
So, how about if we take a look at the Forró cube from the musical side? When we learn to make the music ourselves? How about triangle lessons (works with a spoon and coat hanger) or singing together (ATTENTION, there is also an increased risk of infection here -> Link: Corona FAQ for singing groups)? or how about to learn the accordion?
Making music yourself is fun even when you're alone, it challenges and trains the brain. I started playing the accordion 4 years ago - now I play more than ever. The best time to start making music is always 'now'. Perhaps this Corona time is a bit more suitable for that.
Discover the Forró instruments online
There are opportunities to learn every single Forró instrument. Instruments are surprisingly easy (and cheap) to get: Auf Ebay Classifieds there are endless (imperfect) accordions at bargain prices (starting at 30€) and you can get triangles/zabumbas from e.g Kalango.
In addition, you are not on your own: In Portuguese, you can find almost everything as a tutorial on YouTube, and there are also many in English (e.g.: triangle, Pandeiro, zabumba). In some cities there are also great artists who give music lessons (and are happy about support right now). Who online, brain-friendly and in German Learn the forró accordion wants, has been able to do so for a month now in Alex Almeidas and mine Online course do.
I've put all my forró energy into it over the last few months and learned a lot about forró music myself. Which new dice side do you want to discover? - It doesn't matter which one, the perfect time to start is definitely now!