What image pops up in your head when you think of “couple dance”? And how does the picture change when it comes to “South American couple dance”?
If you haven't already Forro then you probably have a completely different image in mind of someone who is already dancing Forró. In this article I would like to give you the 5 most important features of Forró!
1. Dance style: Adapts to you.
"Unfortunately, this combination of movements only gives one point from the jury!" – a sentence that you would never hear in forró. Of course there is no jury (and no competitions), but above all there is no such thing as 'the one, perfect, right movement or figure'. Rather, you can and should move in the way that is natural for you. Sure, there are a few rules, otherwise we couldn't understand each other - after all, we still dance as a couple. But the framework leaves room for interpretation. The dance adapts to the person who dances it.
Not comfortable with the thought of a South American hip swing? Then you can get along just fine without him. You don't like making sweeping movements with your arms? Also no problem. It's less about WHICH movements you make:
2. Steps: Easy to learn, but also kind of secondary.
How can it be that steps in a dance are secondary?
In this case, secondary does not mean that you completely omit them (although this is sometimes even done), but it means that there are aspects that are more important. The connection to the partner and to music, for example. In Forró, steps are always just a means to an end: For example to create variety or to interpret the music.
One can think of steps and figures as 'turns' to draw an analogy with learning a language. The first 'twists' are easy to understand and dance to. If you want to express yourself more extensively at some point, there is the possibility of using more complex, more difficult 'phrases'. Forró is a language that can be used to communicate across different cultures:
3. Story: Pure multiculture in Brazilian colors.
Yes, one can already say that the Forró from northeastern Brazil comes. At the same time, however, one notices many other influences in the music and dance. Above all African, European and indigenous roots are said to be forró - and anyone who has been to forró a few times will feel it in different corners.
So it's no wonder that the Forrozeir@s continue the legend that the name Forró was derived from 'For all'. After all, it is obvious that a culture that has been shaped by such multicultural influences should also be shared with all other cultures. This openness, coupled with the Brazilian joie de vivre, gives the Forró a very special charm.
This openness is also evident when it comes to the further development of forró: the historical customs of forró are actively questioned, and so a lot has happened with regard to role stereotypes in forró, for example. That the Openly criticized traditions in Forró is a great asset of the forró, in my opinion.
4. Music: Cheerful, melancholic music with triangle.
Which instrument sets the tone in Forró? The triangle! Well, at least there is one A Forró song without a triangle is unimaginable. She shares the rhythm part with the zabumba, the bass drum. The accordion completes the unusual trio. Personally, it took me a bit to 'listen' to the music. However, this combination makes for a wonderfully complete sound and an incredible energy on the dance floor. Forró music covers the entire spectrum: from slow, melancholic-romantic songs to lively party music, everything is included.
5. Philosophy: More than a couple dance!
It's about making new connections, rediscovering old connections, becoming one with the music and enjoying the moment. All of this is sometimes neglected in the modern, western lifestyle, but each of the above leads to a feeling of contentment and happiness. So I'm not the only one with the thesis that Forró makes you happy!
There is no good excuse (see my attempt at this) not to at least try Forró. There are both online courses, as well as dance courses in almost all larger German cities. You can find more information about Forró in your area in Bernhard's Forró map and in ours Forró finder!