Now that the London Olympics are finished, the world’s eyes are turning towards the 2016 Olympics in the beautiful country of Brazil. On a personal level, I am thrilled that the Games will be in Rio de Janeiro, as I am a big fan of Brazilian music and dance, which I’m sure will play a significant role in establishing the energy surrounding the Olympics.
Back in 2007, I was first introduced the wonderful world of samba, forro, zouk-lambada, pagode, and bossa nova. The emotion that struck me instantly when listening to this cheerful music was joy. I remember attending my first live forro performance Cambridge, MA. Everyone in the room was smiling and it was infectious! In addition to the wonderfully joyful music, many people were dancing and I couldn’t help but want to join in. That’s when I signed up to take samba and forro dance classes so that I could dance and enjoy the beautiful music even more so. My fascination with Brazilian culture grew even deeper as I started to become more proficient in different dance styles and exposed to a greater variety of Brazilian music. In 2008, I was fortunate enough to go to Rio de Janeiro and experience the world-famous Carnival, which was an experience of a lifetime.
Brazilian music encompasses African, European, and indigenous styles, rhythms, and beats. The different musical styles developed over many years of cultural integration between the Portuguese, Africans, Native Brazilians, other Europeans, Arabs, and Japanese. Brazil is certainly a multi-cultural society which in turn makes its tradition of music and dance even more intriguing.
I encourage everyone to go to a live samba or forro performance to experience the joy for yourself!