I fell in love with Forró in 2019 after encountering Rafael’s work. It’s embarrassing to say that even though I was born and raised in Brazil, I have never learned Forró. Only after returning from a life-changing soul-retrieval trip to Bahia, I felt called to look for a Forró community in New York. They are so welcoming and embracing of new students, it’s totally a vibe! A vibe that I miss so very much from my home country.
It goes without saying that Forró is my favorite dance, it’s part of a culture that I long for, it moves me and it touches my soul. It didn’t take too long before Rafael and I decided to do a photoshoot for Forró New York. As a photographer and former ballerina, I always wanted to photograph dancers. I find them to be the most expressive, soul connected, freeing and tuned in to the frequency of joy.
Dance photography doesn’t need to be overly epic or super elaborate, it needs to portray the honesty of the moment, the connection between dancers, and their connection with their bodies and passion. It’s a lot of trusting in the flow and not forcing poses that don’t feel authentic. Hit play, let the music move their feet and the camera to capture the moments of connection and embrace with the spirit of dance.
I believe these photographs translate the respect they have for each other and their mutual commitment and love for the art, the culture and the special space that one gets when dancing Forró. For me, Forró has been a healing practice. A way to let go and practice presence. A way of connection.
Photographing Rafael and other dancers from his community was a joyous and pleasant experience, as the need for egoic performance is not present in his classes and demonstrations. The beauty in the simplicity of his approach is so rich and made my work so easy! His energy and manners are so respected and I feel so honored to have had the chance to have collaborated with him on a few projects. It is so exciting to see the Forró community grow in New York, and I feel so happy that my photos are part of this sweet brazilian expansion.
With all my love,
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