Favela em Dança is the first social initiative in the world to produce a dance festival inside an informal settlement. Created in 2013 by Lucas Gomes and Ronaldo Marinho, Favela em Dança has the goal to promote the democratization of culture and dance in the Brazilian favelas and other vulnerable areas, encouraging the community to participate in artistic events and getting involved in dancing. We aim to value local dancers as well, providing them conditions to turn dancing into a profession and to be recognised by their communities.
We are from the favela, inside the favela and to the favela
In our events, urban dances (such as hip hop) walk side by side with Rio’s funk and passinho (or “little step”, which is a hybrid of pop, funk and break-dancing combined with traditional Brazilian styles such as samba, pagode and frevo). The festival takes place in the community of Cantagalo, in Rio, where Ronaldo and Lucas were born. During the festival, there are free events, such as debates and dance presentations, and activities at affordable fees, such as dance classes. But the most expected moment are the battles, where two dancers compete for a prize.
In March 2016, the Favela em Dança had it’s second edition with support from Redbull Amaphiko. During four days, people attended to workshops, debates, presentations and competitions. The event also had an online version of the battles for the first time: dance groups would post their choreographies online and people voted in their favorite ones.
The festival has had a great impact so far. In it’s two editions, the event mobilized daily over 1,000 people from different parts of Rio as well as other provinces. All this crowd stimulated the local economy, having a positive impact on transport initiatives, hotels and hostels, restaurants and with the event production staff. The Favela em Dança also became part of the local cultural agenda, and today many dancers (both professional and amateurs) plan their schedules in order to be part of the event.
The exchange of experiences is fundamental for the mutual growth of communities and for a better development of dance and arts in general. With Favela em Dança, we are happy to encourage those exchanges.
Watch the video of one of the winner groups of Favela em Dança below (in Portuguese):
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