Oxhey Community Hall King Edward Rd, Oxhey, Watford WD19 4DA TBA.
Bushey Rail 5 minutes away, Buses 142/258 Grange Rd stop. Parking side street or HSBC bank in Haydens Rd close to the Hall. At the moment I am able to offer private “in home” lessons.
I run regular workshops in this Brazilian dance, usually a Friday night or Sunday afternoon. Details will be published on here.
Learn some social dance steps for this fun dance from Brazil. It is one of the easier dances to get started with. Music is quiet happy and by end of the session, you will be able to dance some simple patterns. A typical Sunday session would be:
2pm-2.45pm Fundamental movements. In lines and then in couples
2.45pm-3.30pm- Developing some social dance patterns
3.30pm-Tea break/practice 10 minutes followed by guided practice time till 4.30pm
History of Forro
Forró (the music)
Forró, referring to the music and not the dance, encompasses today various musical styles. The musical style, which is at the origin of, and from which have grown out most musical styles today denoted as Forró, is the Forró of Luiz Gonzaga (and others such as Jackson do Pandeiro and Marinês).
This musical style, commonly called also Forró Pé-de-Serra, is usually based on a trio combination of an accordion (with a dry tuning, as opposed to the wet tunings used more commonly in Europe) and a rhythm section of a triangle and a zabumba (where the triangle keeps an ongoing pulse and the zabumba is responsible for the different syncopated rhythms in the Forró genre).
This combination of instruments was defined as the base of Forró by Luiz Gonzaga. Before Gonzaga other combinations have been commonly used. The combination of triangle with accordion is a combination that has already existed in European folk music before and is also used in Cajun music in the United States. Forró thus conserves a format of a small ensemble with multiple (in this case two) percussionists, something that also used be common in Europe and the United States before the invention of the growth of the popularity of the drum set.
This combination of instruments serves rather as a base and is not fixed, incorporating sometimes other instruments such as fiddle, flute, pandeiro, bass, cavaquinho and acoustic guitar.
The combination of zabumba and triangle is almost always part of the rhythm section of any Forró group.
The triangle keeps an ongoing pulse on all the four times of the (4/4) beat, while accentuating the third beat. In this sense, the function can be compared to the rhythm guitar or the hi-hat of the drum set in rock music, although the triangle accentuates the third beat more strongly with its high pitched metallic sound, being damped to give a fainter and drier sound on the other beats. The zabumba, which is played on both sides, on one side giving a grave sound and on the other a sharp whip-like sound, plays the syncopated rhythms essential to Forró.
From the melodic and harmonic point of view, Forró makes heavy use of the Escala nordestina (literally North-eastern scale), which could be characterised as being a mixture of the Lydian and Mixo-lydian modes. The North-eastern scale represents the basis of a large part of the more traditional Forró and the Forro Pé-de-Serra, in similar way as the blues scale is the basis for the music of the Mississippi Delta. The Escala nordestina is most evident in pieces such as Vem Morena, Baião of Luiz Gonzaga. The accordion is the typical melody instrument used in Forró, and is sometimes called the “Soul of Forró” or the “Soul of the Sertão”, referring the region where Forró has originated.
As Forró diversified away from its roots, it has incorporated other influences, and more significantly, diversified into quite distinct musical styles
Forro dancing styles are informally often grouped into two main “families”, simply for practical reasons: The older Nordestino (North-eastern) type of Forro and the Universitário (University) Forro that developed later in the South.
Nordestino forro is danced with the couple much closer together, with their legs often inter-twined and a characteristic sideways shuffle movement. Because of the intimacy, there are not as many step variations in this style.
Universitário forro, with its origins in the big southern cities of Brazil, is the more popular style outside of the north-east. Its basic step is forward-backwards – slightly similar to traditional Bolero or Salsa. With more space between the pair, many more moves, steps and turns are possible than in Nordestino styles. The more common steps include:
Dobradiça – the couple opens to the side;
Caminhada – simple step of the couple to the front or the back;
Comemoração – balancing step, with the man’s leg between the ladies’;
Giros – a variety of turns, both simple and ones involving both dancers;
Oito – a movement of both dancers around each other, side by side.
Universitário forro supposedly evolved from (and is still very similar to) the pé-de-serra/baião styles, while Nordestino is used to refer to the styles more like the original xote.