forro-around-the-world

Wherever we roam, we can forrozear. It’s getting ever-easier to find this passionate, silly Brazilian dance in the world’s major cities.

Since I wrote our piece on forró’s surging popularity outside Brazil (and its sister on forrozeiras’ sexiest moments on the dance floor), I’ve received many, many updates from readers on the changing and birthing of cities’ forró scenes. Thanks, dears!

Continue to update me, forrozeiros, and I’ll continue to update these listings! 

You should of course call or write to these organizers to double-check before donning your flat shoes and frilly skirts, as things change from week to week and even day to day. Brazilians love Facebook (r.i.p. Orkut!), so a search for a Facebook group consisting of forró plus the city name can be the best way to find the latest concerts, parties, impromptu open air gatherings (forró flash mobs), festivals and dance schools. For European cities’ annual weekend festivals with loads of workshops, Forro.co.uk has a list of dates in their right sidebar, although at last check it was not up to date.

The locations are organized going more or less southwest (starting in Brazil) to northeast.

Brazil

Almost any city in Brazil, big or small, has a forró scene. So I’m just going to list a couple of my favorite places for dancing in the major cities, as well as the most important/interesting forró schools (this is highly subjective of course).

Belo Horizonte

For some unfathomable reason, this city has, in my opinion, the world’s most consistently high-level forró dancers. The brilliant dance school Pé Descalço may have something to do with it.

São Paulo

Canto da Ema is hands-down the best place for consistently quality forró music in Brazil including the great Bicho de Pé. Be warned that concerts don’t actually get started until very late, sometimes 2am.

Remelexo is another late-night music venue and is sometimes a bit rowdier and flirtier. It is home to dance teacher Evandro Paz.

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Rio de Janeiro

Marinho Braz is a the developer of university forró interviewed in our forró article; he runs the premiere forró school in Rio, with lots of classes during the week and parties on weekends.

Severenya is a small, charming restaurant with northeastern cuisine and great bands on Mondays.

The Centro Cultural Carioca often hosts forró on Sunday evenings.

Salvador

While this city doesn’t have the greatest forró scene, it’s worth mentioning for Edj Braga’s (above) innovative dance school Cabrueira, which has developed a fascinating, technically demanding style of forró that mixes in elements of samba de gafieira.

U.S.A.

San Diego

There are several weekly classes as well as dances in the park and a café. The latest info is on this Facebook page.

Los Angeles

Check out the latest info on this FB page and this website.

San Francisco

A monthly dance is held; information is here.

Austin

Live forró music is played at a farmer’s market; information here.

Boston

I’ve heard that the scene in Boston is better than in New York, as it has a larger Brazilian expat population, but I don’t know much else, other than that they have a weekly event listed here.

New York

There are a couple of small regular forró events in NYC; news can be found on their Facebook group.

Canada

Montreal

There’s a forró gathering on the first and third Fridays of the month.

Toronto

Events are announced here and practice groups here.

Portugal

Lisbon

Lisbon’s animated scene has two major groups that organize classes, concerts and festivals: Projecto Forró de Lampião (led by Enrique Matos) and Forró de Lisboa (led by Pablo Dias).

Porto

There are events on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays; see here.

Spain — Madrid

There is a small but very fun forró night weekly with a great live band, and various classes are organized. Information is posted on this Facebook page.

Catalonia —Barcelona

Listings for the city are in this Facebook group.

Barcelona’s ultra-badass samba de gafieira dancer David Bosco also leads small forró classes; he’s infamous for speaking many languages at the same time, and nevertheless making some sense.

There is regular Wednesday dancing with a beautiful band, Forró Afiado, at Sala Monasterio, which recently moved to a location down by the port.

The lively and equally fun forró group Baião Brasil usually plays weekly.

Forró Fuxico is also fabulous; Catalan forrozeiros are incredibly lucky to have so many excellent musicians playing for their relatively smaller group.

Ireland — Dublin

Several weekly classes and parties are held; they are announced two different Facebook groups.

U.K.

London

A complete up-to-date listing of London forró events, as well as European forró festivals in general, is kept at forro.co.uk.

Guanabara hosts London’s biggest, brashest forró night on Sundays. It’s mainly for expat Brazilians to drink and flirt, but some dancing happens too on a very crowded floor.

Forró Family puts on a smaller, warmer, very friendly weekly event with live music or DJs.

Forró do Galpão is held on Thursdays.

Tia Maria holds regular forró events live acoustic forró.

Dance teacher Carlos Andre’s London Forró also has a number of dances and classes, including at Grace Bar on Tuesdays, and he organizes a festival.

Oxford

There are classes on Mondays followed by a dance.

Birmingham

Regular classes are held; information is here.

France

Nantes

A small association organizes regular practices and occasional workshops and parties.

Paris

For open-air dancing in the most gorgeous city on earth, check the Facebook pages of Meu Forró Paraiso, Forró de la Plage, and Federation Française du Forró.

Marion (“les hanches!”) Lima specializes in the miracle of training even the French to let loose and use those hips. She organizes Paris’ warmest forró parties on Fridays, which are intentionally under-publicized; contact her association for information. She also brings in the most amazing names in forró for concerts throughout the year and the annual Ai Que Bom festival in April; above Bicho de Pé perform live for a choreographed dance in a Paris plaza.

Orquestra do Fubá (above) plays the world’s most innovative and groovy forró; they’re based in Paris and play gigs infrequently there and around France and Europe. An opportunity to see them should never be missed.

Vinicius Kozan teaches an original, ultra-creative style of forró at several locations in Paris.

Montpelier

Monthly vents are held at the Laiterie des Beaux Arts, and announced here.

Marseille

The Forró Louco association organizes practices on Wednesdays, and occasional workshops with visiting teachers. There are occasional concerts and “forró sauvageon” (open-air) parties. Events are also announced on this Facebook page.

Nice

More or less monthly parties and workshops are announced on the Forró de Nice Facebook page.

Lyon

Cristina leads a small group of forrozeiros.

Lille

Cacau Moutinho and Lydie Fruleux teach excellent classes and host parties and a festival.

Belgium — Brussels

A small community has started up and organizes occasional events which are announced on their Facebook page.

The Netherlands — Amsterdam

Juliana Braga (also here) teaches an intimate, creative style of forró. Dutch women are known for being more forward than their male counterparts; this seems to hold true in forró as well, as quite a few Dutch forrozeiras know how lead and do so very well.

Switzerland

Lausanne

Classes are held on Wednesdays; call Marcos Simões for information: +41 78 913 37 29.

Bern

Events are announced here and on this website.

Neuchâtel

Concerts and dances are announced here.

Basel

Events are announced here.

Zurich

Forró de Dois organizes forró on Tuesdays and occasional workshops from visiting teachers.

Italy

Milan

Events are held quite irregularly and announced in this Facebook group.

Rome

There are many Brazilians in Italy, but they don’t seem to dance much. Rome has a very small group of passionate Italian forrozeiros. No regular events are scheduled at present, but often things do happen there. Check this Facebook page for the latest.

Germany

Karlsruhe

Concerts and classes are announced here.

Freiburg

Several regular monthly events are held, as well as impromptu events.

Stuttgart

Stuttgart can pride itself on being home to Europe’s first and biggest forró festival, Forró de Domingo. Unsurprisingly, they hold their regular event on Sundays. Terra Pasqualini and Henni Brockmann, the dancers in the video above, promote a very relaxed, flowing style of forró.

Tuebingen

TüBe Forro holds lessons on Fridays and parties once a month.

Ulm

Classes and parties are announced here.

Munich

Parties, workshops and concerts are organized and announced here.

Aachen

Junio de Souza teaches forró as well as samba de gafieira and zouk to students at a very high level.

Düsseldorf

Practices have recently been organized and announced in this Facebook group and website.

Cologne

Information on the various schools and events can be found at this volunteer-run website.

Heidelberg

Forró Daki organizes classes with Dhiego Luiz.

Berlin

The extraordinary choreographer, dancer and instructor Carlos offers forró, though his real passion seems to lie with frevo and other Brazilian dances. A small group has started organizing events. There are also classes announced here.

Hamburg

Events are announced in the group’s Facebook group.

Austria — Vienna

forro vienna

Dance teacher Giedre Altenstrasser has just recently started pushing forró classes and events onto her city.

Denmark — Copenhagen

Practices, workshops and parties are announced here.

Sweden — Stockholm

Information is here.

Norway — Oslo

Classes and parties are announced here.

Serbia — Belgrade

Joyce Corrêa Novaković teaches forró and other Brazilian dances in the Centar Brazilske Kulture and organizes a monthly party. Events are announced in this Facebook group.

Turkey — Istanbul

Classes have started up and as of this writing a single forró party had just been held. There will be more to come I’m sure. Check out their Istanbul forró on Facebook.

Russia

Saint Petersburg

Forró in Saint Petersburg. Photo by Stanislav Vosinsky.

Forró in Saint Petersburg. Photo by Stanislav Vosinsky.

Forró ao Vivo and Vento de Forró are small, very enthusiastic groups of Russians that offer classes and parties. Unfortunately for the female forrozeiras, women vastly outnumber men, as Russians often consider dancing an unmanly pursuit.

Moscow

Forró in Gorky Park in Moscow. Photo by Alissa Kuleshova.

Forró in Gorky Park in Moscow. Photo by Alissa Kuleshova.

Forró da Alma and Forró United (Forró United is on vKontakte — the Russian social network — as well) are also very passionate groups. They bring in European teachers and even manage to host live concerts from time to time. The above video is from a workshop with Forró da Alma held in Muzeon Park in Moscow.

Forró United also has branches in three other Russian cities: Puskino, Severodvinsk and Tolgiatti.

 

Updates to This Article

The original list was created on Aug. 13, 2013 as part of the article The Rise of Forró: An Earthy Couples Dance from the Brazilian Hinterland Becomes an International Sensation. The most major revisions were on Jan. 7, 2014 and Oct. 3, 2014.

Feb. 26, 2015: The listings were overhauled and separated to their on page.

March 1, 2015: Based on lots of user feedback, the listings have been further expanded and refined.

January 10, 2016: Further updates

March 1, 2017: Further udpates

Contact me to add/change information. Be sure to include a description of the kinds of events regularly taking place, and links to where people can find out more.