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.
- Spain — Madrid
- Catalonia —Barcelona
- Ireland — Dublin
- Belgium — Brussels
- The Netherlands — Amsterdam
- Austria — Vienna
- Denmark — Copenhagen
- Sweden — Stockholm
- Norway — Oslo
- Serbia — Belgrade
- Turkey — Istanbul
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).
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.
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.
Rio de Janeiro
Severenya is a small, charming restaurant with northeastern cuisine and great bands on Mondays.
The Centro Cultural Carioca often hosts forró on Sunday evenings.
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.
There are several weekly classes as well as dances in the park and a café. The latest info is on this Facebook page.
A monthly dance is held; information is here.
Live forró music is played at a farmer’s market; information here.
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.
There are a couple of small regular forró events in NYC; news can be found on their Facebook group.
There’s a forró gathering on the first and third Fridays of the month.
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.
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.
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
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.
There are classes on Mondays followed by a dance.
Regular classes are held; information is here.
A small association organizes regular practices and occasional workshops and parties.
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.
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.
More or less monthly parties and workshops are announced on the Forró de Nice Facebook page.
Cristina leads a small group of forrozeiros.
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.
Classes are held on Wednesdays; call Marcos Simões for information: +41 78 913 37 29.
Concerts and dances are announced here.
Events are announced here.
Forró de Dois organizes forró on Tuesdays and occasional workshops from visiting teachers.
Events are held quite irregularly and announced in this Facebook group.
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.
Concerts and classes are announced here.
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.
TüBe Forro holds lessons on Fridays and parties once a month.
Classes and parties are announced here.
Parties, workshops and concerts are organized and announced here.
Junio de Souza teaches forró as well as samba de gafieira and zouk to students at a very high level.
Information on the various schools and events can be found at this volunteer-run website.
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.
Events are announced in the group’s Facebook group.
Austria — 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
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.
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.
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
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.