Forró for All

[Dialogues from the dancefloor]

‘What is this? Zumba?’ The forró dancer asks me with an expression of indignation on his face.

I laugh heartily. This dance partner complains about all the fastest songs. He likes the slow songs. The heartfelt ones.

“Sofrência” is the appropriate word in Portuguese for this feeling, the literal translation would be “suffering” but the word doesn’t even exist grammatically in the Portuguese language, but it exist in the Brazilian, Old Country soul. Comes from the old, dry, drought-driven, centre of the “Sertão Brasileiro”; images of barefoot dancing on unpaved red earth comes to mind, during a sunset, hot, with dust rising as the couples sweat happily.

It comes from dancing your woes away, such as the hunger, the thirst, the hopelessness…

I am taken out of my reverie by a voice asking me:

‘You’re dying to dance, aren’t you?’

It’s another dancer, one who actually likes the fast songs, the faster the better, I think.

‘How do you know?’

‘You’re dancing on your own.’

I hadn’t noticed, I laugh at myself, I guess I do that, move without noticing. I think I do that in the most inappropriate places; on the ferry, on buses, trains, stations, while walking, roller blading, waiting on queues, or on the street. 

I don’t really care much, I’m usually in a dreamland, inside a story, seeing dragons, priestesses, winged men, or worse, much worse. But at this moment I’m slightly, just a little bit, embarrassed.

Was I so eager to dance that it was visible across the dancefloor? Ah well… I’m always eager to dance. My cells have designs of their own, dancing is in my programming. I’m happy for the chance to share my steps now, rather than ridiculously swaying on my own.

A few days after, when I’m ready to put pen to tablet, I get to register the piece I most want to write about. It’s one about the dancer who doesn’t do the slow ones, “xote” as the slow forró songs are called. Music with “Sofrência”… a word he was the one who generously offered it to me.

He says he only has two more hearts to spare. 

At my “question mark” face he explains:

‘I have lost my heart enough in this lifetime. I don’t have many of those left to give away. Two at most! Xotes, they are heartbreaking, I have to be careful, I give my everything. Truly. I give it all. So I have a policy. No Xotes. Only fast songs. Keep the hearts safe.’

He is one of mine, this one. I get it. I do. Except. I must have hundreds of hearts. I give mine away. ALL the time.

There you are, there is dancing chemistry and connection, and you have this blissful dance, you glide in unison, the music is inspiring, the scent of the partner is alluring, cheek to cheek and the movements are in absolute synchrony.

I tell him:

‘I know! You have this perfect dance, you give everything, then you walk away without your heart, open chest surgery, bleeding, the threads of your veins intertwined with the other person’s, you feel your veins being pulled out of you as the other person walks away. The veins unravelling from your chest, going with them.’

He agrees and he completes my thinking, his voice pitching high in affront:

‘YES! And they walk away as if nothing happened!’ His voice is a falsetto by then.

“You are there, life transformed.” I think to myself and continue:

‘Sometimes you are left without a few other organs too, a liver here, a kidney, lungs, often. And last but not least, some intimate organs are on the line.’ I tell my friend who does not do slow songs. I understand him so well.

‘Yes, very much so! I can’t do that, not anymore, I only have two more hearts to give away in this life.’ He repeats himself. ‘I need to keep them for the right time. So I only do the fast songs now!’

I love the dialogue, the ideal, the sentiment. I meditate on it. I may have several hearts to give away to but each is unforgettable. Each time it happens, it is special and it kills me a bit on the inside.The person does take a piece of me with them forever, without ever realising.

And I am left bereft, pretending I’m still whole, bleeding on the dance floor. I wonder what happens to them… I always wonder. 

Are only the writers, the musicians, the artists, the poets the ones who bleed? Do I take pieces of people with me too, sometimes?

But inside these holes, I’m left with these intense moments, these experiences, these spotlights of magnificence that no-one can ever take away from me. If they didn’t feel it and took my bleeding heart, without ever knowing or realising, they are the poorer it. I’m the richer.

And that is life, right? Living and dying a bit every day? New cels, new thoughts, new patterns, new experiences, new opportunities? The old dies, the new is born.

Within, I carry Zouks, Bachatas, Salsas, Salsarrós, Bachatangos, Forrós, Lambadas, Kizombas, Ruedas, Cha-chas, even a couple of beginner Gafieiras and Tangos, that will never fade.

I forget partners’ names, sometimes even faces, but the dances, the sensations, those are indelible.

If one day, in my old age, I ever have one of those horrible diseases that eat remembrances; it is said that the long term memory becomes sharper. May I have these dances to the end. I hope one of them cause me a hot heart attack and let me die the happiest of old gals!

This same post in Portuguese/Esse texto em português: Forró para Todo Mundo

Read a short story about Forró Dancing: Elemental Forró

#forromates #sydneyforrodance

Painting by Leeorah Hursky

Elemental Forró

[a short story]

The priestess looked at her portal bereft of vital energy and asked all goddesses and gods for a solution.
The last of her Lunar Dancers had departed back to Brazil the month before, to be back to her family; and she was left alone in this distant land.
The priestess was in charge of a secret that protected and energised the world and it was failing, after years of her mystics’ isolation due to the pandemic.
That night, a dream sent her the solution. So simple, so brilliant, and better, she wouldn’t need to initiate anyone. No one would need to know, all she would need to do would be to be present and take her own energy, to recharge the portal.
The dream wouldn’t have been sent to her if the idea wouldn’t have been viable. She did a search online and was quickly rewarded! After years of false stats and unstable attempts, Sydney finally had consistent weekly Forró dancing social encounters.
It was a full moon and her connection with divine energy started pulsating the instant that the song hit her chest while she was still climbing the stairs to the venue. She looked to the medallion on her chest and it sported a black-matted colour.
The “suffering” imbued into the music of the motherland squeezed her chest and dragged her upstairs.

Being a new face on the dance floor, she wasn’t asked to dance straight away. She inhaled deeply and looked at the shadows, the couples breathing each other, bathed in colourful lights.
She put her water bottle filled with water from the Eternal Spring and stood by the circle of people around the space. If people could only imagine the value of that water bottle!
First she looked at the wall. If people looked to where she was facing, they would only see her shadow, as that of a normal woman.
Herself, however, saw the shadow of a dragon, above that of her own shadow, double of her size, spread wings, fiery eyes, even inside the reflexion, and with an expression of someone who promises not to be contained.
The Dragon-King, as she called him, was an ancestral spirit who shared her earthly habitation. At this moment, he kept an expression of naughtiness, desire, thirst.
‘Okay my King, let’s burn this dance floor.’ The priestess told him telepathically.
The Dragon incorporated his wings into her arms, melting himself into her body and letting the excess energy flow into the floor, irradiating the whole environment. The priestess looked to the centre of the venue and followed the streaks of green light, saw that they entered through the soles of the feet of the other dancers, she readied herself to dance.

The next music started and the dancers accelerated, enlivened, a great spell spread around. As if an alignment of the planets had happened.
The first who asked her to dance was like air; with him, her feet barely touched the floor, she felt as if she was walking on clouds. The steps were small and light, a tiny samba, a happiness reminiscent of Brazilian Popular Music style, sort of a calm joy.
He would hold her in breaks of the song and used each wisp of movement. He smiled at her when she reflected his subtle leadership and whims. His dance a delight.
At the end of that first encounter of elements, the medallion was already reflecting an iridescent blue, as clouds in a hurricane.

Like the songs of Gaia, her second partner made her feel earthbound. She could dance with him with closed eyes almost all the time. His dance wasn’t full of twirls, with only a few turns and full of style, it had plenty of body movements. He kept her enchanted, connected with the energy of the centre of the world, of Earth. She felt the vibration coming from the centre of the planet, bearing from the soil, charging through her core until the taste of this energy came to her palate.
She knew what he was going to do at the moment he decided to do it. Never a missed a step. They were like trees dancing under a tempest under strong winds.
At the end of the song, the world rejuvenated. Her medallion flashed in colours of gold and bronze, like Uluru, the rock in the centre of Australia.

When the next dancer approached, her Dragon-King roared in her mind. Fire. Danger. As a child of the water, fire was the element that risked extinguishing her in flames. It was also the one with the highest capacity to recharge the portal’s energies. It was impossible to create a full recharge without all four elements.
Furthermore, there was no way to create a true exchange of energies with barriers, caution, trying to keep oneself safe. The only way was to dance with vulnerability, throwing all fears to the wind and jumping into the abyss.
These dancers, the Universe had chosen and sent them. Her Dragon-King had attracted them, with perfect dance chemistry. Ideal partners to reactivate her portal.
There’s a great variation of how sensual a dance can be. This dancer, the Fire dancer, made the dance become a seduction. A vertical act better practiced on the horizontal. At first he tested the waters, and as he felt that she inclined forward instead of backwards; that when he squeezed her knees between his, she squeezed his between hers, his eyes sparkled.
She didn’t miss a turn, didn’t refuse a hand on the waist, followed all tracings; he smiled with the corner of his mouth, eyes shinning. He locked her hand behind her body and touched the palm of her hand lightly with the tip of his fingers, the naughty man.
After a turn, he left his thumb slide above the collar of her dress, to touch the back of her neck and at the moment she felt the contact the energy between them exploded inside. She felt him against her womb.
He was obliged to lead a series of turns, creating some distance between the two bodies, before finishing, when more in control, cheek to cheek, at the last beat of the song.
She felt the medallion burning on her chest between them. Saw it was read as ember when she went to get some water from the Spring, the only balm capable of making her keep her aplomb. To quench the fire that was consuming her.
She required some songs to wait for the last element until she was recovered and ready for it. Her Dragon-King was shouting on her mind that he wanted more. More! MORE!

She turned her back to the circle of crazied dancers, trying to direct some air inside her clothes from a nearby fan, to see if she could get some equilibrium.
The fate of the world in her hands and she was falling apart because of a dance… And then she remembered that it was the amount of channeled energy that was the issue, not two people, not an earthbound problem. She was asking too much of herself really. With each dance, the energy got potentiated in relation to the previous one.
Her heart started to thump harder with apprehension and anticipation of the dance that was approaching. Her own element of birth: Water. The one who vibrated all elements of her body.
She knew who would be the dancer. She had seen him the moment she had entered the place. When he came to her with his eyes the colour of oceans, extended his hand and held her, it was as falling right into mother Iemanjá’s arms.

The swing of the sea, that, took her legs out of her, and gave her gills. She felt like a mermaid.
The dancer anchored to the water element plunged her in his arms and took her to his world, an underwater world, fluid, with lava veins, with a submerged vulcano.
This dance was glided through the floor, with body and soul waves, in total harmony with the song. His movements being enhanced and for some moments locking her hand under his, over his heart. She felt his heartbeat on the palm of her hand, as her face rested against his.
At another turn, as by magic, her hand ended on his naked neck, hot, wet with sweat. Their eyes met for an instant and got lost in a distant galaxy. She melted on the inside, in a liquid world she didn’t know where hers started and his ended.
Her feet followed his, both following the song until the last beat. When they were finished, they were breathing in synchronism. She felt her medallion was in perfect equilibrium, and the Portal was energised for one more cycle. Mission accomplished.
The Dragon-King rested silently.

She knew she should thank him for the dance as she had done with all the other dancers, to thank and close the experience, framing it by what it was: just a beautiful moment in the world, a perfect conversation, of synchronised energies, a divine gift, in the past.
But this time… she walked away, lost in high seas…

[#forromates / #sydneyforrodance]

[Image: Painting by Leeorah Hursky /]

Fresh “The Dancing Bug”! From Orble to WordPress

Back in 2008 I created a blog at the the Australian Orble Community called THE DANCING BUG.

It was dedicated to writing about dancing and the Dancing scene in Sydney.

The Orble community disappeared suddenly a few years after taking all the posts without notice.

One day it simply went offline.

I decided to move everything across to WordPress.

I was able to transfer the text, finding the images (or as close as I could) inside my old files, noting how many votes I had in Orble, the date and time they were published. I wanted to keep as close as I could from the original for historical data.

I’m keeping the new archive inside the category “The Dancing Bug” in my website.

This is the new blog, ready to receive my new writing thoughts on dancing as well…

Twice the blog was among the most voted in the whole community, once in 9th place for the day, once in 3rd place for the day:

04 Apr 2013 – 3rd Place – Directly from the Bachata Me Dance Floor

06 Apr 2013 – 9th Place – Directly from the Bachata Me Dance Floor

Here is a print-screen of the final statistics of the blog before it went awol:

46 Posts + 16 Comments +. 3,193 Votes