Those in power would prefer favela culture to remain out of sight

Media Diversified

Dispatch from Rio

by Felipe Araujo  

The day after the Opening Ceremony of the Rio Olympics, I found myself in northern Rio’s Madureira Park – a place far away from the bright lights of the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. On weekends, it’s here that Cariocas from the surrounding favelas congregate to spend quality time with family and friends. As young and old gather in front of a stage on a hot Saturday night, what they are about to witness is the latest art form to come from the favela residents.

Passinho, or “little step”, is what breakdancing is to hip-hop. But on these shores, Brazilian kids dance to (the local version of) funk.

The dance mixes a number of genres such as samba, breakdancing, and forro. The moves have been a cultural staple of favela life for a generation, but only recently has it gone mainstream.

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