Nilce Fran, a veteran dancer for the famed Portela Samba School in Rio de Janeiro emphasizes that everything she’s conquested is due to the samba. She said it was necessary to face prejudice and other challenges that have not diverted her from a project to perpetuate the art of dancing the Samba.
“In spite of being black, I started working with Samba in Spain, doing shows. Upon returning to Brazil, I realized that many saw my work with suspicion but I didn’t waste any time with this. I improved my dance courses abroad and acquired important techniques for transmitting it. Today I can say that I am privileged, because I have lived because of Samba and, 10 years ago, in partnership with (Carnaval dancer partner) Valci Pelé, I created the Primeiro Passo (First Step) project, based in Oswaldo Cruz (1), where 180 children learn not only how to Samba. Some take cavaquinho (2) lessons, others are part of the Cia. de Dança (Dance Company) (3) and all know the concept of citizenship”, says Nilce.
1. Neighborhood in the north zone of Rio de Janeiro
2. The cavaquinho is a small four-string instrument very similar to the Hawaiian ukelele. It is one of the main instruments played in Brazilian Samba music.
3. Cia. de Dança was established in 2004 in Rio de Janeiro. It’s objective is creating a vehicle of artistic manifestation that expresses itself through Samba, contemporary dance and theatre.
Source: Prof. Luiz Roberto Corrêa
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