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Forró is back at SOBs

by Robert Abrams
March 26, 2006
Sounds of Brazil
204 Varick Street
(Corner of Houston Street)
New York, NY 10014
212-243-4940

Forró is back at SOBs


204 Varick Street (Near the Houston Street #1 train)
New York, NY
212-243-4940
www.SOBs.com

Robert Abrams
March 26, 2006

Forró is back at SOBs! Finally! The last such party was in November. The wait was close to unbearable.

Fortunately, the party tonight had a lot of energy. Many people showed up and filled the dance floor. Forró For All, the band, was in top form, kicking it out without stopping for long stretches.

There was no Feijoada buffet, but this really isn't the end of the world. The Feijoada buffet was good, and cheap, but for what ever reason, the Feijoada off of the menu was better. More expensive, but definitely better. So maybe it is just as well for SOBs to offer a more or less full menu, rather than the buffet (which tended to run out early anyway). The cover charge is $7, which is very reasonable for a New York City dance party.

I have been dancing for over ten years (not counting dance classes in middle school), and I still find it hard to read the signals people put out. In Forró the problem is worse. Forró's style is often marked by the use of a close embrace/full body contact hold. If you thought Argentine Tango used a close embrace, you haven't seen anything. Anywhere else but a social dance environment, such close contact would indicate interest. Here, there is a good chance she is just committing to the form, and that it doesn't mean anything beyond that. I danced a couple of times with a woman who I think was French. She had just started Forró two weeks before. She didn't have a lot of moves, but she had the form down well. Even in a dance that is supposed to use a close embrace, I don't want to impose such closeness on the woman if she doesn't want it. Sometimes though it is hard to tell who is initiating the pull to close embrace and who is responding to it. Such was the case tonight. I think she was initiating it. All I know is that the connection felt good. In that moment I imagine it means something. And then sometime later when I ask her to dance she says no. I know dance is an illusion, but it is frustrating when it is confirmed. Maybe dancers are just crazy. A normal person puts his hand on a hot stove, gets burned, and then the next time doesn't put his hand on the stove. A crazy person expects the world to be inconsistent. If the stove was hot the first time, maybe it won't be this time. So he keeps putting his hand on the stove and keeps getting burned.

Enough of the philosophy lecture. The band was great. They played with passion. During the break the DJ played a mix of Samba and Forró, with a couple of Salsas. The crowd included a number of very good dancers. Forró is a syncretic dance. There are a number of moves often seen that have clearly been borrowed from Swing. To see such moves danced with a perfect Samba-type bounce is very cool.

Most of the crowd is Brazilian. They are generally welcoming and will dance with non-Brazilians like me who appreciate the dance. One, who I had asked to dance but didn't get to due to circumstances, urged me to come back next month. Maybe the stove will be turned off then.

Since a good crowd showed up tonight, I hope SOBs will see the wisdom of keeping this great party going consistently. Let's not let another four months go by this time. (One small criticism: the dance lesson never materialized. The party doesn't need a dance lesson to work - offering coupons to refer people to dance lessons elsewhere would be just fine - but if a dance lesson is advertised, one should be provided, even if only a small number of people partake.)

Other than that one small problem, this is a great party. Great live music (Forró For All promises they will have a CD out soon), great dancers, great food (I had the sampler appetizers, which really should be listed under entrees they give you so much food), and service with a smile. What more could you ask for? Maybe that more people should check out Forró. Watch SOBs' calendar for the last Sunday of the month at www.SOBs.com.


Forró For All
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Forró For All
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



A very good Forró couple
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



The dance floor is filled
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Many people wear jeans for Forró - something Forró has in common with West Coast Swing
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Great lighting
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



All sorts of people dance Forró
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Some people dress up for Forró
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Close embrace
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Smiling dancers
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



The band jams
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



More dancing
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Lost in the dance / Lost in thought
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Only her smile stands still
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams

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