Today is Giving Tuesday. We would love to get 50 new donors today. Our company is much more than what you see on stage--which is fabulous if we do say so ourselves. We are a network of teaching and professional artists, dedicated to lifting the world up one drum beat, one dance move at a time. We are honored to introduce you to a few of our teaching artists. We hope their vision and dedication will inspire you to give today.
How long have you been with the company?
I've been working with Viver Brasil since April 2013.
Are you a dancer or musician or both?
For VB performance, I'm working more as a musician, but in the after school program I teach music with dance. I'm also a part of Forró In LA where I teach Forró, this is a partner dance style from the North East of Brazil but spread all around the country.
How did you get involved with Viver Brasil?
When I arrived in LA, I was introduced to the Brazilian community through Brasil Brasil Cultural Center. There I met Bobby Easton, who invited me to perform at the Ford Theater with him. At that time, he was the music director from VB, so he invited me to be part of the 15th Anniversary Show of Viver Brasil at the Ford Theater.
Had you performed Afro-Brazilian arts before you joined the company?
I came from Brazil there I was exposed to many cultural movements, including Capoeira, Maculelê and other activities.
When did you first become a teaching artist with VB?
In Spring of 2014.
How often have you served as a teaching artist in LA? Have you done it with other companies, even before you joined?
Before becoming a part of VB staff, I already was teaching dance. I am still teaching Forró in LA every week since I started instructing it here three and a half years ago.
Think back on your experiences at various school sites. What's your favorite moment in teaching Afro-Brazilian dance and music arts to children?
The best moment is when they are surprised to experience something different than they usually are exposed to. Like, when they sing a song in Portuguese, or when they have to dance bare feet for the first time, or when they correct my English helping me to improve my skill communications. When I'm learning from them and they are learning from me..this exchange is the biggest gift as a teacher.
Is there a particular child or exchange that changed your life and the way you approach being an artist in general? Can you describe it?
In my first residency, I had one student that I had a problem keeping focused in the class. He had a strong personality and influence over the other kids. He was smart and a good drummer. One day I had to leave the room under the supervision of the lead art coordinator of the school. I decided to make the student responsible to take care of the class instruction supervised by the coordinator. When I came back, the student was in front of all the kids teaching them a rhythm that he learned. All the kids were playing with him and being attentive to his instruction. The leadership that he had surprised me.
In another school, I was teaching dance and I asked the students to take off their socks and shoes. The first time that they did it, they complained a lot. On the second day it was the same, and by the third day, I didn't ask them to take off their socks and shoes. One of the kids asked me if they had to take their shoes off, and I said that day, they didn’t need to do it. All of them made a sad face because they were enjoying the feeling of freedom to have their bare feet on the ground.
In another school on my first day of class, I was introducing the kids to some of the Brazilian instruments I play. We were playing triangle and a girl stood up and said, “I know this kind of music.” She started to sing a melody that she just created right there. Inspired by that melody, I created a new composition, just for that residency.
If you had $10,000 to spend on VB, how would you spend it?
Renting a dance studio for the dancers, and a music studio for the musicians and start to experiment and develop the 2017 anniversary show for Viver Brasil to manifest new tours.
Fabio is just one of many fabulous artists who choose to work with Viver Brasil. You can help him achieve his artistic vision for the company by making a donation today on Razoo.