Largo o Aco: The Voice of Passinho
With Labor Day behind us, traffic on the PCH opens up and summer officially grinds to a halt. And yet, not so fast… Here in LA there’s still plenty of heat radiating off both sand and sidewalks. As such I wanted to share something that still preserves a sense of summer warmth with an eye to more dance in public spaces.
Enter the new Passinho dance craze. It has spread through Brazil’s favelas, exploding on YouTube and around the world, and is on full view here with a short dance film for a new soundtrack by music producer Leo Justi. The camera follows a small bevy of smiling, dark skinned boys as they beckon, glide, and flip, with fancy footwork acting as glue to a style blending break, hip hop, samba and more. They are pied pipers of dance, luring mothers and kids out from inside their homes as camera follows along with them down the narrow alley ways.
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Beautifully directed by Julio Secchin, shot by Bernardo Negri, and featuring dancers Sheick and Neguebites dancing to a fabulous track, Largo o Aco emulates a bounty of joy and celebration. And no wonder, like Krump did for kids in South Central, Passinho has made overnight, Internet stars of some of Brazil’s poorest, literally “reshaping the lives of millions of kids whose futures would otherwise have belonged in South American drug cartels”. Alternating between slow motion and real time, this short hits home the infectious energy and joy of the moment that is dance, especially when it’s shared in public.
Passinho is the sound track of Brazil right now, and as it garners endorsement by celebrity platforms it emulates a new path and hope for many young dancers. That’s definitely something worth celebrating.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Founder/Director of Dare to Dance in Public Film Festival, Sarah Elgart is a Los Angeles based choreographer and director working under the auspice of Sarah Elgart | Arrogant Elbow. Sarah creates original content for stage, screen, and site-specific venues. Her stage and site-works have been performed at alternative spaces including LAX Airport, The Skirball Center, Mark Taper Forum, Van Nuys Flyaway, The Bradbury Building, Jacob’s Pillow, INSITU Site-Specific Festival NY, and Loft Seven, where she created a rooftop work lit entirely by a hovering helicopter accompanied by Nels Cline (Wilco). Her work has been produced by venues including The Music Center, MASS MoCA, Dance Place, Los Angeles Theater Center, Mark Taper Forum and The International Women’s Theater Festival. In film Sarah has worked with noted directors including JJ Abrams, David Lynch, Catherine Hardwicke, and Anton Corbijn. Her own films include award-winning music videos, dance shorts, and an Emmy nominated PSA, and continue to be accepted into festivals internationally. In addition to teaching dance and film, Sarah writes a regular column, ScreenDance Diaries that focuses on the intersections of both genres internationally for online magazine Cultural Weekly. Sarah’s work has received support from organizations that include the Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA, City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, California Arts Council and more. She is an alumna of the Sundance Institute’s Dance Film Lab, a Fellow of AFI’s Directing Women’s Workshop, and a director member of the DGA.
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