English edition by Jennifer Parker

Get ready to warm up and explore a wide variety of dance, from Afro-Brazilian and its contagious rhythms, to the samba and its different manifestations from Bahia’s samba de roda and samba reggae to Rio’s samba enredo, while learning the foundation of Brazilian martial art capoeira, Hmmm…its sounds energetic and fun. Well, this is the Project Dance-Capoeira created by multi-talented artist Gracy Ferrecetti.

This innovative workshop is an experience of the different Brazilian rhythms and movements, taking you for an imaginary trip to Brazil through music and dance. From the traditional to contemporary dance, including live percussion, you probably can feel your body fly.

The dancer, choreographer, percussionist and capoeirista Gracy Ferrecetti, says: “After many years of dance and capoeira experience, I had the idea to incorporate movements of capoeira to help my dance students by making Afro-Brazilian dance movements with better flexibility and push them towards a new, energetic and fun way to experience the Brazilian dance rhythms”.

Gracy immigrated to the US at a young age, to New York with her mother and sisters. During her childhood, she studied tap dance, ballet and jazz, and played the viola for 6 years; earning first chair in her high school orchestra. At the age of 16, she was scouted out by Emilia Biancardi to play in her Folkloric and traditional band and dance troupe, IABAS. Emilia Biancardi is a renowned authority on Brazilian folklore and Afro-Brazilian history and culture. Gracy worked and learned music and percussion with Emilia for 3 years. The troupe performed at many different venues, like the Museum of Natural History in NY and the famous Bearsville Theater. Gracy was greatly inspired by Rosangela Silvestre, another Brazilian dance authority, who performed and choreographed also for IABAS.

When Gracy moved from NY to California she began studying capoeira with “Piriquito” from Capoeira Abada for 3 months. After her capoeira “batizado,” she left for Brazil where she traveled the country studying with various dance groups. When she returned to San Diego, she continued studying capoeira, this time with Quilombos of San Diego and recorded a capoeira CD with them. After that, she went to NY for another year, and then for Europe, always dedicated to training, researching and working with capoeira and dance.

Back in NY she danced and performed with Juliana Aquino, Silvana Magida with her Katende Band and many others. Finally, upon returning to San Diego in 1997, she began teaching Afro-Brazilian dance at Soul Beat, a school of popular and traditional arts. A couple years later, she began studying, training and working with Capoeira Mandinga SD, founded by Capoeira Contra- Mestre Paulo Batuta.

During these last ten years, she has been teaching at UCSD, University of Illinois, Tucson, Las Vegas and Virginia, and choreographed countless performances. She trained with renowned Brazilian capoeira masters such Deputado and Onca among others and in 1996 get her “capoeira professor” graduation. The project “Dance-Capoeira” came up with the question, “How can we DO IT ALL?” The answer was a fusion of capoeira and Brazilian dance, and reinforced initially with the total interest demonstrated by Gracy’s own dance students and than for a growing number of people in San Diego and others cities.

*Gracy or “Professora Marron”, after several years teaching capoeira and dance in San Diego, California, have married and decided to focus on her hair stylist career and on her Gracy International Hair Design Salon business. To know more about her salon and services that includes nails, waxing, make up and massage visit www.gracyhair.com

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