Thursday, April 11, 2013

Prague zouk congress lives up to the hype!

The Prague zouk congress came to its 4th year in 2013. Boldly dubbed by the organisers as "the most anticipated zouk congress of the year" I certainly booked my ticket early, back in last November(!!). This year the congress took place during the Easter holidays and the Prague - as pretty much all of Europe - was experiencing unseasonably cold weathers. But even the cold & grey Prague was as beautiful as ever with festive Easter decorations and people were enjoying the cheap but tasty food & drinks!

But we weren't feeling the cold as the temperatures climb in the zouk congress atmosphere. Right in the center of Prague Old Town – next to shopping center Palladium on the top floor of department store Kotva was the location of the Prague zouk congress.

View from the top floor of the congress site

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

24 hours in Rio

Before returning home from Brazil last January I stopped for one day in Rio. Now you could say "what sense  does it make to stay only one day in Rio?". Well almost no sense at all, but since I had spent there 2 weeks one year ago I thought I could spare the few extra non-dancing-tourist days visiting some new place (=Paraty).

But I got surprisingly much done in 24 hours in Rio. I went back to Ipanema and Copacabana, did some shopping in Botafogo, walked around in Lapa and Santa Teresa, and had my last açaí and other local treats. After another long, lovely trip to Brazil is was ready to come back home.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The picturesque Paraty

Paraty (or Parati) is an old Portuguese colonial town on the Costa Verde (Green Coast) of Brazil. One of the beach towns between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, it's a great place to stop if you're traveling on the coastline. Just arriving to the coast over the mountains is quite stunning! I really fell in love with Paraty... The old town is a sight in itself with the rough cobbled streets and beautiful old buildings. It's easy to spend a day just walking around and exploring, shopping and sitting in cafés and enjoy the laid back atmosphere.

Street view from Paraty - one pretty white house after another

Monday, April 8, 2013

Can't stay away from São Paulo!

In January I went back to São Paulo - for zouk, obviously! I wrote a more comprehensive report last year but below are some updates on where to find zouk in São Paulo. Some new clubs have surfaced and teachers have new schedules...

Burn the floor in São Paulo

First about the zouk nights. There's a massive zouk scene in São Paulo and you will find many big parties every week. People like to dress up, go dance & socialize and new-comers are always most welcome! on a usual week night there can be easily 200 people dancing zouk in one club - on special nights 1000.... You'll feel like going to a congress party! The zouk club's prices may vary depending on special visitors (artists such a Paulo Mac and Kaysha are no strangers to São Paulo clubs) or promotions (often free nights for ladies) but the entry is generally around R$20. The parties usually start around 9-10pm and go on to 2-4am with a free zouk class at the start of the night with local teachers such as Philip Miha, Dadinho, Renato Veronezi, Ricardo Ferrari etc.

One of those zouk-filled nights in Capital Bar

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Videos from Berg's Congress 2013 - you have to see it to believe it

I compiled some lists for videos of the 5th Berg's Congress - you can find the links to the videos below! The lists are in no way complete as there were about 80 workshops and about the same number of show and competition performances. But I've tried to make sure I've looked up the most interesting and popular ones!

Below is the playlist of videos of the workshops and demos. The first one on the list, Ricardo's & Graziella's demo with guest star Braz was perhaps my favourite as it shows the wonderful, fun spirit that lives in the lambazouk community. There's also lots of collaboration among the various zouk styles that you find in São Paulo, which you can also see in this Renato & Babi's demo!