Forró, pronounced fo-ho, is known today as a type of Brazilian music and partner dance. There are several theories on the origin of the word forró. One viewpoint, held by Brazilian folklorist Luís da Câmara Cascudo, states that word forró is a derivative of the word ‘forrobodó’, meaning great party or commotion. Another theory on the word forró is that it is a derivative of the English expression ‘for all,’ originating in the early 1900s from English engineers who worked on the Great Western Railway of Brazil near Recife. They would throw balls on weekends, classifying them as either for railroad personnel only or the general public (“for all”).
It is said that forró music was invented on the farms and plantations in Ceará and Northeast Brazil. Most popular in Brazil’s Northeast region, the music and dance that is now loved by all of Brazil were brought to the Southeast by Luiz Gonzaga, who is also known as the King of Baião. He was a famous Brazilian singer, songwriter, musician and poet and one of the most influential figures in 20th-century Brazilian popular music.
Forró music today has various musical styles. Instruments that can be found on the stage include a triangle, Zumba, guitar, accordion, fiddle, flute, pandeiro, bass, and a cavaquinho. With lively beats and an eclectic mix of music, forró remains extremely popular among Brazilians. Take the time to enjoy some examples of Forró dancing, just click on the videos below. You will see how Forró makes you want to dance!
Cafe 21 love forró so much that we have our own forró party called Forró Forever. So be sure to check our events calendar for the next Forró Forever party. If you are interested in forró lessons, just contact [email protected] and we will get you in touch with our favorite forró instructors, Daniel and Clarisse!