Getting to Know Passinho

Regular readers of Volumes of Bass will remember the time we shared the story of Rio de Janeiro’s latest dance craze breaking out of the ghetto and into the international limelight. If you’re like us, the last place you anticipated for dancers to take the style is from aggressive club-oriented Funk Carioca to the more laid-back grooves of raggae. But if the numerous examples found on YouTube are any indication, that’s exactly the direction passinho has taken.

Youths perform a passinho do reggae routine

While considerably less spectacular, it seems this is a significant development along with the emergence of projects that clearly have the budgets for more than a neighborhood bodega’s borrowed sound system and a base-model Nokia camera phone for recording video. In case you’ve been wondering what Ricky Martin has been up to since falling off North America’s radar with the fading success of She Bangs in 2000, the latest answer is actually a single with a video that prominently features the dance:

Ricky Martin feat. Dream Team do Passinho – Vida

For the uninitiated, the best introduction to passinho is undoubtedly the 2012 documentary, A Batalha do Passinho that tells the stories of some of the favelas kids responsible for the style’s early development and activist Julio Ludemir’s efforts to get it the recognition and widespread acceptance it deserves by organizing dance battles for inner-city youths. The whole thing can be watched in its entirety for free on IMDB.

The trailer to A Batalha do Passinho


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