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 GRN/DOC 

From matinees in Niterói to international stages, Grupo de Rua's journey is inseparable from its roots. In this microsite, we go back in time to discover the entire journey from its beginnings to the present day.

SCAFFO

Early 90s

In early 1993, Bruno and his friends explored the dance scene in the city of Niterói, attending the Scaffo nightclub, a popular place among young dance lovers. Influenced by the movements of MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice, Michael Jackson in addition to R&B and New Wave that echoed in the club, Bruno, initially reticent, gradually became enchanted with the practice. Observing his friends Rodrigo, Nathan, Allan from afar, he developed a passion for dancing that would eventually shape his future career.
 

They even created a group together with friends from the street called Power Dance, in San Francisco, where they were neighbors and rehearsed steps to perform at Scaffo on weekends, at Clube Naval.


In a chance meeting, Bruno and Rodrigo find themselves face to face in an almost comical silence. Bruno, waiting for Nathan, and Rodrigo, waiting for Allan, Nathan's brother, sat down at a table that seemed to be conspiring for the meeting.

And as if by magic, without exchanging a word, his fingers found the rhythm in a spontaneous drumming that started on the table.

Improvised, born out of nowhere, it became the soundtrack of a meeting that would mark the beginning of a great friendship and a long artistic collaboration that would last for years.

The batucada that brought Bruno and Rodrigo together

Destiny Touching the Table

In 1994, after a year of going to Scaffo nightclub, Bruno and Rodrigo were surprised by something new brought by their friend Douglas. Thanks to him, they learned that an American teacher taught hip hop classes at the Ativa academy, in Icaraí. But this information was not very accurate. In fact, the teacher was the Israeli Yoram Zsabo, who did not teach hip hop, but rather a type of Street Jazz.

Yoram Szabo, was a Jazz and Hip Hop teacher who worked between New York and Brazil in the 90s. Originally from Israel, Yoram honed his dancing, singing and theater skills in New York and Philadelphia, bringing his classes to renowned academies in the Rio de Janeiro, like Carlota Portela and Enid Sauer. His dance style, developed in the gyms, is a mix of New Jack Swing and Jazz. On the streets of New York, he was known for his light, loose movements that emphasized fun and physical exercise, accessible to students of all technical levels. Yoram Szabo left a lasting impression before ending his teaching career, planning courses in cities like Salvador and Aracaju, and solidifying his role as an influencer in the spread of Hip Hop in Brazil.

From the nightclub to the gym

Two years after starting classes with Yoram, who did not return to Brazil to continue his workshops, Bruno and Rodrigo found themselves faced with the challenge of maintaining their dance practice. Faced with the absence of a mentor, they made an unusual decision: to start teaching dance.

Encouraged by their teenage friends, Vanessa Motta and Tania Mara, who regularly attended one of the oldest and most renowned gyms in Niterói, they were introduced to teacher Helfany Peçanha who allowed Bruno and Rodrigo to start teaching at the gym, at the age of 15, in 1995.

Teaching to learn

Track Name

In the same year, they choreographed their first work created for the end of the course at the Helfany and Jânia academy with the song Now that we found love by Heavy D and the Boys.

Lidia e Julia Vanini

The first choreography

In the same year that they started teaching, they choreographed their first piece for the end of the course at the Helfany and Jânia academy with the song Now that we found love by Heavy D and the Boys.

In 1994, Bruno and Rodrigo began teaching children at the Helfany Academy. They soon noticed the stark contrast between teaching children and adults. Concerned about the safety of the little ones, they took care to adapt each movement.

On the other side of the world, in China, it was a different story. Dance training there is known for being rigorous from an early age. Young dancers are molded in a regime of severe discipline, where skills are sculpted under the weight of extremely high expectations. Injuries and emotional exhaustion are often seen as necessary sacrifices in the quest for artistic perfection.

Bruno, Rodrigo, Allan e Nathan no final da apresentação, em Niterói.

Airport

The following year, they released "Aeroporto", a performance created for their second end-of-year show at Helfany. Just five minutes long, the choreography portrayed a bomb threat situation at an airport, which escalated to the dramatic arrival of the bomb squad to neutralize the danger.

The influence of Santos

Emerging from the vibrant cultural scene of the 1990s, "Dança de Rua do Brasil", led by Marcelo Cirino, burst onto the Brazilian urban dance scene. Inspired by the contagious energy of aerobics and the pulsating beats of electronic music, the group updated the aesthetics of street dance, incorporating an eclectic fusion of influences.

 

More than a mere imitation, "Dança de Rua do Brasil" recontextualized elements of voguing. The rigidity of the postures and the geometry of the shapes in the choreographies reflected a discipline present in the Santos project, while the symmetry of the movements evoked the image of a military bloc on the march.

 

For example, the hands performances, traditionally executed with softness and fluidity, took on an impressive hardness and precision in the group's repertoire.

 

The catwalk, originally a stylized and elegant catwalk, is transformed into a standardized entrance and exit from the stage, referring to the tension and urgency of an escape in the midst of a threat. This break with tradition demonstrates the boldness and creativity of the group, which didn't stick to pre-defined formulas, but sought to re-imagine the language of urban dance to their liking.

 

The synchrony and obsessive precision of the choreographies were trademarks of Dança de Rua do Brasil. For them, this search and idea of technical perfection was linked to synchrony and choral choreography.

Grupo de Rua

After two years at the Helfany and Jania Academy, at the age of 16, the dancers looked for a new space to expand their artistic ambitions, such as representing the city at events in Brazil and abroad. With the generous welcome of Rose Mansur, who opened the doors of her academy, they held the first audition that would give life to the group.
On July 15, 1996, Bruno and Rodrigo's trajectory reached a decisive point with the founding of theGrupo de Rua de Niterói, at the Rose Mansur Academy.

Foundation

From the street to tumbling

Between 1997 and 1999, the Grupo de Rua had the opportunity to learn Olympic gymnastics from the legendary Professor Werneck. He was one of the most respected instructors in the city, and also an important figure in Beltrão's life.

The experience with professor Werneck

Bruno, who had been a student of Werneck's from the age of 7 to 12 at the Associação Atlética Banco do Brasil (AABB), met his mentor again at a crucial stage. The reunion rekindled Bruno's passion for sport and sealed an unprecedented partnership: in exchange for training, the group would perform at some of the gymnastics events he organized. After Werneck's death, Niterói City Hall created the Carlos Werneck Gymnastics Tournament, paying tribute to his legacy and keeping his memory alive in the artistic gymnastics community. 

A moment when the GRN hears the results of the Tapias Festival in 1996

3rd teenage war

The Last Prophecy' marks the beginning of Grupo de Rua on the amateur dance scene

Jorge Sankler e Jorge Luciano Neres de Carvalho, gêmeos com um pé no circo e outro na cena hip hop, são conhecidos por suas acrobacias espetaculares.
 
Em uma ocasião, eles visitaram um treino do Grupo de Rua, liderado por Werneck, no colegio Salesianos, em Niteroi. Werneck e os Gemeos faziam alguns projetos juntos.  
 
Durante a visita, um dos irmãos, executou uma manobra impressionante. Ele iniciou um mortal para trás, mas, em um movimento surpreendente, decidiu interromper a acrobacia no ápice e aterrissou suavemente em uma cama de mola. A cena inesperada deixou todos os bailarinos do Grupo boquiabertos, marcando o dia com um misto de suspense e admiração.

Visita dos Gêmeos

Since its formation, Grupo de Rua has wasted no time in marking its territory in the competitive world of dance festivals. With "The Last Prophecy", a choreography inspired by the predictions of Michel de Nostradamus, this choreography paved the way for a series of victories, with the group winning first place in all nine festivals in which they competed, eight in the state of Rio and one in Italy. 

Translated with DeepL.com (free version)

3rd teenage war

"Grupo de Rua de Niterói (GRN), already active for around two years, had its horizons in the world of B-boying significantly expanded by a landmark event. The transformation began when Fera and Maluquinho, two b-boys from Pará, they brought to Rio de Janeiro a VHS tape with excerpts from the 1998 'Battle of the Year' championship. This international tournament, one of the most prestigious in the b-boying scene, included an iconic battle between the Suicidal Lifestyle and Phaze II crews. The tape quickly became a kind of visual manual for GRN, a source of inspiration and learning that members studied endlessly.

The battle between Suicidal Lifestyle and Phaze II is often seen as a milestone in bboy history, standing out for showcasing the remarkable talents of Mr. Do, Wicked, Javier and the young K-Mel. This competition exemplified the essence of true breakdance battles, with each participant displaying impressive skills and a deep respect for their opponents, striving to outdo the previous move with creativity and dexterity.

 

Later many consider this event to represent the golden age of b-boying. K-Mel, only 17 at the time, drew a lot of attention with her moves and inspired future generations of dancers. This battle enriched the GRN experience and also continues to be a benchmark of excellence in the bboy world.

German Battle of '98 went viral before the internet