Brazilian Ballet Dancers Adapt to Covid-19 With a Difference

Published September 13th, 2020 - 06:32 GMT

Against a backdrop of jumbled shacks seemingly piled atop each other, the dancers run in place with studied movements, then collapse to the floor in steady succession.

This is a rehearsal at the Ballet of Paraisopolis, one of the biggest favelas in Sao Paulo, Brazil, AFP revealed.

"I was really anxious to come back. It felt like my first time," said 17-year-old dancer and local resident Kemilly Luanda.

The dance school is just returning from a four-month hiatus for the coronavirus pandemic, which has left Brazil with the second-highest death toll worldwide, after the United States: nearly 130,000 people killed.

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Mariana Sousa, student of the Ballet Paraisopolis, warms up during a rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

Mariana Sousa, student of the Ballet Paraisopolis, warms up during a rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

The 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

The 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

Ballet Paraisopolis students rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

Ballet Paraisopolis students rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

Ballet Paraisopolis students rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

Ballet Paraisopolis students rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

Mariana Sousa, student of the Ballet Paraisopolis, warms up during a rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

Mariana Sousa, student of the Ballet Paraisopolis, warms up during a rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

The 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

The 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

Kemilly Luanda, student of the Ballet Paraisopolis, poses during a rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

Kemilly Luanda, student of the Ballet Paraisopolis, poses during a rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

e 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

e 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP

Mariana Sousa, student of the Ballet Paraisopolis, warms up during a rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
The 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
Ballet Paraisopolis students rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
Ballet Paraisopolis students rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
Mariana Sousa, student of the Ballet Paraisopolis, warms up during a rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
The 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
Kemilly Luanda, student of the Ballet Paraisopolis, poses during a rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
e 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
Mariana Sousa, student of the Ballet Paraisopolis, warms up during a rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
Mariana Sousa, student of the Ballet Paraisopolis, warms up during a rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
The 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
The 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
Ballet Paraisopolis students rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
Ballet Paraisopolis students rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
Ballet Paraisopolis students rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
Ballet Paraisopolis students rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
Mariana Sousa, student of the Ballet Paraisopolis, warms up during a rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
Mariana Sousa, student of the Ballet Paraisopolis, warms up during a rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
The 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
The 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
Kemilly Luanda, student of the Ballet Paraisopolis, poses during a rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
Kemilly Luanda, student of the Ballet Paraisopolis, poses during a rehearse in Paraisopolis favela, outskirts of Sao Paulo, Brazil on August 27, 2020, amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
e 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP
e 200 ballet students of Paraisopolis, the second largest favela in Sao Paulo, restarted rehearsals after five months with a coreography about a police operation that put their community in mourning last year. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP