Breaking boundaries in Porto: from the street to the stage in three months’ time

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Filipa Brito

There are only a few days to go before the final presentation of the municipal programme “Desporto no Bairro, which will join on stage the 35 finalists of the programme, the 10 b-boys and b-girls that monitor the project and the premiere of international band ILL-Abilities in Portugal.

The municipal programme “Desporto no Bairro, which is implemented by the municipal company Ágora – Cultura e Desporto do Porto, was launched in September. And now, the most expected moment is closing in as on 9th December the show will go on stage at Super Bock Arena – Pavilhão Rosa Mota, where the protagonists are the 35 finalists of the “Desporto no Bairro” first edition, aged between 6 and 19 years.

The show is set to kick off at 8.30pm, and there is limited seat availability, to comply with the health measures issued by the DGS. Face masks are mandatory and all seats will be designated, with physical distancing among viewers that are not within the same household. Also, entry and exit points have separate circuits and are duly marked. Doors will open at 7.30pm.

After showing family and friends what they can now do, and following some performances in iconic places in the city of Porto, these young talents for the first time will go up on stage and dance with some of the best b-boys in the world and show everyone how such a programme can be life-changing.

"We would lay down the linoleum floor coverings and children and youth would come to us. We would turn the radio on and the sharing would begin", recalls Max Oliveira, ground coordinator of the "Desporto no Bairro" programme and Director of MXM ArtCenter and also founder of Momentum Crew, the first professional street dance in Portugal.

The accession by the community was larger than expected, as the programme managed to involve circa 400 children and youth till the end of October, from the eight neighbourhoods of Aldoar, Fonte da Moura, Viso, Ramalde, Cerco, Lagarteiro, Pasteleira, and Pinheiro Torres. Breaking, which will be part of the Olympic programme in 2024, was seen as a way of practising sports and being in touch with culture. The municipal programme "Desporto no Bairro" is targeted at promoting inclusion trough sport and is implemented in these eight neighbourhoods in Porto.

International guests

The show will also welcome the international band ILL Abilities, the dance crew comprised of differently-abled dancers, and whose motto is “No Excuses, No limits”. They will join the ten members of the monitors’ team and the 35 finalists on stage.

The crew was established in 2007 by the Canadian Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli, and comprises dancers from all over the globe, namely the United States, Canada, Brazil, Chile, the Netherlands and South Korea. This will be their first performance in Portugal.

Tickets for the show are free, but reservation is mandatory (maximum 2 per person), via the email