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Luiz Filipe Barbosa

Luiz Filipe Barbosa, an Israeli folk dance choreographer who is renowned for his work and contributions in the field has sadly passed away at the age of 52. Recently, Barbosa had his 35th anniversary as a teacher and choreographer, however, unfortunately, due to a stroke he has demised. “He brought a lot of joy to our community, always present at our celebrations, with a lot of willingness and commitment. He will be sorely missed,” Arnon Velmovitsky, president of the Rio Jewish federation. “His joy through dance will stay in our memory,” Fabio Belideck, president of the Eliezer-Max Jewish school.

Despite Barbosa not being Jewish, he studied at Eliezer Max, a Jewish school where his mother was employed. While at Eliezer Max, Barbosa fell in love with Israeli dance. “I had no idea that he would become such an emblematic Jew,” Luiz Mairovitch, president of Rio’s Hebraica club, a former classmate of Barbosa’s at the Jewish school Eliezer-Max.

In those days, in parallel with his beginnings in Israeli dance, Barbosa was a member of the Habonim Dror Jewish youth movement- where he was a student and a chanich, and later became a dance teacher and was even the choreographer of other Zionist movements. The practice of Israeli folk dancing is popular among the Jewish community: children, youths, adults and seniors- these dances aretaught in Jewish day schools, youth movements such as Habonim Dror, clubs, and synagogues. Barbosa was famous for his daring dances and choreographies as he performed in some of Brazil’s renowned massive Israeli dance events- namely Sao Paulo’s Carmel festival: one of the largest of its kind outside of Israel.

Barbosa inspired many with his revolutionary and emphatic choreographies. As the Brazilian choreographer Andre Schor, who moved to Israel in 2017- and is considered a rising star in the dance scene- said: “He planted the seed of Israeli dance inside of me and it’s very lively until today. Despite our differences in creation, I have always admired him, he was my very first choreographer when I was only 5 years old.”

In loving memory of Luiz Filipe Barbosa: once a Habonim Dror chanich, always a Habonim Dror chanich.

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