Arte es vida (Art is life), it’s a simple mantra, but for the students, teachers and volunteers at Atelier Favela it has become so much more. What started out as a simple gathering of artists attempting to spread their knowledge and passion to the impoverished youth of Rio de Janeiro, has now become a full fledged project for founders Sabine Harmes & Jean Pina. The project has since moved to Ticuantepe, Nicaragua, a small farming community in the western hemisphere’s second poorest nation.
The favela functions through donations and the hands on work of the various volunteers, including Chantael Duke, an American student from Seattle who combined her two passions of dance and film to direct and choreograph a stunning visual capturing the essence of Atelier Favela.
The dance itself combines Duke’s background in modern and hip-hop dance along with the movements of Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that Pina teaches and specializes in. The lush visuals capture the natural beauty of the land of lakes and volcanoes for an undeniably inspirational piece. The video also features interviews and insight from both founders and participants in this one of a kind project.