It is not new that dance celebrations are present in a World Cup.
But the choreographies in the goals of Brazil 4 x 1 Korea of the South became subject of debate, mainly after the comments of Roy Keane, who thought that the Brazilians passed the point.
“I’ve never seen so much dancing. I know there’s a point of culture, but I think it’s really disrespectful to the opponent. There are four (goals) and they do it every time. The first little dance or whatever they do, fine. And then the technician gets involved. I’m not happy about it. I don’t think it’s good at all”, said the former Irish player and currently a British TV commentator.
The Brazilians’ dances are also a response to the racism suffered by Vinícius Júnior, who was offended on a Spanish TV program before his Real Madrid derby against Atlético de Madrid.
Other celebrations full of malevolence are remembered every four years, such as the roll of the Cameroonian Roger Milla, in 1990, or the beautiful (and choreographed) celebration of the South African Tshabalala in the 2010 World Cup.
Colombian winger Armero, well known in Brazil, turned rebolation into armeration on pitches around here, and took the celebration to the 2014 World Cup.
And Brazilians with more Cups under their belt still remember Junior dancing after scoring against Argentina in 1982.
The contagious joy of the left-back of that selection, which became a symbol of football-art, was never seen as mockery. “I don’t see any kind of mockery with the dance of Brazilian players, I see the manifestation of a corporeality that is expressed in this way”, says Luiz Antonio Simas, professor and author of books such as “Umbandas: Uma História do Brasil” and “Ode to Mauro Shampoo and Other Stories from the Várzea”.
“I think that dance is very present in Brazilian education, because if we try to understand how African and indigenous cultures deal with corporeality, we will see that the expression of dance is a very natural way of interacting with the world”, he says. Seamus.
By exemplifying the use of dance as an interaction with the world, the teacher mentions the candomblé culture in Brazil. “The name of the drum beats of each orixá corresponds to the dance of each orixá. The aguerê is not just the Oxóssi beat, it is the touch and the bodily manifestation of the dance”, he says.
If the school of English football was manifested by the aerial play, and the Scottish one by the exchange of passes, the author says that the Brazilian contribution to football is that of swinging. “And gingar is a way of dancing too, dribbling is a form of corporeality expression.”
“We are made up of people who dealt with the world by dancing. And you don’t just dance as a manifestation of joy, but also of pain, of sadness. The expression of the body that dances is ingrained in our cultures”, completes Simas.
Professor Flávio de Campos, from the Department of History at USP, echoes when he says that there is no insult involved in the selection celebrations. “We have an expression of cultural joy that is Brazilian, and that appears in different cultures.”
“We handle the ball with our feet, and handling it with our hands. It’s a challenge to the development process. Football subverts by activating parts from the waist down, it’s a body irony. And the other element of human culture that does that is dancing”, says Campos.
“We roll, shake, use our feet, I see a lot of similarity in the cultural expression between football and dance, and when the players celebrate with little dances, they mix these two elements”, he says.
The professor also believes that there is a recovery of popular culture that involves African roots and other forms of musical expressions, more recently, funk.
“Funk is the new maxixe, the dance that was forbidden almost a century ago. It is the dance of the peripheral, black, poor, even if our athletes eat meat with gold dust, which is a contradiction of the process”, evaluates Campos , who misses only the freedom for political celebrations, prohibited by FIFA.
“The World Cup could also be an interesting moment to express indignation against racism, homophobia, sexism and social inequality. But let more dances come.”
The topic has already been discussed in interviews with players from Croatia, Brazil’s rival in the quarterfinals.
“Let them dance. I don’t see disrespect in the fact that Brazilians are born and live from music. I know how they live, and I don’t see anything wrong. Of course, everything has its limits”, declared defender Lovren.