ENSEMBLE BIOS.

The only Brazilian entertainment company in Australia to feature artists who regularly perform and train at an elite level in Rio Carnaval, who also teach and train at the world’s most reputable international Brazilian Dance school, Escola de Samba Sydney boasting over 140K + Instagram followers (check it out here).

Our artists are experts in Brazilian dance and Brazilian music including Samba no pé, Bateria Brazilian drumming, Brazilian Funk, Acrobatics, Capoeira, Afro Brazilian, Breakdance, Samba Pagode, Samba Enredo, Axe, Pagodâo and commercial music and dance.
 

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JENNY SALLES.

Vocalist | Dancer

Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Jennifer Salles (Jenny) is a multi-skilled vocalist, songwriter and dancer. From pop and rap to Samba, Jenny’s diverse vocal talents never cease to blow audiences away. The definition of Brazilian diva, Jenny owns any stage with her commanding presence and raw energy.

Whilst in Rio, Jenny was part of the rap group called Naif where she wrote and recorded original material including her first single. She was also a dancer for the Beyonce cover group in Rio “Bee Flawless”.  She participated in several music and dance contests and performances from a young age and her natural talent has shone bright ever since.

A dedicated professional artist of many years, Jenny came to Australia to further her artistic career and share her culture with us. In addition to performing as a vocalist and dancer, Jenny is also a Brazilian dance instructor at Escola de Samba Internacional. 

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CRISTIANO LOPES.

Musician

Hailing from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Cristiano Lopes was born and raised in the Vila Isabel community. He has been part of the famous Vila Isabel Samba school he was just 6 years old.  With Samba culture and the spirit of Rio coursing through his veins, Cristiano is a percussionist with an innate talent for the art form.

 

At the age of 17, Cristiano moved to the Netherlands to become a professional soccer player. His soccer career saw him play professionally for many years and travel internationally with the sport to countries such as Germany, Thailand and Indonesia.

 

After a long professional career in soccer, Cristiano moved to Australia in 2016. Playing percussion in the Rio Projekt Bateria has reignited his love for Samba and his Rio roots. 

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YURENA POLANEN.

Dancer

Yurena Polanen is performing artist, dancer, actor and athlete born in the Netherlands to Surinamese and Dutch Caribbean parents. Growing up in Barbados, she focused much of her time on practicing sports and played tennis and karate. Nevertheless, Yurena always had a love for performing and she took part in various pantomimes, first as a dancer of the ensemble and later as a principal actor.

 

At 16 years of age Yurena moved back to the Netherlands, where she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Physiotherapy. Still having a keen interest in sports, she began playing rugby and later became a part of the National Development Team on their road to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Yurena moved to Australia shortly after and originally planned to continue playing Rugby. However, it did not take long before her inner passion for the performing arts took over and she decided it was time to once again follow her heart and focus on the creative industry.

 

Since 2017 Yurena has worked diligently to establish herself as a dancer and actor. Initially focusing on the styles closest to her roots, such as Afro, Dancehall and Latin, Yurena was intrinsically drawn to Samba, feeling a natural connection to the essence and Afro centric roots of Brazilian culture. With an open mind, a willingness to learn and a natural flow, she took on Brazilian dance and has never looked back.

 

With natural talent and a strong commitment to growth as a dancer and performing artist, Yurena is a valuable addition to the Rio Projekt ensemble. Her positive energy, athleticism and passion shine through on stage.

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JONATHAN OLIVERIA.

Dancer

Jonathan Oliveria is a dancer from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Raised in humble upbringings in the interior in Indaiatuba, dance is simply a way of life for this bright young star.

 

Jonathan’s raw talent and passionate expression is testament to the power of dance to overcome hardship. Having lived through difficult times in Brazil, dance was Jonthan’s saviour and the passion he has for the art form and his determination to rise above struggle simply beams through all his performances.

 

Whilst in Sao Paulo, Jonathan performed with an Axe group and also a Funk group called MC Favela. Jonathan also developed a deep passion for the art of Samba and the “malandro” male Passista style which he now performs.

 

As a key member of Rio Projekt, Jonathan brings an invaluable raw street style and a bucketload of umatched vibe and soulful energy to all his work.

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FERNANDA ROCKERT.

Dancer

Fernanda Rockert is a professional dancer who was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro. She grew up in the culture of Samba, frequenting the Viradouro Samba School with her family and participating in the school ensaios (street rehearsals for Carnaval) throughout her life before moving overseas in 2011.  

 

Whilst growing up in Rio, Fernanda performed as a dancer on various Brazilian television soap operas and movies. She is classically trained and accredited by the Rio de Janeiro Dance Union as a professional tap dancer and also studied at the School of the Bolshoi Theatre in Brazil. She participated in multiple classical Ballet repertoires and national competitions for musical theatre and Ballet in Rio.

 

Before moving to Sydney in 2015, Fernanda lived in New Zealand for 4 years where she performed as a professional dancer and model. Now based in Sydney, she has been performing at various events such as The Carnaval Experience (Rio Projekt’s stage production), The Sydney Latin Festival, Parramasala, the Day With Keune runway hair show and the Sydney Mardi Gras with Sydney Dance Company dancers.

 

Fernanda returns to Brazil annually to parade in Rio Carnaval, train in Samba and spend time with her family.  She is an official Passista of the renowned Samba schools Viradoura (Rio Carnaval champion 2020) and Porto da Pedra.

 

In addition to being a dedicated dancer Fernanda is software engineer by day. She is an animal lover and passionate about all things related to environmental awareness.

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ARIANE SOUZA.

Vocalist

Ariane Souza is a professional singer, dancer and actress. Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Ariane’s passion and talent for the arts has been coursing through her veins since childhood. 

 

She started learning Ballet at the age of 8 and martial arts at the age of 9 at her parents’ academy, participating in several championships in Brazil and the USA. She studied at the Academy Dance Art in Sao Paulo training in Jazz, Hip Hop, Commercial and Latin partner dances and went on to perform with the urban dance company Puktion. Her dedication to communication led her to study and graduate university with a degree in journalism. 

 

Ariane moved to Australia to further her career as a versatile artist and explore diverse artistic avenues in music, dance and theatre.  She has studied at the Australian College of Dance, had vocal coaching with Jazz singers including Pat Powell and Carlinhos Pessoa and currently participates in workshops at the Sydney Actors School. 

 

Ariane has been performing as a professional singer and dancer at various events and venues across Sydney as well as in theatre plays. Her diversity and vocal prowess in both English and Portuguese is highly sought after in the performing arts community. 

 

Passionate about drawing inspiration from many cultures and bringing her Brazilian roots to the stage, Ariane is a dynamic and multi-talented artist in the Rio Projekt ensemble.

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BRUNO NIKU.

Acrobat

Born in the city of Jundiai, in the interior of Sao Paulo, Bruno started training in the art of Capoeira at the age of 9. He was always passionate about sports and spent his entire childhood and adolescence playing Capoeira and football.

After graduating in Mechanical Engineering with a MBA in project management, Bruno migrated to Australia in 2015. His professional life is balanced between working as an Engineer and Capoeira / Acrobatics at an elite level.

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FLAVIO DOS SANTOS.

Acrobat

Born in the city of Jundiai, in the interior of Sao Paulo, Bruno started training in the art of Capoeira at the age of 9. He was always passionate about sports and spent his entire childhood and adolescence playing Capoeira and football.

After graduating in Mechanical Engineering with a MBA in project management, Bruno migrated to Australia in 2015. His professional life is balanced between working as an Engineer and Capoeira / Acrobatics at an elite level.

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FATTISHA KAMARA

Dancer

Fattisha is a passionate and explosive dancer, instructor, choreographer and costume designer. With African heritage from Sierra Leone, Fattisha was born in Cairo, Egypt where she spent most of her early years training and participating in various forms of dance and martial arts. Having a very natural artistic talent, Fattisha started dancing at the age of 2 and the art form has been a key element of her life ever since.

 

Fattisha moved to Australia with her family in 2001 attending high school in Alice Springs and teaching dance at her school at the age of 17.  In 2006 she moved to Adelaide to study Justice and Society at Flinders University. While studying, she taught dance at various schools and worked with the Australian Company of Performing Arts as a choreographer and dancer.

 

After moving to Sydney in 2010, Fattisha has focused predominantly on Brazilian and Afrocentric dance genres for the past 10 years and has become a well known face of Brazilian entertainment. She performed for the official FIFA World Cup 2014 events in Sydney and the official Rio 2016 Olympic events in Sydney and Melbourne. She has appeared on major media networks including Channel 7, Channel 10 and Fox Sports and performed for countless high profile events including Cronulla Sharks half time entertainment, Darling Harbour Fiesta, the Sydney Mardi Gras and a host of high profile corporate brands. 

 

Fattisha has performed on The X Factor with international artists such as Jason Derulo and James Arthur and appeared in commercials for Rapid Loss, Adidas and HP Sproket. Fattisha has also appeared on various DVDs for The Wiggles including 'Wiggle Pop' , 'The Emma and Lachy Show' , 'The Wiggles World' and the ‘Emma Series 2’.

 

In addition to her work as a performing artist and versatile dance instructor, Fattisha has her own costume brand, Stylisha Exclusive Designs and her couture designs are sought after items amongst the industry. 

 

Fattisha is known for her magnetic energy as an artist and her joyful spirit and true love for dance radiates through all her work. Now based in Orange, Fattisha travels to Sydney for specific Rio Projekt performances and is an invaluable, original member of the ensemble. 

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LUPA TEIXEIRA.

Vocalist | Musician

Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Luiz Paulo Teixeira - LUPA is a musician, vocalist, songwriter and producer with more than 18 years experience performing professionally in the MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) and Samba arena. 

 

Influenced by his father and brother who played in bands, Lupa’s love for music started from a young age in Brazil and he has always been passionate about music history and playing various instruments. At the age of 12 he began studying a range of both string/harmonic and percussion instruments including Keyboard, Guitar, Cavaquinho, Banjo, Berimbau, Tamborim, Tam Tam, Pandeiro, Repique, Reco-Reco, Repinique, Caixa, and more.  In addition to his love of playing instruments, Lupa also developed a passion for singing MPB (Brazilian Popular Music) and constantly studies and works at perfecting his craft.

 

In Brazil, Lupa performed with a host of well known bands including Karametade, Protesamba, Sambareando, Declarasamba, Pureza do Samba, Alegria Alegria, Novo Encontro, Ciranda de Roda, Reunião de Amigos, Quintal QDJ, and more. Passionate about Carnaval culture, Lupa was involved with various Samba schools in Sao Paulo including Vai - Vai, Nenê da Vila Matilde, Gaviões da Fiel, Tom Maior and Academicos do Tatuapé (where he was a ritmista and helped the school to step up for the top league of Carnaval). 

 

Since arriving in Australia, Lupa has performed with nearly every major Brazilian band in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, including Samba Australia, Samba Roots, Ganza Project, Roda de Samba dos Amigos, Sambrothers, Samba Black, SambaRound, Favela beat, Sambachic, Sambaê and Axé Band as well as the show group, Rhythm Brazil. He has also played for Sydney Choro Club, Roda de Choro Sydney and performed in New Zealand with Samba Maracanã at their Carnaval event.

 

Lupa is an invaluable member of the Rio Projekt ensemble. As a lead vocalist and musician in The Carnaval Experience stage production, Lupa captivates audiences with his magnetic artistry and brings his dynamic and soulful presence to every performance.

 

Lupa also has been developing projects in music production and recording and fusing Brazilian music with international music culture references. As a composer, Lupa has written more than 25 songs in his music career, some of which appear on his new album, NA PEGADA. Check it out on various digital platforms! Artist: LUPA