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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LUISA ESCALANTE.

Dancer

Born in Cartago, Valle, Colombia and moving to Australia at the age of 10, Luisa grew up with her culture close to her heart.  With a natural ability for Latin dances such as Salsa, Merengue and Bachata, Luisa has also taken classes in these genres.

 

Luisa has been training intensively in Samba no pé and Brazilian dance at Escola de Samba Sydney since 2016.  Her pure love for Samba and commitment to training saw her grow from strength to strength and she performed at various community events and festivals with the Escola community.

 

In 2019 Luisa auditioned and was selected to be an official Passista for two of Rio de Janeiro’s beloved Samba schools, Imperio Serrano and Unidos de Bangu.  She spent two months in Rio in early 2020 in intense training and rehearsals for Carnaval and proudly paraded with the official ala das Passistas for both schools in Rio Carnaval 2020.

 

Luisa is passionate about representing the culture of Samba with the utmost integrity and is dedicated to training and constant growth as a dancer and cultural representative.  Luisa executes Samba no pé with so much heart, power and effortless ease and is a captivating Passista to watch. Both on stage and behind the scenes, Luisa is an invaluable member of the Rio Projekt ensemble.  

 

By profession, Luisa is a qualified Oral Health Therapist and Dental Hygienist and is extremely passionate about her work in the field.

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MURILLO HENRIQUE.

Musician

Coming soon.

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DANIEL BARBOSA.

Musician

Hailing from São Paulo, Brazil, Daniel has always been interested in music and percussion.  Whilst living in Sao Paulo and studying business at university, he played Caixa, and Surdo with a local bateria (drumming group) and also rehearsed with Camisa Verde e Branco, one of the most traditional Escolas de Samba in Brazil.

Daniel moved to Sydney in 2016, completed a Masters in Business and Global Project Management and now works at Westpac. 

 

With football as one of Daniel’s other great loves, he founded a group called SPFC Australia, formed by Brazilians who supported São Paulo Futebol Club (the biggest football team in Brazil). The group follows the typical tradition of playing instruments during games and sporting patriotic branded clothing. He is also the co-ownder of a sunglass brand called Rootz, which combines style and sustainability. 

 

Daniel brings his passion and flair for percussion to the Rio Projekt Bateria.

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MAIANA SENA.

Dancer

Born in Salvador, Brazil, Maiana is an elite classically trained dancer with all the heart and soul from her Afrocentric home state, Bahia.  She began her dance training at the age of four in multiple styles of dance and received her formal training at Ebateca School where she specialized in the Methodology of Royal Ballet.  Maiana also trained in Afro Brazilian dance from a young age and was an official performer for the world renowned FitDance ensemble based in Salvador.

Maiana obtained a full scholarship from Bolshoi Theatre School in Brazil where she earned a degree in Contemporary Dance. During her graduation she was promoted as a trainee with Bolshoi's Young Company.  Thereafter, Maiana was then invited to Chicago to pursue her career in dance where she spent five years performing and training at an elite level.  

Maiana has danced in: Hubbard Street Chicago’s winter intensive, Thodos Dance Chicago’s New Dances Project, and Aerial Dance Chicago, Visceral Dance Chicago and Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre.  In 2016, she was extended the opportunity to dance in Switzerland for Tanz Zwischen Licht Und Schatten Zurich Project.  As a recognized Member of International Dance Council-UNESCO, Maiana was named the Guest Artist for the Fox Valley Nutcracker for two consecutive years. 

Maiana is now based in Sydney and brings her elite skill set, international experience and energia da Bahia to the Rio Projekt ensemble.

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RAPHAEL HORA DE ALMEIDA.

Musician

Raphael is a highly accomplished musician, music director and producer who was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro. With music in his soul from a very young age, Raphael has been playing professionally since the age of 13 and attained his professional music licence in Brazil at 18 years old. 

 

A versatile and talented musician who plays a wide range of instruments, Raphael regularly performed with many of the most famous and respected music artists in Brazil including Zeca Pagodinho, Arlindo Cruz, Dudu Nobre, Alexandre Pires, Belo and Grupo Molejo.

 

Based in Sydney since 2006, Raphael brings his expertise and the highest level of integrity to all his work as a musician and director of Brazilian bands and events.  He has toured Brazilian artists in Australia, produced groundbreaking events and performed with the major Brazilian bands and shows in Australia including Samba Groove, Samba Australia, Samba Roots, Samba Brissy, Samba Mundo, Rhythm Brazil, Ganza Project, Eddie de Brazil, Faiscada band, Batida de Rua, Gustavo Vas, Telma Calado and Rio Projekt.

 

As a music director and producer, Raphael has a knack for bringing out the best in any artist, band or project he works with. Raphael’s dedication to artistic integrity, passion for his craft and expertise in Brazilian music makes him a sought after professional in the field.

 

Raphael is currently the music director and musician of the band, Metiê, band producer for Telma Calado and a principal musician and co-director of the Rio Projekt band. 

 

Raphael is an invaluable member of the Rio Projekt ensemble and stage show, The Carnaval Experience.

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MARINA GOMES.

Dancer

Marina was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil in the city of Sao Bernardo do Campo. She grew up surrounded by the culture and sounds of Samba, Pagode and Axe and has an innate natural ability for dancing Samba no pé. With a great love for the art of dance, Marina took classes in Forro, Samba de Gafieira, Ballroom dance, Bellydance and Sertanejo in Brazil.

 

Based in Sydney since 2017, Marina now has the opportunity to realise her dream of dancing professionally.  With fierce dedication, she trains intensely in Samba and Brazilian dance with Escola de Samba Sydney. Marina brings her depth of knowledge and immense passion for her culture to the Rio Projekt ensemble and is a charming Sambista with “muito Samba no pé”. 

 

Marina studied and graduated as a Technologist in Logistics and Transport and works professionally in the area.

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ALEXANDRE SANTOS.

Musician

Alexandre Santos is a Brazilian musician originally from Sao Paulo now based in Sydney. He is co-director of the band, Samba Roots. The band collaborates with Rio Projekt on stage productions and specialised shows.

 

Samba Roots is a popular Brazilian band performing traditional and authentic Samba music. Founded in 2014 by Alexandre, Felipe Faria and Vinicious Leao, the three friends created the band to share their passion for Samba and the love for their culture with the Brazilian community in Australia and beyond.

 

Since its inception, Samba Roots has been performing both in Sydney and interstate. The band has performed in many of Sydney’s landmark live venues including Oxford Art Factory, The Basement, New Market Hotel, Jam Gallery, El Topo, Coogee Bay Hotel, The Grand Swiss Hotel, Coogee Pavilion and The Juniors.

 

Alexandre is a dedicated advocate for his culture and is passionate about playing guitar and performing Brazilian music. In addition to his life as an artist, Alexandre has a background in professional soccer and as an educator.

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GUSTAVO TUKADA.

Musician

Born and raised in a traditional area of São Paulo called Mooca, Gustavo is a professional percussionist who has performed in the top league of Sao Paulo carnaval.

 

Growing up in a neighbourhood which was the home of two very traditional Samba schools, Gustavo’s passion for Samba and percussion began in 2008 whilst attending football games and watching the Bateria from the Samba schools play.  

He immediately started learning percussion at his local Samba school, Mocidade Unida da Mooca where he trained extensively, learning all the instruments and becoming a true “ritmista” (percussionist).  

 

He first paraded with Mocidade Unida Mooca in 2010 playing caixa and went on to play for Tudapé Academics in Carnaval also appearing on television (TV band) in 2011. In 2012 Gustavo made is debut in the top division of Sao Paulo carnaval appearing on national TV (Globo) playing in the Bateria with the Dragões da Real Samba school. 

 

In addition to playing percussion at an elite level in Carnaval, Gustavo played in one of the oldest and most traditional blocos (percussion groups) in Sao Paulo called Caprichosos do Piqueri. He also performed professionally at events, soccer stadiums and venues in Sao Paulo.

 

Well versed in all the Bateria instruments, Gustavo’s is a versatile and dynamic member of the Rio Projekt Bateria.

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DANIEL HOLLANDA.

Musician

Born and raised in a traditional area of São Paulo called Mooca, Gustavo is a professional percussionist who has performed in the top league of Sao Paulo carnaval.

 

Growing up in a neighbourhood which was the home of two very traditional Samba schools, Gustavo’s passion for Samba and percussion began in 2008 whilst attending football games and watching the Bateria from the Samba schools play.  

He immediately started learning percussion at his local Samba school, Mocidade Unida da Mooca where he trained extensively, learning all the instruments and becoming a true “ritmista” (percussionist).  

 

He first paraded with Mocidade Unida Mooca in 2010 playing caixa and went on to play for Tudapé Academics in Carnaval also appearing on television (TV band) in 2011. In 2012 Gustavo made is debut in the top division of Sao Paulo carnaval appearing on national TV (Globo) playing in the Bateria with the Dragões da Real Samba school. 

 

In addition to playing percussion at an elite level in Carnaval, Gustavo played in one of the oldest and most traditional blocos (percussion groups) in Sao Paulo called Caprichosos do Piqueri. He also performed professionally at events, soccer stadiums and venues in Sao Paulo.

 

Well versed in all the Bateria instruments, Gustavo’s is a versatile and dynamic member of the Rio Projekt Bateria.

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CLAUDIA GUTIERREZ

Dancer

A professional dancer, model and actress of Afro Colombian heritage, Claudia is a captivating and versatile artist with a wealth of experience in Brazilian and Latin dance.

Starting ballet at the age of 5, Claudia began performing Colombian folkloric and Latin cultural dances at the age of 10. She trained Salsa extensively in Colombia, Australia and in NYC at the famous Eddie Torres dance school and completed a Bachelor of dance, with a major in Jazz. In addition to performing Salsa at major Latin events and festivals in Sydney and interstate including the Darling Harbour Fiesta and Bacardi Festivals, Claudia performed across Australia with the successful “Cuban Nights” show. She was also a sought after Salsa instructor for Club Salsa and various other dance schools for many years in Sydney. 

Claudia has been performing Brazilian dance for some 18 years and has also taught Samba at various dance schools. She was a principal performer for one of Sydney’s earliest major show groups, Brazilian Latin Dance Company (directed by Marcone Pereira) and has performed at major events in Sydney, around Australia and internationally in New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands. One of Claudia’s many career highlights includes the creation of an all female Brazilian percussion group called “Samba Girls Batucada” where she played the Surdo (bass drum). She had the honour of playing Surdo alongside Brazil’s famous percussion group Olodum when they performed in Sydney at Luna Park. Claudia has travelled to Brazil on more than one occasion and in 2019 she spent significant time in Rio de Janeiro training and parading in Rio Carnaval.

A professional model for 18 years, Claudia has worked extensively nationally and internationally for top designers and brands. She was based in Italy for a year where she was model for top designers including Ermano Scervino, Pucci, Neil Barret and Thez Tziveli.  She has appeared in TVCs and modeled for brands including Topo Chico, Freedom Furniture, Virgin Mobile, Jeep, Heineken, Uber, Tiffany and co, Wella, Búlgari, Mumm, David Jones, Rebel, Ellenvoo and Unibet. Claudia has appeared as a model and dancer on various television programs, video clips, films and and events including The Voice Australia, Australia’s Got Talent, The Kerrie Anne Show, The Falls movie, the Cooks show and the new Galantis Music.

 A joy to watch in any performance, Claudia brings her magnetic presence, passion for the culture and diverse experience in Brazilian and Latin dance to the Rio Projekt ensemble.