I know that I’m not alone when I say that I love to dance. However, when I go to the ballet or see musical theatre shows I suddenly realise how delusional I am.
But with Brazouka, directed by the wonderful Arlene Phillips, you suddenly witness REAL dancing.
Having lived in Spain I have a soft spot for Latin music, but I know only too well that South America is where the music comes alive and the people really know how to move. But Brazouka is not just a show about Brazilian music and dancing, it’s about determination and drive. For it is the true story of Braz, a young boy from Porto Seguro with one aim – ‘dance or die’.
From a bordello in Bahia to the British stage, Brazouka is a production about fighting for what you want and never giving up; it is a story of a dancer telling his story through the medium of dance.
Although Brazouka starts off slowly, it gradually finds its feet and draws the audience in. The Lambada itself is a fabulous piece of music, but most of the other music is contemporary; while this is catchy, it’s a shame that the music isn’t more traditional. However it does appeal to the audience who can’t help but shake their own hips to Shakira’s ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ and bob their head to Rihanna’s ‘Rude Boy’.
Choreography is simple at first, but as the story and tempo build, the dances become more daring and dangerous, with jumps, flips and lifts that make the audience gasp. The lambada is as thrilling as ever and it seems incredible that not so many years ago this dance was unknown outside of Brazil.
The soloists move well, using their bodies to portray the sensual side to the production, while the chorus provides the raw, sexy dancing – after all, the original aim of the Lambada was to make people hot. It’s the perfect combination and each one of the dancers is exceptionally talented.
In a gentle nod to Brazil’s semi-final defeat by Germany, the cast perform a football-inspired dance that to me is better than any match of the World Cup. It’s fast-paced, sexy and mesmerising… Everything that football is not!
Despite my initial reservations by the end of Act II I was ready to jump on a plane to Brazil and dance the night away with the cast in these beautiful and passionate dance numbers.
Review by Michaela Clement-Hayes
Direct from its world premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Brazouka a mystical dance story born on the streets of Brazil debuts in London at the New Wimbledon Theatre 16th 20th September 2014.
Directed by Arlene Phillips, written by Pamela Stephenson Connolly, with Narration by Billy Connolly.
A journey of intense passion, pulsing music and explosive energy, with Brazil’s most thrilling new dance company. Pamela Stephenson Connolly, Arlene Phillips and Harley Medcalf, founder of Burn the Floor, are proud to announce that they will be bringing the world premiere production of Braz Dos Santos’ BRAZOUKA to make its London debut at the New Wimbledon Theatre from 16 – 20 September 2014, following a sell-out season at the Edinburgh Fringe, with standing ovations every performance, and prior to an international tour to South Africa and Australia.
Tuesday 16th September 2014