Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Brazilian Dance Spectacle



The Brazilians are well-known for worldwide for their colourful and exuberant carnivals and parties. Giving a Brazilian flavour to a family celebration evening seemed the perfect recipe. We celebrated in style by attending Baila Brazil at the Royal Festival Hall.

On Saturday 15th August the Balé de Rua dance company staged their final performance in London. Oh yes, it was loud, colourful, energetic and exuberant. The show was as The Scotsman described:

"Stunning. If only, I'd had a sixth star at my disposal."

Baila Brazil has travelled the world since it opened in Sydney, Australia. Over 500,000 performances in 13 cities later, it was London's turn. The company has come a long way. Born of an art project in the favelas, its dancers were discovered at the Biennale de la Danse in Lyon in 2002. Today's professional dancers all trained in the project's free schools.

I was somewhat nonplussed at the beginning. A troupe of male dancers dressed as women was totally unexpected. For the majority of the evening, they were more scantily clad than the two women. That made a pleasant change.

The dancing was simply amazing. I didn't realise that the human body could even bend in such ways - let alone dance in them.

Alexia Falcão Lopes had a great voice. She kept going throughout the noisy, unrelenting show without showing any strain in her voice. She even sang centre-stage without flinching as acrobatics were performed about her ears.

The range of dancing was incredible. I particularly enjoyed the breakdancing. I don't remember seeing a show before in which so much was danced upside down. The head-spinning on a raised platform was breathtaking.

A number of cultural influences seemed to be at play in the dances. The slavery scenes were particularly powerful. They stood out for their change of tone and pace.

I lost track of how many encores there were. The performers didn't want to stop singing and dancing. They still had energy and enthusiasm to burn. They came out into the audience to dance. We all clapped and sang along as invited.

The drummers were brilliant. You could feel the rhythm pulsating through the floor,  your feet, ears and even in your heart during the show.

We could still feel the Brazilian beat and energy, as we spilled out smiling into a warm summer evening on London's South Bank.

Just can't wait for the opening ceremonies of the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics. We'd all better start preparing our superlatives for the spectacles to come.

 
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