• Jul 16,2014
  • In Review
  • By Abundant Art

Claudio Segovia’s Brasil Brasileiro Sadler’s Wells, 8-27 July 2014

After the disappointment on the football ground Brasil Brasileiro reminds you of the soul of Brazil- the soul, which was sorely missing with the “Selecao” at the 2014 World Cup. It offers a dazzling journey into the heart of Samba, not just as hip swaying dance and music, but also into a way of feeling, thinking and living, as the Brazilians describe it. Brazil’s rich cultural tradition and centuries of history is told through  an electrifying show of dance and music that blends rustic traditions with fervent passion.

The show starts with dancers hunched down on the floor, in a circle, as is popularly danced in the ‘Batuque’ with the two principal male and female vocalists picking up their notes. This sombre rendition leads the way to an inward journey deeper into the heart of Brazilian culture- a melting pot of African, European and aboriginal Indian influences. The dancers create a natural rhythm by beating on the floor. The choreography is suggestive of a tribal clan rejoicing on a festive occasion. The dancing, singing, clapping and the making of vocal sounds have a raw intensity of energy that is devoid of sophistication but is powerful and soul stirring. It flows into a dance of love and celebration projecting their ineffable feeling of affection through movement and music. The opening piece embraces the unique and varied heritage and culture, rhythm and passion, rites and rituals of the nation and its people.

After such an engaging start the energy doesn’t slack at any point. It is on an upward graph, with a constant ebb and flow in the pattern of the show. The high energy group dances are interspersed with softer couple dance, just a soothing vocal or a flashier dance number with a few couples. The female dancers swirl into the arms of their partners before being thrown up in air and caught a couple of metres above the ground.

The three specialised ‘Capoeira’ dancers display the fittest physique and blasting energy. Their jaw dropping feats of swirls, tumbles, spins and cartwheels leave the audience mesmerised. The ‘Step dance’ number is marked by the grace and precision of the dancers which is a hallmark of Brasil Brasileiro. A special mention must be made for the vocalists, the soloists as well as the chorus. Their soulful voice evoke passion and romance.

What’s unique about this show is its seamless flow between song and dance sequences. The dancers are all round performers- they not only make music with vocal sounds, claps and thumps in between dances but also perform the ‘Batucada’ in the closing piece and play complex rhythms on percussive instruments. The show draws to a close with this rousing performance which casts a trance on the audience. Brasil Brasileiro is a class apart. It’s totally enthralling and reminds us of the zest and beauty of the Brazilian spirit!

                                                                                                                  Protima Chatterjee

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