Brazouka

Braz Dos Santos has quite the tale to tell. Born to humble beginnings in the Brazilian town of Porto Seguro, birthplace of the much loved Lambada, his passion for dance was all that he needed to take himself from the fishing boats of home to the bright lights of Paris and on now to creating and starring in his own show at the Festival.

A real pulsation of different dance rhythms that's both contagious and thoroughly entertaining.

It's only fitting then, that the show itself centres around this very story. From football and fishing nets to fame and fortune, this company of 14 dancers smash the Assembly on the mound to pieces with an energy, vivacity and skill to rival any dance group.

Its roots are set in the style of Lambazouk, a new-age Lambada with a more modern Latin approach. The choreography also uses some of the best elements of breakdance, capoeira, Afro-Caribbean dance and contemporary style. It becomes a real pulsation of different dance rhythms that's both contagious and thoroughly entertaining.

What lets it down slightly for me is that the attempt at a story is marginally lost by Dos Santos' slightly too thick – though fantastically charming – Brazilian accent. I felt like I missed a lot of what was supposed to be going on. Additionally some of the slower duets started to drag a touch – but that's really nit-picking.

Directed by Arlene Phillips and produced by Pamela Stephenson Connolly, this show was never going to fall too short of the mark and by that I mean delivering to it's intended audience. By the looks of the middle aged men and ten year old girls alike who helped make up some of tonight's crowd – who were guiltlessly up on their feet clapping, dancing and cheering by the end – they really delivered.

Reviews by Hannah Lucy Baker

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

The World Premiere of Braz Dos Santos' extraordinary true story from the toughest streets of Brazil. Sixteen dazzling dancers take audiences on a breathtaking journey of intense passion, sizzling sensuality, pulsing music and explosive energy. This unique dance drama is performed by Brazil's most thrilling new troupe, who introduce the sensational dance language of Lambazouk and other authentic Afro-Brazilian dances in a stunning variety of styles that will have you on your feet, captivated by the intoxicating rhythms. Directed by Arlene Phillips. Produced by Pamela Stephenson Connolly and Burn the Floor's founder Harley Medcalf.