Brazil!Brazil! at the Southbank09 July, 2010
Brazil!Brazil!‘s one hour duration is packed with music, dance, and good old-fashioned showmanship. They attempt to cover some of Brazil’s history, namely slavery, capoeira, football, samba, the emergence of Rio and then a little bit more football. Considering the show is running almost concurrently with the football World Cup this makes perfect sense, even if sometimes you wished they would actually try and cover other areas of Brazilian life. On the flipside to this argument is the fact that they brought along Arthur Mansilla for the show; Brazil’s national freestyle football champion. In all honesty I would pay good money for a solo show from this master of close control.
In addition to Arthur were a four-piece band, two singers, five male dancers/martial artists and a carnival queen. The aspect that made this whole experience so enjoyable for the audience was the fact that the performers seemed to be having the most fun, always cracking jokes with each other and trying to out-do each other’s dance moves. This was twinned with the fact that they are an extremely gifted, young and vibrant bunch. At no point during the hour was there a lull of any sort, the audience instead got so used to applauding and cheering that they had completely forgotten their official British role of sitting quietly and respectfully.
It’s hard to say whether the show will raise awareness of any particular aspect of Brazilian culture, especially with it being so football-centric, and also their use of an incredibly beautiful Brazilian girl as the object of attraction, but you would hope that people left more familiar with capoeira and it’s meaning within Brazilian history. But then I have to keep telling myself it was just a show, and as I was on my feet by the end of it, clapping along, blissfully unaware that an hour of my life had just passed, I have to say that it was a really good one.
Brazil!Brazil! has one week left at the E4 Udderbelly so get along sharpish and enjoy this sunshine-fuelled blast of Brazil.
Brazil!Brazil! at the Southbank Centre
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