Despite – or perhaps because of – Brazil’s massive levels of poverty, the country has produced some of the most passionate and inspiring music the world has ever heard.
Sadlers Wells in London has been playing host to Brasil Brasileiro. The show is a stunning array of music and dance.
Artists such as singer Jair Rodriguez, who made the first documented rap record in 1964, “spits” (chats lyrics) like a veteran and can still hot-foot it like a youngster.
There’s also the wonderful Eliza Soares, daughter of a laundrette worker and a handyman, who was married by the age of 12 and widowed with five children by 19.
Soares fuses the blues, Louis Armstrong and Brazilian samba in an improvisational style so exciting that it beggars description.
Alaide Costa also appears in the show. In 1959 she worked with Joao Gilberto to give birth to the popular Bossa Nova music.
The dancing at the shows is electrifying.
There are gravity defying capoeira displays, where male and female acrobats perform up to seven backflips consecutively.
From ballroom to backstreet – humour, sex, history and rebellion are fused in Brasil Brasileiro through 31 pieces capturing the country’s spirit of optimism.
The show was captivating and inspiring, a well needed joy injector.
After the second standing ovation, I felt re-energised with the possibility of humankind to seize the prize.
Sadlers Wells, London
Until 20 August
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