Brazil! Brazil! kick-starts the big summer of samba on the South Bank with amazing acrobatics
When Brazil! Brazil! arrives ahead of the Southbank Centre’s Festival Brazil, the audience won’t know what’s hit them. Promising a frenzy of music, dance, capoeira and freestyle football, the cast includes top percussionists, acrobats and dancers from Bahia, the homeland of Afro-Brasilian rhythms that are at the root of contemporary Brasilian culture.
“It tells the story of Brasil’s ginga – the sway, the way people dodge obstacles on the football pitch, in capoeira, in life”, Toby Gough told JD from rehearsals in Salvador, a place he radiates passion for. “We’re trying to avoid clichés and preconceptions to express Brasil’s true spirit,” he adds. It seems only natural that one of the world’s most exciting musical directors, who’s led shows from Sri Lanka to Cuba, fell head over heels for Brasil.
Peruru Maonocouro is a top Bahian percussionist (one of his songs is due to be recorded by Ivete Sangalo, Beyoncé & Ricky Martin), and he just can’t get enough of being part of it: “every day holds a different surprise – this show has so much potential! We have the best percussionists, dancers and capoeiristas from Salvador.” Sat behind Manocouro as proof is professional dancer Ananias who last year performed a crazy 38 somersaults in 30secs on the Brasilian TV show Faustão. Like Manocouro, he can’t wait to show London what they’ve got; “this is a dream for us”.
Still need convincing? In honour of the World Cup (which the cast are convinced Brasil will win), they’ll showcase football freestyle extraordinaire Arthur ‘Vencedor’ Mansialla and his mind-blowing tricks.
Toby has one word of warning though: “it’s in a Bahian’s nature to include everyone, so the show is very interactive. You’d better leave your conservative attitudes at the door!”
JD Exclusive competition: we’re giving away 10 pairs of tickets for the show, plus a chance to meet the cast after the show, on June 23rd! Simply enter the competition here before June 20th.