Samba is the surrogate second language of Brazil

Samba is the surrogate second language of Brazil

Robert Tanitch reviews Brasil Brasileiro at Sadler’s Wells., London EC1

Brazil has been much in the news lately. For those of you didn’t go to Brazil, let me advise you that Brazil is now in London with a samba revue, a hips-and-torso fusion of African and European culture, devised by Claudio Segovia.

40% of Brazilians are of mixed race and it is this mixture which gives the music and the dancing its special pulsating and infectious quality.

Samba is the surrogate second language of Brazil. Samba is as important to the national identity as football.

The all-smiling, good-humoured dancers, singers and musicians are visibly having a good time.  There are samba dancers, steps dancers and capoeira dancers with martial arts kicks, spins and tumbles.

Basic CMYKThe leg, foot and knee work is fantastic with the fast twists and turns. Bottoms come into play. So do hips.  The boys are often half-naked. The guys throw the girls over their shoulders, round their bodies, and into the air and catch them.

I particularly enjoyed Maxine in period costume. The dancers are very sexy in a jokey, innocent and larky sort of way.

There are two other high spots: the carnival sequence which ends the first half and the drumming sequence which ends the second half. In both cases you would be happy if they went on for ever – and they very nearly do.

Brasil Brasileiro, exuberant, uninhibited and unashamedly sensual, is a lot of fun. It would be very difficult not to like it.

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