Brazouka (4 stars)

This article is from 2014


Glitz and glamour on the dancefloor

Of the two big Brazilian dance shows in this year’s Fringe, this is definitely the glitzier, more Hollywood option of the two. It’s a hair-straightened, tightly choreographed, Katy Perry and Pharrell-soundtracked stage show; a Strictly Come Brazil for those who love a high-kicking leg covered in sequinned-Lycra.

Brazouka definitely loses some soul, sadly, by opting for a fixed-grin, Disney-fied musical theatre style, where prop drums are ‘lip synced’ onstage, and the favela sob story is milked for all its worth. Sanitised storytelling issues aside, the dancing, and the dancers, cannot be argued with.

After the energetic ensemble takes on the lambada, the ‘lambazouk’, the samba, the human snake and football-as-seduction-device, Arlene Phillips’ choreography leaves no stops left to be pulled out.

The dancer and former TV presenter knows her audience – and they want to see the deepest lunges, the highest kicks and the maximum number of dizzying hips gyrating at once. Producer Pamela Stephenson opens the show with a voiceover, explaining that ‘panting, salivating and gyrating are actively encouraged’, and as lithe bodies are flung over shoulders and through legs, it’s hard not to watch with a mouth hanging open.

Assembly Hall, 623 3030, until 25 Aug (not 11, 18), 5.30pm, £18–£19 (£15–£16).


  • 4 stars

Brazouka UK 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…