You may have noticed the World Cup football competition this summer. Brazil! Brazil!
catches the mood, and the fever, in a beguiling display of soccer
skills, acrobatics, samba, street music and martial arts, with
percussion and guitar accompaniment and rough, raw singing.
good thing about this show is that it retains its authenticity and
enters no softening or compromise to British audiences. The cast comes
from the favelas and ghettos of Brazil where they work with children
and social projects; their bodies vibrate with their passions and
while there is a series of explanations of how the culture evolved, and
why they are so good at football – the British invented the
game, the Brazilians perfected it, we are told, not very
controversially – there is no story or narrative.
is a sideshow, a cabaret, and at 70 minutes running time, a very
entertaining one. It will be a wow at the Edinburgh Fringe this year.
But when you watch the freakishly skilful Arthur Mansilla do Cristiano
Ronaldo-style cross-overs while juggling a football on his bandy legs,
or execute a stunning sort of break dance with the ball to the
band’s pulsating rhythms, you might as well be watching a
martial arts, or capoeira, are related to the liberation fights of an
enslaved people, and then demonstrated with amazing athleticism in a
whirring dance of flying limbs and waxed torsos. The samba,
too, is a rhythm of national expression, and the insinuating, hypnotic
dance is led by the wonderful singer Margary Lord in a tangerine dress
dotted with flowers.
show ends with a circus-like tumult of somersaulting, and one of the
more excruciating specialities is that of the fuzzy-haired chap who
double-flips backwards and lands in the splits. Ouch! The speed and
delight of the athletes is great to behold but the celebration of the Brazilian national team may have to be more
muted unless they start playing better than they did last night. The
five-times winners looked very ordinary against North Korea. Apart, of
course, from the two brilliant goals they scored.