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Press Release: Brasil Brasileiro returns to Sadler's Wells this Summer

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A Dell’Arte production presented by BB Promotion and Sadler’s Wells
Brasil Brasileiro
Tuesday 8 - Sunday 27 July
Peacock Theatre, WC2

Performances at 7.30pm, Sat & Sun matinees at 2.30pm Tickets: £15 - £50
Ticket Office: 0844 412 4300 or www.sadlerswells.com


“A genuinely infectious show” The Guardian


The energy of Brazil comes to London this summer as Brasil Brasileiro returns to Sadler’s Wells from Tuesday 8 - Sunday 27 July. Featuring 37 performers from Rio de Janeiro, this production brings alive the spirit that makes Brazil so unique.


Famed for its euphoric dance heritage, Brazil is a country where the musical culture of Africa and Europe merged in a melting pot of dance forms to create its own national rhythm: the samba. The company includes ten musicians and 27 dancers, one of whom is street sweeper Renato Sorriso who performs an annual solo at the world famous Rio Carnival and performed at the London 2012 Olympic Games Handover Ceremony.


From its beginnings as a ritualistic love dance, to a modern day Rio street carnival, Brasil Brasileiro shows samba in all its forms, with displays of forro, capoeira and batucada. Accompanied by music from a live band, this production is a dance journey through a country unlike any other. The show, co-produced by Sadler’s Wells, is conceived and directed by Claudio Segovia whose Broadway and West End hits include the Olivier Award-nominated Tango Argentino, and Black and Blue, nominated for ten Tony Awards.  

Claudio Segovia has worked on more than fifty productions throughout the world. His works have included the interpretation and staging of plays and operas, involving international stars such as Victoria de Los Angeles and Mercedes Sosa. Since 1973 he has specialised in staging large-scale musical revues, to critical acclaim. For almost twenty years, Segovia worked in artistic collaboration with Hector Orezzoli, producing four international sell-out hits; Flamenco PuroTango ArgentinoBlack and Blue andNoche Tropical. Claudio Segovia has received global nominations and awards which include; ten nominations and three Tony Awards for Black and Blue, three Tony Award nominations for Tango Argentino, The Fred Astaire Award for contribution to dance on Broadway for Tango Argentino and Olivier Award Best nominations for Best Entertainment and Best Theatre Choreographer for Tango Argentino at the Aldwych Theatre.


A Sadler’s Wells Co-production



Glossary of Brazilian dances and music



Annually danced at the Rio Carnival, the word Samba is believed to have derived from a West African Bantu word, meaning “to pray” or “to invoke the spirits of ancestors”, and from the Angolan semba, meaning “pelvic movements”. It also applies to an African ritual of procreation and is said to be a dance that can excite people to such an extent, it sends them into a trance.



Originally a dance in a procreation ritual, batuque came to Brazil with the African slaves from Congo and Angola. Dancing to the sounds of the drums, a man and a woman improvise moves in the center of circle. When they want to pass a chance to another couple they do so with an umbigada (navel to navel pass).



Developed from the practices of African slaves who merged rural dance forms, capoeira is a fusion of religious, rhythmic and social dance influences, blended with urban-combat or “challenge dancing” which used razor blades and sticks. Capoeira can be described as a sport, a ritual, a dance, a musical expression, a martial art and a philosophy. It is considered a cultural tradition and a way of life. Invented by African slaves in Brazil over 450 years ago, capoeira was outlawed even after the abolition of slavery in Brazil in 1888, only becoming legalised in Brazil in 1920.



From the Portuguese chorar, meaning "to cry", choro is a Brazilian popular music style. Originating in the early 19th Century, it was once played by a trio of flute, guitar and cavaquinho instruments.  Initially it became successful from live radio performances but by the 1960’s it was largely obscured by the popularity of Bossa Nova and other styles of Brazilian popular music. In the late 1970’s there was a successful effort to revive the genre, through TV-sponsored nation-wide festivals in 1977 and 1978, which attracted a new, younger generation of musicians.



The most popular dance and music style of North-Eastern Brazil, forró music usually features an accordion, with fast, syncopated rhythms similar to samba. It is the traditional music of Saint John's festivals (São João) in June and although it was marginalized during the Bossa Nova years, the style made a comeback in the early Seventies, as Tropicalia artists such as Gilberto Gil and Gal Costa revived old hits and introduced forró riffs to their albums.




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