Bale De Rua at the Peacock Theatre.
The talented choreographer, set, music, costume and lighting designer Marco Antonio Garcia has managed to pull this amazing performance out of the bag. But just like his list of things to do it seems he has packed too much into the 1 hour 15 minute concert. Bale De Rua translates as street ballet and this is precisely what we see through a stunning mix of Samba, Hip-Hop, Crumping, Capoeira and African dancing. The journey the audience watching this show undertakes starts on the vibrant colourful streets of Brazil and travels back all the way to the history and roots of the slave importation from Africa.
Scenes of exploited slaves are balanced with social partner dancing and upbeat group numbers. The scenes are simple and yet extremely effective with the constant dropping of the tin ‘bin lids’ echoing the beating of the miners. The imaginative use of paints is successful in showing the wounds of the bruised Prelos Velhos (old African slaves).There is fire burning on the stage and in their hearts as they dance. The constant scene changing adds pace to the piece however it needed more careful handling as it damages the flow of the dance, and the direction is often lost as it flitters between crowd pleasing and thoughtful story telling.
The Brazilian street scenes are captivating with the highly talented dancers battling on stage performing all kinds of startling tricks and freezes. The extremely talented Adriana Francisco captures the essence of Brazilian carnivals and brings it the stage through her singing. This aided the impact of the performance and added an extra dimension to the normal dance works you would expect to see. I loved the participation of all dancers as they become the musicians, singers and even physically moved the lights. It gave the company rawness that reflects the heredity of the Bale De Rua – the streets of Brazil.