After a spectacular run at Edinburgh, Balé de Rua were in London with their show that told the tales of slavery and the performance art that emerges from dispossession.
Balé de Rua at Barbican
Typifying the eclectic, high-energy of Brazilian culture, Balé de Rua mix hip-hop, African dance and capoeira with samba and ballet.
The sixteen performers (with just one woman) create scenes of exuberant street-life to an infectious percussive backdrop that touches on all of the cultural touchstones of Brazil’s rich and disturbing history.
I have so few benchmarks by which to measure the quality of contemporary dance, and so small a lexicon to explain it.
I can tell you that, like so many Brazilian cultural events, the place was buzzing. At the start, the seats were filled with a mix of those in their notional finery and those in their national strips.
By the end, the seats weren’t filled by anyone; the room was up and dancing.
It was an astonishing, exhausting spectacle from beginning to end.
And, in fear of being reductive, if watching fit men in pants is your thing, then this is definitely the show for you.