Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Dash of Capoeira

The increasing connectivity of the world was very evident yesterday as we went to a Brazilian performance in Bangalore. Simply titled Brazil! Brazil!, this show won the top prize at the Edinburgh festival. With its interesting music - samba, bossa nova and more, its skilled capoeira performers and an unusual series of football antics by a talented young footballer, the show was destined to be a hit. But what really appealed to me, apart from the very evident skill and talent of the performers, was the uplifting energy that resonated from the performance.

The band was thoroughly enjoying itself as were the elegant and graceful young women with beautiful voices- equally at ease in high heels as in their bare feet. The stupendous martial art, capoeira, whose evolution was depicted in a series of dance performances - beginning with African workers gathering to clandestinely hone their fighting skills by disguising the martial art as a dance and ending in its more theatrical versions. In between these snippets appeared The Footballer, who very gently tipped the ball onto his face and shoulders and swung it in arches, circles, bouncing it off himself in a hundred different ways, in a graceful tribute to Pele. "Everybody in Brazil knows that the ball has a soul," the announcer said with utter conviction. And looking at them, one could really believe that it was so.

The performers leapt off the stage in a natural, matter of fact way, interacted with the audience and pulled up little children gently onto the stage (to serve as an extended obstacle course for a capoeira performer to leap over). You could feel the happiness bouncing off the stage and onto the audience - and it was a simple, effervescent feeling.

For me, this is what was most endearing about the show - it was not the fancy lights, the loud sounds or the glittering carnival costume of the petite dancer, but the opportunity to glimpse into the soul of an incredible country.

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