Comedian Billy Connolly lines-up for a Brazilian

Billy Connolly with the cast of Brazouka
Billy Connolly with the cast of Brazouka

They set the Edinburgh Fringe on fire and now the high energy dance known as Brazouka is set to explode onto the London stage.

Producers Pamela Stephenson Connolly, Arlene Phillips and Harley Medcalf, founder of Burn the Floor, are bringing the world premiere production of Braz Dos Santos’ Brazouka to the New Wimbledon Theatre from September 16–20 September.

It follows a sell-out season at the Edinburgh Fringe, with standing ovations every performance, and prior to an international tour to South Africa and Australia.

This unique dance-drama, directed by choreographer Arlene Phillips, is performed by Brazil’s most thrilling new troupe, who introduce the sensational dance language of lambazouk and other authentic Afro-Brazilian dances in a stunning variety of styles.

Braz Dos Santos is widely acknowledged to be the very best freestyle lambazouk dancer in the world.

Brazouka

It is his personal story of a struggle to scramble onto the world’s stage from the toughest streets of Brazil that has inspired Brazouka.

From modest beginnings as teenage fishermen, Dos Santos witnessed the birth of the lambada dance form by peeking through the door of the local bordello.

Discovered dancing in flip flops in a beach bar, Dos Santos was asked to come to Paris (a place he had never heard of) to dance the lambada, which had become known as the ‘’Forbidden Dance”.

His father, a shaman in the Candomblé religion, forbade him but the choice for Braz was clear; with truly precarious fishing the only other option, it was a case of ‘dance or die…’.

Pamela Stephenson Connolly is the driving force, writer and inspiration behind Brazouka.

Shortly after her stint in the final of BBC’s mega-hit Strictly Come Dancing, her pursuit to find the real passion in dancing led her to Brazil, where she was able to discover a whole new world of dance, studying lambazouk, samba de gaffiera, samba nu pe, and forro.

Brazouka moves to the Mandela Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 3 to 19 October, before a tour of Australia visiting Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and the Gold Coast, with further dates to be announced.

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