Review: Balé de Rua – Street Ballet at the Peacock Theatre
Published 12 November 2010
Ladies, can you imagine fourteen male dancers wearing white suits and white hats accompanying only one female dancer on stage? This is the opening scene of the Peacock Theatre’s current show Balé de Rua that is on tour there from the 2nd to the 20th of November.
The show is a remarkable example of how far determination and education can take individuals & communities, and proves the importance of development projects. Fernando Narduchi, Marco Antônio Garcia and José Marciel Silvia created the Cia de Dança Balé de Rua in 1992. But after eight years of hard work and struggle to find sponsorship, they were able to turn their dream into a professional dance company in 2000. In 2007 they inaugurated the first Cultural Centre in Uberlândia, a city of more than half a million people in the Minas Gerais state of Brazil, and today they provide dance training to more than 300 young people there. Many of these young people might have not been able to fulfil their dreams without the existence of Balé de Rua.
Although the history of Brazil is the central element of Balé de Rua, one can still easily enjoy it without knowing much about the last few centuries of the country. Before 1888, the year which marks the abolition of slavery, 3.5 million Africans had been imported to Brazil, making it the most ‘African’ country in the Americas. Add that to the nearly four million white immigrants arriving between the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries, and Brazil is a melting pot of cultures. Therefore, samba, hip hop, capoeira, contemporary and African dance motifs, elements of Candomblé and Catholicism, joy and sorrow, old and present day history of Brazil all can be found in the show.
The fifteen dancers’ and two vocalists’ energy and cheer is magic. They are all on stage during the whole show without interval or a minute of rest. Their enjoyment of music and dance, and their love for Brazil emanates from the stage and no-one can stay unmoved. Despite the often dark past of the country, and some more thought-provoking and quiet moments of the show, the audience still can’t feel anything else but happiness when leaving the theatre, as the show is a celebration of our innate ability for survival even among the most difficult of circumstances.
As a special treat, at the end of the show, when the audience thinks the performers have bid farewell and just about to leave the stage, the dancers suddenly jump off it and invite the ladies to have a dance with them. If you are lucky enough to get a seat near the stage, grab it with both hands, as I assure you, it will be the most memorable moment of your evening.
Balé de Rua performance times
Tue – Sat at 7.30pm
Sat matinees at 2pm
Sun 14th November at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Running time: 1 hr 15 mins (no interval)
Tickets Prices: £15 – £40
Official Website & Ticket Booking: www.sadlerswells.com/show/Bale-de-Rua