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Gripping dance from Brazil's finest

Sunday, 25 February 2024 18:25

By Honey Forty at Theatre Royal Plymouth

Anthem is one of three parts of the Sao Paulo Dance Company's show (image:SPDC)

Sao Paulo Dance Company are on the UK debut

This is a gripping performance, whether you are new to dance or an old hand.

Sao Paulo Dance Company's billing as ‘'Brazil’s Finest Dance Company’ did nothing to prepare me for the level of skill they displayed in this highly anticipated UK and Irish debut.

Split into three dances, each act conveyed a different story, exploring concepts of intimacy and conflict.

The chemistry of the dancers could be felt throughout the theatre – folding around each other, melting into one another and synchronised perfectly in parts. The audience gasped audibly in response to great leaps of faith across the stage, dancers flying through the air only to be caught seamlessly by respective partners. It is as though gravity does not exist. Total trust. Total control. An intimacy and a sacred connection. Movement so fluid that it transcended the obvious hard work and practice it must have taken.

Initially sensual, the performers are in nude tones, which taps into an unmasked nature of movement. To start, the sounds of breath echo through the space, with gaps so silent one could hear the proverbial pin drop. I was mesmerised and captivated by the smoothness of the motions, unable to look away as this mixture of classical ballet and Latin American dance unfolded.

The choreography was perfectly curated to the strength and shape of each dancer, whose pliable and strong bodies demonstrate feats arguably impossible in humans. All this is set against the backdrop of experiential music, varying sounds of rain, heavy drums and emotional pieces matched the emotion of the respective sections.

Later sections get funkier tone, with sassy strutting and explosive tricks. Incredibly technical and athletic, this sexy and passion-powered performance leaves the audience exhilarated. Even if you're new to dance, the Sao Paulo Dance Company, new to the UK, is definitely worth seeing.

São Paulo Dance Company at Theatre Royal Plymouth continues on tour in the UK until Saturday 23 March, finishing in Norwich.

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