São Paulo Dance Company

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre


In advance this was one of the most intriguing elements of the Grand’s 2024 programme, and so it proved to be on the night. The Sao Paulo Dance Company is state sponsored, a government supported cultural gem and export.

In the UK it is supported by the Dance Consortium, a group of UK Theatres founded in in 2000 and comprising 19 member theatres from all regions of the country as well as the Republic of Ireland.

The Chief Executives of the Theatres are the members of the Consortium, they meet regularly throughout the year and appoint a Board of Directors, which also has independent members. The theatres jointly choose the international companies they wish to invite to tour the UK and Ireland, and share the costs of each of the tours make no mistake, this is a serious effort to popularise international contemporary dance.

And so, from the sun baked favela’s of Brazil’s capital city to Sedgely, Bilston and Wednesfield on a cold wet Friday night …

A very healthy first night attendance combined dance aficionados, snake hipped dancers, and the curious.The performance combines the elegance of classical ballet with the sensuality of Latin American dance and Brazilian swing.

We are treated to three different movements, from three different choreographers: Goyo Montero (resident choreographer with Carlos Acosta’s company Acosta Danza) examines collective identities in Anthem, an ensemble piece for 14 dancers, atmospherically staged with dramatic lighting and androgynous costuming blurring the distinction between male and female.

Gnawa, by Nacho Duato (Artistic Director of the Berlin State Ballet), is inspired by the Mediterranean colours and flavours of Valencia, driven by the irresistible backbeat of the music of North Africa.

Brazilian choreographer Cassi Abranches’ spectacular Agora offers a mesmerising entertaining and pulsating finale to incessant beats and bass grooves of Afro-Brazilian fusion.

The performances, and evening were unique, original and compelling drawing appreciative applause from an appreciative audience and a welcome introduction to dance from another continent . It continues on nationwide tour to Inverness on the 19th and 20th March putting an entirely new spin on a Highland fling.

Gary Longden


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