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Capoeira Knights: The Boys From Brazil
Published on Monday, 10 August 2009

If you want sexy, look no further than Capoeira Knights: Boys From Brazil. Powered nearly entirely by testosterone (there's only one woman in the show and she more than holds her own), the standard of capoeira and acrobatics on display daily at the World @ St George's West will leave you awestruck and breathless.

Capoeira means 'the dance that kills', and was born when African slaves disguised their fighting to avoid detection by their colonial masters. From the snippet I saw at the press opening, I wasn't sure how the company could translate such an energetic number into a full length show, but I needn't have feared; each capoeira routine is placed next to a musical number as the show follows a historical narrative. Let me tell you, history has never been so visceral or so physical, with various sections celebrating capoeira, samba, carnival and football. The narrator, a brooding Bruno, never interrupts the flow, but dips in to introduce and set the scene.

The boys themselves are amazing, natural performers. They strut their stuff with an innate cheekiness, and there's a real sense of camaraderie among them as they try to impress the audience and outdo each other. In the hands of lesser showmen we would be left to admire and appreciate their skill, but with these guys we're invited to engage and enjoy; so much so, that by the end of the performance most of the audience are on their feet dancing.

Yet The Boys From Brazil are more than just eye candy; the skill and control required for capoeira is phenomenal, and they all have it in spades. The speed at which they perform is breathtaking. With limbs and hair a-flying, their kicks are so fast and fluid they look like Catherine Wheels spinning - it's a wonder they don't take flight. They hang in the air like characters from the Matrix, and the thirty seconds of backward flips is so fast it's almost a blur.

The boys are matched by a vibrant band and the radiant singer Paloma. The band set the rhythm from the start, as they entered through the audience and entertained with some sweet melodies and deft drum beats; Paloma has a lovely presence and a voice that flies like a bird on the breeze. Capoeira Knights is engaging, energetic entertainment at its best; there are just not enough adjectives to describe it.

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