Pam’s pas­sion for dance

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health -

six plays in reper­toire at Perth’s Play­house The­atre for Edgar Met­calfe be­fore a ca­reer in the­atre, com­edy, psy­chol­ogy and writ­ing beck­oned, along with her mar­riage to co­me­dian Billy Con­nolly.

“I didn’t re­turn to dance un­til I had the op­por­tu­nity to do Strictly Come Danc­ing in the UK in 2012 which was weird and not some­thing I would have nor­mally done but it hap­pened dur­ing a time in my life where I was ready for some fri­vol­ity,” Stephen­son-Con­nolly said.

“I’d been do­ing some­thing very dark in the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo, help­ing sur­vivors of the atroc­i­ties there, and it was so aw­ful that I was ready for a breather.

“A lot of peo­ple said I’d make a fool of my­self, in­clud­ing my hus­band. Af­ter the show I didn’t want to stop danc­ing, so I looked around for a so­cial dance I would en­joy.”

She dis­cov­ered con­tem­po­rary Brazil­ian dance Lam­bazouk, which has a ba­sis in Lam­bada and is danced to Zouk mu­sic from the Caribbean. In the process she met dancer Braz Dos San­tos and the idea to write dance-drama pro­duc­tion Bra­zouka was born.

Chore­ographed and di­rected by Ar­lene Phillips, the show pre­miered at Ed­in­burgh Fringe Fes­ti­val in July with a cast of 16 dancers, in­clud­ing San­tos and part­ner Rom­ina Hi­dalgo, and will tour Perth in Oc­to­ber.

“Billy nar­rates and Braz tells a bit of his own story in spo­ken word too, It’s ba­si­cally Braz’s story but we could have cho­sen any­one in the cast be­cause they all have amaz­ing sto­ries,” Stephen­son-Con­nolly said.

“He was a fish­er­man when he was a kid and didn’t go to school be­cause he had to earn money for his fam­ily. He wit­nessed the birth of Lam­bada by peek­ing through the bor­dello doors and even­tu­ally be­gan to learn how to dance it him­self.

“It’s the feel­ing, the pas­sion and the vibe of these dancers that re­ally spoke to me and I wanted to make sure that was on stage.”

New York-based Stephen­sonCon­nolly said she was ex­cited about be­ing home for a warm Christ­mas . Bra­zouka Re­gal The­atre Oc­to­ber 23 to 26


Pic­ture: Marcus Whisson­mu­ni­ d425599

Bra­zouka pro­ducer Pamela Stephen­sonCon­nolly with per­form­ers Braz Dos San­tos and Rom­ina Hi­dalgo. WHAT: WHERE: WHEN: TICK­ETS:

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