Pam’s passion for dance
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 .
com.au Brazouka Regal Theatre October 23 to 26
Brazouka producer Pamela StephensonConnolly with performers Braz Dos Santos and Romina Hidalgo. WHAT: WHERE: WHEN: TICKETS: