Brouhaha Festival 2009

Reviewed by Mari Jones

The annual Brouhaha Festival took place last week in Liverpool, showcasing some of the best cultural entertainment the world has to offer. The festival is organised by the Brouhaha International, a group who aim to set up events locally and all over the world to bring communities together.

On Monday the 27th of July, this spectacular festival was opened outside the Novas Scarman Contemporary Urban Centre, with an amazing display of dancers in colourful carnival costumes, while music was provided by a brass band and a whole host of drummers. After this toe-tapping performance the crowd was invited inside the centre, where they could spend the evening watching the various other acts Brouhaha had to offer during the rest of the week.

The smaller stage featured bands from different countries around the world, such as Bibliotheca Alexandrina from Egypt, Kciuk and the Fingers from Poland and La Paranza del Geco from Italy, each presenting their own nation’s unique sounds. The main stage in the Centre had even more exciting acts on offer for the public. It featured performers such as Al-Harah Theater from Palestine and physical theatre group Zico House from Lebanon who performed a piece and then continued with an interpretive dance. One of the highlights of the main stage for me though was an astonishing group from Spain called Ballet Entredanzas who fused the exotic and fast style of flamenco with the graceful movements of ballet.

The second night of Brouhaha was the One World One Stage Hip Hop Nation, which took place at the Unity Theatre. The Roots and Routes Dance Crew from Germany were first onstage but they captured the crowd’s attention straight away with their fast moves and gymnastic abilities. The MD Company from Martinique is a group that has toured the world with their performances and it was easy to see why when they presented their amazing fusion of hip-hop and acrobatic moves. The Got Skills Urban Dance Society from Holland were the largest group to perform at the theatre where they presented two dances which combined the groups’ individual talents of hip-hop, street dance, krumping, body-popping and modern dance. All of the groups were highly skilled and mesmerizing to watch and it would be hard to pick the most talented one. It was an entertaining evening as the dancers not only wowed the audience with their moves but also managed to get them happily clapping and cheering along.

The festival was brought to a close on the Saturday when a carnival of dancers, samba bands and brightly decorated floats paraded from Myrtle Street all the way to Princes Park in Sefton. There were four stages in the park all featuring incredible acts, both local and from around the world. From world music bands to dancers to theatrical performances to rappers, there was something on offer for everyone to enjoy for the entire day. The Brouhaha Festival definitely brightened up Liverpool this week and I am sure everyone will be eagerly awaiting its return next year.

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