17. Lusitanian dance fest : English, French, Spanish and Portuguese

by Richard West-Soley 65 views

Portugal surprised many today by performing partly in English and French as well as Portuguese. Sabrina took to the stage as the third competitor to rehearse at the Hartwall Arena.

Sabrina's stage is a wave-like swirl of reds, golds and blacks, which definitely seem to be the colours of the morning. The waves flow horizontally into the middle of the stage, where a vertical version of the same takes centre place. The team dressed down for the first rehearsal, Sabrina in jeans and a black T-shirt.

Dance stand-off with Norway?
The performance is a Lusitanian dance fest, giving Norway a run for its money as the Latin ballroom queen of the 2007 contest. The dancers – four female and one male – make use of huge reversible fans which are fluttered and flipped throughout the performance, held in formation at times as the two principal dancers break away. At points, the male dancer twirls off to dance with the lead female dancer, and at other times with Sabrina herself, who sings for the most part in front of the group.

Portugal – in English and French!
There is a subtle change to the mix of the track, with the bass and percussive elements coming across much more strongly in the hall than in the studio version. The major change, however, is that Sabrina performs the international version of the song, singing parts in French and English as well as the Portuguese lyrics. Originally expected to perform entirely in Portuguese, the step should make the song more internationally accessible and win the few more votes Portugal needs to be a top ten contender.

She sounds good on stage, but held back slightly and skipped the higher notes until the final run through; we can assume she is saving herself for the big moment. She is a confident performer, all smiles and sweetness to camera, and the whole package comes across as very pleasant on stage and screen. The fan dance actually works very well as a visual gimmick; could it be enough to lift Portugal beyond the semifinal for the first time ever?

THE PORTUGUESE REHEARSAL FOOTAGE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwRdNi1ikHw

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Richard West-Soley

Senior Editor

Richard's ESC history began way back in 1992, when he discovered the contest could fuel his passion for music and languages. Since then, it's been there at every corner for him in some way or another. He joined the esctoday.com team back in 2006, and quickly developed a love for writing about the contest. In his other life, he heads the development team at the learning resources company Linguascope, and writes about all aspects of language learning on the site Polyglossic.com.

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