Ana Moura at Café de la Danse

January 27, 2023 at Café de la Danse
Promoter: Zamora Productions

From the Olympia in the 9th arrondissement to the Palais des Congrès in Paris’ swanky 17th, Ana Moura has blessed some of the capital’s very finest venues with the fiery splendour of her Portuguese fado repertoire. Back in the city of lights and love, the singer decided to mark Bastille’s Café de la Danse with a memorable performance set in a more intimate setting. Loyal fans flocked to a full house, filling the venue as early as the doors would allow them to save a good spot for Ana’s show.

The heavy air of impatience reached its boiling point as the lights dimmed as the trilling guitars of ‘Minha Mãe’ blossomed from out of the speakers, segueing into Dama Ana Moura’s triumphant entrance, along with her two trusted stage companions.

Photo: Robin Ono

The entirety of the night’s bittersweet festivities would be dedicated to the singer’s latest studio release, Casa Guilhermina, an ode to Ana’s Angolese roots, named after and dedicated to her maternal grandmother.

What initially appeared to be a vast stage for such a minimalist three-piece formation could not have been a centimetre too large, as Ana’s commanding yet seductive presence took over the floor overlooking a spellbound audience. Upright and chin high with the mightiest confidence, the fadista waltzed across the stage with a fierce, pitch-perfect voice aimed straight at the crowd’s collective heart. Casa Guilhermina’s modern twist and Angolese semba influences emerged early into the set with ‘Jacarandá’, with its autotuned vocal effects and torrid African rhythms. Later came a grandiose, stirring performance of ‘Calunga’ by Lourenço da Fonseca Barbossa, a song about the transport of slaves from Angola to Brazil that further bridges the gap between fado and Africa.

Photo: Robin Ono

Without a minute of respite to spare, Ana kept her fierce energy as though each song were her first and last of the evening, her majestic stride lending her a lioness-like allure. From vulnerable to seductive within the span of a single note, Ana Moura’s voice swept feet and cracked hearts for an intense hour of Portuguese drama.

With the album finally played in full, the fadista came back for a loving encore consisting of a modernized rendition of Calema’s ‘Te Amo’, followed by a reprise of the semba-meets-fado single ‘Mázia’ to bring the night to a bittersweet close.

With the show now over, the venue emptied slowly with bodies and minds swaying, as though inebriated by the heavy cocktail of emotions pumped into them. With senses reawakened, a silent audience made its way past the endless rows of Rue de Lappe’s bustling bars, stirred by melodies of a queen fadista ringing through their minds.

Photo: Robin Ono

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