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Friday, May 7, 2021

On a Brazilian cruise, locals and tourists mix

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Venezuelan singer Marie Lu “stands on the shoulder of great musicians,” says Lenka Vitale, an Italian chef and food writer who has hosted a Brazilian cruise for the last five years. “The voice has more range than all of them. But it’s the song that impresses, the song that speaks of love, and beyond that the charming person.”

Photos from the Bacara resort on the west coast of Mexico, part of the iconic Bacara Resort & Spa, show dozens of Brazilian couples dancing — on their balcony or on a deck overlooking the sea. It’s a white Christmas-like scene as the couple sparkles, their hands draped over each other’s waist as they sway in her swaying gown.

Though it is on the ocean, Bacara did not encourage couples to frolic in bikinis, said Sophie Dallas, global brand and communications director for Bacara, which means “French” in Spanish and a sign of high standards in the luxury resort industry.

Ms. Dallas said that in the beginning, when the bobs, qipos and their corresponding dance-tribute sets were introduced, it was in the unlikely location of the living room of a passing beach resort, though occasional romances have formed.

Last year, however, Bacara became a destination for celebrities and fashion icons, and there were many weddings and holiday parties, which raised the profile of the Bacara brand — she said visitors eat and drink mostly Italian, French, Greek and Portuguese food — and began a casual side of the Brazilian phenomenon that “we didn’t realize was out there.”

She also pointed out that Bacara added restaurants, where many events took place, which included a new, loosely defined cabaret dinner show to celebrate Brazilian culture. (Ms. Vitoria, who was visiting a couple of weeks ago, said she had loved the show, and joked that it felt like she was eating with Michael Jackson.)

But beyond its foray into more casual shows, an arm of the Bacara brand will be on display next year. It is called “Feroz,” which means love in Farsi. (Ms. Falaux liked the name, which she called “sweet.”) It will be the result of a partnership between Bacara and the Souza family, who owns a Mercedes dealership in Sao Paulo. They had called the Bacara office to find out if they could bring the vocalist to Brazil, and, Ms. Dallas said, offered to offer an album of songs, a DVD, T-shirts, sunglasses and a short theater show.

“She is the initial character, but it will continue to evolve,” Ms. Dallas said. She mentioned some of the singer’s Latin influences and added that there were tentative plans to adapt Brazilian pop hits to the Barbados-based artist.

Lovers of Ms. Falaux’s often accompany her on her tours; on Sunday afternoon, a septuagenarian couple in leather jackets stood in front of her in the gardens of Bacara, where they pointed out they had been with her during a recent tour of Brazil. Another friend, a half-dozen teenagers from Sao Paulo, remained perched on a low railing overlooking the pool, their heads bobbing, even as Ms. Falaux performed, their hands tucked into the tight bows of her gown.

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