1 9 7 8 – 1 9 7 9 (Brazil)
173 x 60 minute episodes
Prime-time serials known as “novellas” dominated Brazilian TV for years and were booming by the late 1970s.
The majority of the Portuguese-language serials had limited export appeal, but Dancin’ Days – a story of discotheques, youth and the Copacabana beach district of Rio de Janeiro – became an international hit in more than 70 countries.
The series was aired daily – badly dubbed – on Channel 4 in the UK in 1986 and 1987. Amongst the flamboyant gestures, we were treated to lines like “Judas Iscariot! Are you trying to get everyone here into a state of uncertainty?”
Created and written by Gilberto Braga, the storyline revolved around beautiful Júlia de Souza Matos (Sônia Braga, acclaimed for her role in 1985’s Kiss of the Spider Woman) trying to put her life back together – amid the whirl of Rio’s flashy disco set – after 11 years in prison for accidentally running over and killing a man.
During her incarceration, her daughter Marisa (Glória Pires) had been raised by Júlia’s socialite sister, Yolanda Pratini (Joana Fomm), and now she began to fight to regain custody.
In her struggle to reintegrate into society, Júlia met the diplomat Cacá (Antônio Fagundes) and the two shared a troubled romance.
Júlia disguised herself and introduced herself to Marisa as Cristina – a girl her own age. Marisa never suspected that her new friend was actually her mother until her own wedding day when Júlia tried to prevent her daughter’s marriage to Beto (Lauro Corona) and revealed her true identity.
Júlia was arrested again after attacking Beto’s father, Franklin (Cláudio Corrêa e Castro) at the wedding reception.
After serving a further six months in prison, she returned to freedom and married Ubirajara Martins Franco (Ary Fontoura), a lonely millionaire.
Júlia then transformed herself into a chic and powerful woman and set about taking her revenge against the people who had made her suffer.
Júlia and Yolanda eventually resolved their differences and were reconciled after a knockdown fight in the Copacabana Palace Hotel.
Júlia de Souza Matos/Cristina
Yolanda de Souza Matos Pratini
Carlos Eduardo Souza Prado Cardoso (“Cacá”)
Carmem Lúcia Santos (Carminha)
Franklin Prado Cardoso
Cláudio Corrêa e Castro
Celina Souza Prado Cardoso
Jofre da Silva Maia
Ubirajara Martins Franco
Vera Lúcia (Verinha)
Marisa de Souza Matos
Paulo Roberto Souza Prado Cardoso (Beto)
Inês Santos Fragoso
Raul de Castro Mello
Alzira da Silva Maia Neves
Emília de Castro Mello
Arthur Meireles Steiner
Bibi Nascimento Leal
Madalena de Jesus (Madá)
Dr Sílvio Müller
Roberto de Cleto
Maria Lúcia de Andrade
Maria Lúcia Dahl
Osmar de Mattos