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Shakira Shares Her Triumphant Return to Singing in ‘El Dorado’ Concert Documentary

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“It was possible that I would never sing again,” global superstar says about her return to the stage for her world tour

TOWARD THE END of Shakira’s new documentary, Shakira in Concert: El Dorado World Tour, the pop superstar is onstage in her home country of Colombia, performing the final concert of her momentous 2018 tour. Throughout the film, which opens in theaters worldwide on November 13th, Shakira takes absolute control of every aspect of her live show: from the lighting to the musical arrangements to the choreography. (“I want to look Sєxy as hell, or I cancel this!” yells Shakira with zeal to her crew during rehearsal.)

But on that same night in Bogotá, we see Shakira break down in tears for the first and only time onscreen. “It was bittersweet,” she tells Rolling Stone, while seated inside Barcelona’s luxe Mandarin Oriental Hotel. “It was the ending of a phase in my life filled with so many different emotions. . . . It was possible that I would never sing again.”

“When I was there in Bogotá, finishing that cycle, in my country,” she says, “I couldn’t feel more overwhelmed with emotion, gratefulness, and nostalgia.”

In November 2017, the 42-year-old artist was forced to postpone her first tour in seven years — and her first since becoming a mother to two sons — due to a vocal-cord hemorrhage injury. It was a serious, unprecedented Health scare that Shakira says shook her to her core and put everything in perspective.

“I always thought my youth would go away one day, my black hair would go away one day . . . anything,” she says wistfully as she snacks on gummy bears. “But I never thought my voice would go away. That was unthinkable. It was so inherent to my nature, to who I am. It’s my idenтιтy.”

“When I couldn’t speak, when I couldn’t sing,” she says, “it was the worst nightmare of my life.”

The documentary doesn’t dwell much on the painful episode, but focuses on Shakira’s triumphant return to the stage. In support of her Grammy-winning 2017 album El Dorado, the tour finally kicked off in the summer of 2018, spanning 55 dates in 22 countries and captivating almost a million spectators. The film, co-directed by the artist and James Merryman, was sH๏τ primarily during the Los Angeles stop of the tour, and is a celebration of Shakira’s bond with her loyal fans around the globe, many of whom appear in close-ups crying of joy and singing along.

It is also an unflinching statement on Shakira’s prowess as an entertainer. It’s all about her vision and execution: her voice, as powerful as ever, and her flawless dance moves, commanding the adulation of thousands of fans night after night. In contrast to other superstars of her stature, on this tour Shakira had no backup dancers (“I wanted the freedom to improvise”) and the set design was purposefully minimalistic — inspired, she says, by Anton Corbijn, one of her favorite visual artists, who has directed music videos for U2, Metallica, and Depeche Mode.

 

 

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