Grupo Corpo – O Corpo .

Powerful with punch! Grupo Corpo the Brazilian company is dancing a section from Rodrigo Pedernerias’ work called, “O Corpo”. The soundtrack is electronic music composed by Brazilian rock composer, Arnaldo Antunes. The set design and lighting is done by Paul Pederneiras and the costumes are created by Freusa Zechmeister and Fernando Veloso.

Grupo Corpo was formed by the Pederneiras family in 1975, a time of oppressive military rule and the dominant dance form was the European classical ballet. The family formed the dance company in response to the cultural dominance of Colonialism and to create a distinct Brazilian identity. They created a collaborative company that has no star system or one prominent individual, hence the name: Grupo Corpo.

Today Grupo Corpo has become a major force of contemporary dance in Brazil that tours internationally. Over the years they have created a distinct dance language that reflects the “true face of Brazil”. Their movement style is based in classical technique fused with hints of Brazilian dance forms, African rhythms and modern dance to create technically slick and visually stunning performances.

“O Corpo” is an abstract piece that was drawn directly from the electronic sound track that is rich with textured sounds and driving rhythms. Choreographically, we see black moving sculptures forming a gang or tribe. They describe the power of “the group” dancing together in unison while at the same time featuring “the individual” marked by the differences in the costumes and the breaking away of dancers in solo, duets and small groups.

The movement is strong, powerful and punchy. We see dancers rocking on their backs punctuated by strong reaching arches as a returning theme. Stomping, with high extensions intermingled with syncopated quick steps, turns, jumps and aggressive gestures form the body of the work. What I really like is the juxtaposition of the movement language with the loping, easy, loose and even gangly way in which the dancers move. It appears quite robotic in a strange way!

This is a very cool piece. I never tire watching it. It is filled with some wonderful dancing and fascinating sounds and movement.

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