Friday, October 2, 2009


I encourage anyone who is interested in or enjoys dance to take the opportunity to watch any show put on by the Brazilian dance troupe called Grupo Corpo (Body Group). Some of their shows are available on dvd and online, and they apparently make frequent trips to the United States. This unique company of twenty dancers, hailing from the city of Belo Horizonte, mixes classical ballet and music, with modern dance, Brazilian rhythm and moves, and not a little of Cirque de Soleil (okay, maybe going overboard on that last one, but they did employ a bit of gymnastic-like activities, such as hanging from pipes suspended from the ceiling). Their performances are riveting and visually impressive, a wild mix of colors and often nontraditional movement, although some of the pieces seem to drag on at times, and they might have worked better had they been chopped up a bit. Often the scenes work best when all, or most, of the dancers are on the stage at the same time. I actually liked when you could feel the ballet coming to the forefront, as opposed to the gymnastics. Never have I seen as physically strong/built group of dancers---I cringe to think what their workouts and practices are like. Often there does not appear to be a real story being told; rather they seem to be trying to express emotion or experience through their dance. I didn’t enjoy everything they did, and some of the outfits were a bit off-putting, but overall they are simply wonderful. The lighting and backdrops are simple, for the most part, but effective. What seems interesting is that there doesn’t seem to be a hierarchy, though several dancers stand out. Overall, I can’t see how anyone would not have a great time attending one of their shows.

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