Brazil is most famous for its sweltering heat, football, festivals, wildlife and dance. Founded in 1975, and run by the Pederneiras brothers, Grupo Corpo‘s success still continues today with performances reaching audiences globally. This isn’t a typical Brazilian dance troupe, but instead a contemporary ballet company who draw inspiration from their Brazilian roots. They embark on a national tour of the UK bringing two pieces to the stage, Sem Mim (2011) and Parabelo (1997).
Sem Mim was inspired by home-grown and cutting-edge contemporary composers as well as classical ones. This is reflected in Rodrigo Pederneiras’s choreography which is a blend of samba, ballet and contemporary dance. Parabelo is Grupo Corpo’s defining and most recognisable piece. For inspiration, Pederneiras explored the Brazilian landscape, taking in both rural communities and urban life. He was intrigued by the vast difference in wealth between these groups and how they are both united by their heritage.
Praise must be given to the company of dancers who have an abundance of energy from start to finish, all the more impressive considering the performance is extremely physically demanding throughout. They couldn’t do this without the unique choreography from Pederneiras who celebrates Brazilian life in an uplifting and celebratory style, reminiscent of the country’s famous carnivals and Latino culture. The movement ranges from slow and fluid choreography to lively and intricate images, creating its own language for the audience, even if it is slightly repetitive. The set, costume and lighting combine with the dance moves and act as one, bringing great dynamics and colour to the performance.
Grupo Corpo explore dance and movement in their own individual way, stepping away from traditional norms. Through clever choreography and a strong ensemble, this company celebrate fascinating Brazilian life and culture.