Grupo Corpo return to DanceHouse with two compelling works

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Dança Sinfônica & Gira | Grupo Corpo | DanceHouse | Vancouver Playhouse | February 28 – 29, 2020

Brazil’s Grupo Corpo returned to DanceHouse for the third time with two pieces by company co-founder Rodrigo Pederneiras.

In Dança Sinfônica, created in 2015 for the company’s 40th anniversary, Pederneiras revisited works from the repertoire to synthesize them into something new. While it doesn’t contain any previous choreography, he explained during a pre-show talk, it does contain themes and ideas that have been previously explored along with some that were set aside.

In red leotards, the women stand on the men’s hands as they carry them, fully upright onto the stage. The towering pairs move into beautiful partner work with lifts and swings. They move on and off stage until the end when they are all perfectly in unison in a rousing ensemble.  

In 2017, Pederneiras created Gira with inspiration from the Afro-Brazilian rituals of Umbanda, a religion that combines Catholicism and Kardecism.

Whirling in white flowing skirts, the dancers recreate movement inspired by gestures witnessed by Pederneiras at Umbanda ceremonies. When not performing, the dancers sit across the back and along stage left shrouded in black tulle, never leaving the stage. They emerge and retreat throughout, joining and leaving an ever-changing scene of movement with grounded, spiritual energy. Almost in a trance-like state, the dancers never seem to tire; the work has a quality of being of no specific place or time, making it seem like it could last forever.

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