An audience favourite, the Brazilian dance sensation Grupo Corpo returns to DanceHouse with two new works. In Sem Mim, meaning without me, “tattooed” dancers merge the rhythm of the sea with the music of medieval Portuguese-Galician chants. The second work,Ímã, which means magnet, takes inspiration from the law of magnetism. Dancers passionately entwine and separate with poetic polarities. Grupo Corpo combines classical ballet technique with a contemporary re-reading of Brazilian and world dance forms. The end results are performances that are virtuosic, athletic, and breathtaking.
Founded by brothers Paulo and Rodrigo Pederneiras in 1975, Grupo Corpo was a response to the identity crisis Brazil was undergoing at the time. Then—as now—ballet predominated in the country’s dance academies. Rodrigo Pederneiras, who himself trained in ballet under a lead dancer of Les Ballets Russes, wanted to develop a typically Brazilian dance which, beyond the wounds and contributions of colonialism, reflected the country’s distinct personality. Based in Belo Horizonte, far from the influence of Rio de Janeiro, the company enjoys great artistic freedom, outside the European traditions.
Having commissioned more than 35 full-length works, and over 2,000 shorter pieces, the company maintains 10 works in its repertoire and gives 80 performances a year in places as far from their Brazilian home as Iceland, South Korea, the US, Lebanon, Italy, Singapore, the Netherlands, Israel, France, Japan and Mexico. But always, Grupo Corpo celebrates today’s Brazil: cerebral, cosmopolitan, primitive, existential, tough, and beautiful.