The subtropical warmth of the Southern Hemisphere will visit Colorado Springs in an explosion of color and undulating torsos as Brazilian dance company Grupo Corpo performs at the Pikes Peak Center this Saturday, Nov. 15.
The name of the company translates to "body group," or "group body," a fitting description of the troupe's choreographic style in which all 19 dancers often share the stage at the same time, and acrobatic partner moves create a choreography of bodily interdependence.
The group had its beginnings in a dance academy formed in 1975 by brothers Rodrigo and Paulo Pederneiras in their parents' home in Belo Horizonte. Though Rodrigo's dance background was undeniably classical (he studied under Russian ballet star Tatiana Leskova), the fact that he and his brother were virtually isolated from Brazil's main cultural centers -- Rio de Janeiro and So Paulo -- allowed them to break free from traditional ballet and Brazilian dance forms and evolve in new directions.
Because of this geographical separation, Grupo Corpo's choreography reflects the historical and cultural tension felt in many Latin American countries as they break free of their colonized past. Classical ballet -- representing Europe's colonial influence -- forms only a part of the company's repertoire. Fused with it are the traditions of Afro-Brazilian dance, which are fluid, free, and stand in stark contrast to the rigid formality of ballet. The two traditions blended together in Rodrigo's choreography suggest an emerging Brazilian cultural identity that encompasses everything from modern jazz to samba.
A perfect agreement of lighting and bold, colorful costuming and set design under the art direction of Paulo Pederneiras adds to the visual impact and sense of communal nature in the company's performances
The show can be seen as part of a new "See It Live" pass program that allows performance-goers access to several local arts and cultural institutions.
For $50 you get one admission to each of six different venues, including the Colorado Springs Dance Theatre, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Fine Arts Center Performing Arts Theatre, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, TheatreWorks and Sky Sox baseball.
For more information on the "See It Live" pass, call 520-SHOW.
-- Tamara Matthews
capsule Grupo Corpo
Pikes Peak Center
190 S. Cascade Ave.
Sat., Nov. 15 at 8 p.m.