Brazilian dancers bring a zest for life to Luxembourg
By Sarita Rao
A unique fusion of dance, movement and music sees 21 dancers from Grupo Corpo take the stage to perform “Suite Branca” and “Dança Sinfónica” at Luxembourg City's Grand Théâtre .
It’s not often you see so many performers on stage at the same time outside of Hollywood style big musicals. But in Grupo Corpo the individual bodies literally do move as one at times, but also co-ordinate complementary dance moves effortlessly.
“Suite Branca” begins with an all-white stage and a single dancer in white, twisting and moving to guitar twangs. She’s joined by another, then another and soon several more dancers move about the stage in what appears to be solo performances that immediately and suddenly interconnect.
Swaying forward and then back, moving in one direction as if towards something, this is the theme of “Suite Branca”. It is as if the dancers are waves moving relentlessly towards the shore.
The music incorporates psychedelic, reverb, techno, and traditional Brazilian drumbeats, with one dance routine melting effortlessly into the next mixing traditional ballet with modern moves.
At times the performers drift and glide in the same way, at others they crash and interact. Individuality is mixed with group movement. And not one bit of the music, one extra note, melody or percussion sound is missed by the dancers – one of them moves to it. It is the very detail of each dance move that brings the music to life physically.
Against a background of what feels like ice or rock, and seems stark and bleak in its whiteness, choreographer Cassi Abranches lifts the audience so that you come away feeling exhilarated and smiling, as if you have been breathing in the air from a mountain summit.
The second performance, “Dança Sinfónica” is a timely reminder of all that Grupo Corpo have become – with a look back over the many ballets and dance performances to an especially created symphony by Marco Antonio Guimaraes. Again, the music in itself is a delight, mixing classical sounds that at once seem familiar yet different, with Brazilian beats.
The dancers continue to cross back and forth over the stage, with movements sometimes reminiscent of traditional tap, Irish dancing and even African tribal dance. The red and white costumes remind the audience of a matador and bull and provide a stark contrast to the all white clothing in the “Suite Branca”.
“Dança Sinfónica” feels much more traditional, with much of the second performance devoted to a wonderful piece from two dancers in which the female dancer appears almost lifeless and floppy like a rag doll, as she is moved across the stage, twirled, lifted and even held.
Clever lighting creates moments of joy and exaltation mixed with more traditional spot light effects that pick one dancer out from the crowd – possibly the one who is going against the tide.
If the winter weather is grey and cold, then Grupo Corpo’s performance is the perfect antidote. It will make you feel truly alive and invigorated. Sit back and enjoy the ingenious music and the detailed choreography.
You can catch Grupo Corpo at the Grand Théâtre at 8pm on Thursday night.