Grupo Corpo, Brazil’s foremost contemporary dance troupe ensemble, combines the technique of classical ballet with modern and African dance. The 21-member company, founded by Paulo Pederneiras in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 1975, has received widespread acclaim for its vibrant dances in which choreography, lighting, sets, and costumes interplay. Brothers Paulo and Rodrigo Pederneiras (artistic director and choreographer, respectively), Fernando Velloso (set designer), Freusa Zechmeister (costume designer) strive to produce work that is unmistakebly Brazilian.
Choreography such as Benguelê (1998) draws heavily on Brazil’s African roots. Set to a commissioned score by João Bosco, Pederneiras blends Capoeira, Brazilian folklore, and the dances of the Congado—a religious ritual developed by African slaves in Brazil.
Another work, Breu, which recently received its New York premiere, features a dark score by multiple Latin Grammy-winner Lenine. The dance work showcases some of Pederneiras’ most aggressive and confrontational choreography to date with sudden falls and low earth-bound crouches and repetitions. Set within a stark, colorless environment, Pederneiras evokes extreme isolation, deathly inertia, and devastation.
Jerusalem International Convention Center