Chicago Events. Grupo Corpo At The Auditorium Theatre. February 28 and March 1, 2015.
Critically Acclaimed Company Presents “Sem Mim” and “Onqotô”.
Passion, seduction, athletics and culture collide on the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University stage when Brazil’s premiere dance company Grupo Corpo make their Chicago debut February 28 and March 1, 2015. Led by Artistic Director Paulo Pederneiras and Choreographer Rodrigo Pederneiras, the company melds traditional Brazilian dance with western contemporary movement in what “The Scotsman” hails as… “the Latin dance you see on [television], smoothed out, funked up and drenched in meaning.” For their Chicago debut, the company presents “Sem Mim,” set to an original soundtrack by Spanish musician and composer Carlos Núñez and Brazilian composer José Miguel Wisnik, as well as “Onqotô”—also set to original music by Wisnik along with Caetano Veloso.
Tickets ($25 – $65) are on sale now and available online at AuditoriumTheatre.org, by calling (800) 982-ARTS (2787) or at the Auditorium Theatre Box Office (50 E. Congress Pkwy).
“As the Auditorium Theatre continues its 125th Anniversary celebration in 2015, we are thrilled to introduce Chicago audiences to the world-renown Grupo Corpo,” said Auditorium Theatre Executive Director Brett Batterson. “As we strive to present the best talent from around the world on our landmark stage, Grupo Corpo offers a truly unique and stunning approach to dance under the innovative partnership of Paolo and Rodrigo Pederneiras.”
Melding various forms of dance and athletics, Grupo Corpo creates a unique art form with each and every dance they perform. “The flirty bendiness of rumba, the bounce of capoeira, the skyward swoop of lindyhop and, yes, the lightning footwork of the midfielder… all combine to create a lean, limber dance mode that looks enormous fun to do” (“The Independent”).
“It has always been a dream to bring Grupo Corpo to Chicago and to finally do so at the Auditorium Theatre during their 125th Anniversary Season exceeds our wildest expectations,” said Grupo Corpo Artistic Director Paulo Pederneiras. “We are so thrilled that Chicago audiences will be able to experience the colorful, rhythmic, passionate performances of our multi-faceted dancers in this historic venue.”
About “Sem Mim”:
Set to original music by Carlos Núñez and Brazilian composer José Miguel Wisnik, Rodrigo Pederneiras’s “Sem Mim” draws inspiration from the Galician-Portuguese medieval songbook “Sea of Virgo” by Martin Codax. The seven chants, or “friend chants,” both mourn the absence and celebrate the return of a beloved friend. Pederneiras uses the lyrics to show the juxtaposition between calm and fury, masculine and feminine while also using shapes as well as the dancers own bodies—covered in what appears to be tattoos—to create the fluidity of the ocean, mountains clouds and more.
Stemming from an ongoing conversation about the creation of the universe, Caetano Veloso and José Miguel Wisnik created the music for what would turn into the soundtrack to Pederneiras’s “Onqotô.” Juxtaposing the big bang theory against one of the most traditional soccer matches in Brazil, the choreography is a sharp contrast between chaos and order; roughness and tenderness; and volume and sparseness. The scenic design, created by Paulo Pederneiras, gives the illusion of both a globe but at times a soccer stadium as well highlighting the two competing primal scenes.
About Grupo Corpo:
Brazil as a whole, with all its cultural diversity, can see itself in Grupo Corpo, the dance company founded in 1975 in Belo Horizonte. In a world where the speed of information is producing an increasingly homogeneous landscape, Grupo Corpo stands out for having developed a signature style of their own. House Choreographer Rodrigo Pederneiras is one of the few choreographers able to mix classic ballet and folk dances and then set bodies in motion that push the limits of technical rigor, while Artistic Director Paulo Pederneiras is able to transform choreography into a dance artwork. The balanced cast of dancers, stars in their own right, fine-tune each other with exquisite precision.
When one sees Grupo Corpo dance on stage it is as if all questions concerning the transit between nature and culture are being fully answered. All facets of Brazil, past and future, erudite and popular, foreign influence and local color, and the urban and the suburban, come to being as art. Brazilian art. World art.