I had the extreme pleasure to view Grupo Corpo at The Music Center here in Los Angeles on January 29th. This was my first experience with them and the best way to describe their overall performace in two words is ferocious fluidity.
The following adjectives also come to mind: mesmerizing, precision, fluid, jazzy, edgy, dissonance, resolution, strong, hypnotic, smoky, sexy, sensual, sultry, perfection.
Each dancer flowed into their own space on stage with a ferocious fluidity. Every step, sway, slide, shift, gesture, interaction was a bold statement of confidence. The owned their individual space with utmost authority. Their interaction with each other was as puzzle pieces interlocking with absolute creative and artistic precision.
In the September 2007 issue of Esquire magazine, Tom Chiarella wrote of Bill Murray, "He looked bolted to the frame of the world, like he controlled the space he stood in. He was completely aware of everything around him, even me watching him in the mirror. ... Presence."
So were the dancers of Grupo Corpo.
Each segment in both first and second act were accompanied with lighting and music changes that were absolute perfection. The change in segments within each act was as turning a new page in a pop-up book to the delight of the spectator who enjoyed both the sights and musical offerings of each individual portion. While they were each different and unique, they were all woven together with the perfect thread, with the perfect common thread being the dancers who brought to life and connected all the different pieces with brilliance.
The costuming was stitch-perfect and dovetailed with the theme of each segment with a chic, less-is-more simplicity that didn’t detract from the dancers positions and movement.
The infectious nature of the score caused me to hearken back to my world music performance days at Florida State University when Brazilian Samba and West African Dance drove and developed my spirit and passion for world music and cultures. The hypnosis and fluidity of their movements beckoned my soul and seemed to figuratively pull me towards stage not of my own accord.
A smoldering, smoky, jazzy, secret-agenty, samba-infused patchwork of music hit home with my diverse and never satiated musical tastes. Each tune was a new present waiting to be opened and kept me on the edge of my seat wondering how each new piece would unfold. They continued to get better, not because each piece was composed more skillfully, but because cumulatively each one built upon the one before to cause one’s soul to take flight.
The afterglow of their performance raised my soul, as an amazing performance always does, to a level of renewal one needs after having been caught in the gears of life for months on end.
If you don't already love Brazil, you will after watching Grupo Corpo.