Imagine a performance in which you, as the audience, are lying on your back and the performers are attached to the ceiling. Though this is not the case in Deborah Colker Dance Company’s Mix, the sensation created by one of the most memorable sections of the evening is close to that.
The back wall of the stage is replaced by a large wall, which resembles a bright rock-climbing wall. The dancers, clad in tight outfits, maneuver between posts on the wall, creating a fully vertical spectacle. And though audience members remain comfortably seated, the vertigo effect is certainly in play.
The Rio de Janeiro-based Deborah Colker Dance Company is makings its first visit to Israel this week to perform in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Mix is precisely what the title implies, a combination of repertoires. Colker, who began her company in the early 1990s, kicked off with two major works, whose sections have been mixed and matched to create this retrospective evening. The two pieces Colker chose to use are representative of her style and aesthetic. In each, Colker tested the boundaries of stage performance, be it the space or the emotional content of the work.
In the years since the premieres of the two pieces, Velox and Volcano, Colker’s troupe has gone from a local phenomenon to an internationally renowned force in the dance world. At the outset, there were very few dance companies in Brazil. And though Colker had never seen anything in her home country that resembled the ensemble she imagined, she knew that creating a life in dance was her destiny. She gathered together a small group of performers whom she had met in dance classes around Rio and began to choreograph.
The existence of the Deborah Colker Dance Company paved a new path in Brazil, providing other choreographers with the courage and inspiration to strike out on their own. The scene surrounding Colker has grown increasingly rich, with Brazilian choreographers presenting work on a regular basis in a variety of theaters locally and abroad.
Colker’s unique blend of physicality and steamy emotion brought her to the attention of Canada’s renowned Cirque du Soleil. In 2009, Colker became the first woman to choreograph for the company. The collaboration, which led to Ovo, a major production, was an immediate success, leading to an invitation for Colker to create another new work for Cirque du Soleil.
Mix gives audiences the perfect opportunity to get to know Colker. The show moves quickly from one section to the next, giving each of Colker’s talented dancers a moment to shine. Their technical proficiency and passion will burst through the choreography, bringing the hot Brazilian summer to the chilly stages of this Israeli winter.
The Deborah Colker Dance Company will perform at the Jerusalem Theater on January 21 and 22 (www.jerusalem-theater.co.il) and at TAPAC on January 23-26 (www.israelopera.co.il). For more information, visit www.ciadeborahcolker.com.br.