Cia Brasileira de Ballet.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In many societies, classical dance is a hobby enjoyed by the privileged. After all, the expense required to finance years of classes, endless purchases of tights, leotards and ballet slippers and tickets to performances is usually left to those with money to spare.
However, in several towns and cities around the world, dance offers a rare opportunity for the less fortunate. Such is the case in Brazil.
In sports, the best players are often the ones who have to fight to make their talent known. For artistic director Jorge Texeira, seeking out hidden stars was his major motivation for establishing Cia Brasileira de Ballet 11 years ago.
“There was great need to give a chance to many young, eager and talented dancers,” Texeira explained in a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post.
Texeira’s company is home to nearly 30 artists between the ages of 18 and 24, many of whom began their careers thanks to scholarships granted by the company’s ballet school.
“The goal was to educate underprivileged children and give them new possibilities in life through art. Having a school that produces professional dancers every year is wonderful. And seeing the kids grow, graduate and have successful careers internationally is very rewarding for me and for the dedicated staff,” he says.
Texeira, along with his cast of 26 dancers, will perform in Israel during the first two weeks of August. The company will present a mixed program, consisting of three very different ballets, in Karmiel, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Kiryat Motzkin, Beersheba and Herzliya.
The company is the first of its kind in Brazil. Though dance is a prevalent form of expression in the country, ballet has never been the major outlet for the love of movement. Samba, the national dance form of Brazil, is about as similar to ballet as hip hop music is to Mozart. However, Texeira sees a common thread – the Brazilian passion.
“The richness and variety of rhythms in Brazil affects me positively. Brazilian people are known for their sensuality. This visceral interpretation comes from the heart. That’s what makes the CBB stand out, that’s what makes the difference: the energy of being on stage for pleasure. We do it with our hearts and souls. It’s the joy of dancing, of being the biggest carnival in the world, the best football; it’s what is in our blood. So many of these dancers are virtuosi, just like our football players – they have natural talent for dance,” he says.
In preparation for one of the company’s most substantial tours to date, the staff has been working overtime. “We have been preparing for this engagement for one year,” says Texeira. “The group has been working hard, training for more than eight hours a day, seven days a week.”
The three ballets the CBB will perform each presents a different genre within the classical dance world.
“We will go through a very traditional ballet like the Raymonda Suite
, move to a more playful one, the Don Quixote Suite
, and end with the Brazilian Suite,
all with the highly technical and artistic performance that identifies our company. The Don Quixote Suite
is our main performance. It is a very happy ballet, more relaxing and in some ways closer to our Brazilian style of dance and music. The Raymonda Suite
is very traditional and demands more maturity from the dancers. The Brazilian Suite
was specially developed for this festival.
It is a short ballet in neoclassical or contemporary style danced to popular Brazilian music. This will be the opportunity for Cia Brasileira de Ballet to show their highly technical dancing together with their soul,” says Texeira.CBB will perform at TAPAC on August 3. At the Jerusalem Theater on August 4. At the Beersheba Performing Arts Center on August 6. Twice at the Karmiel Festival on August 8. At the Herzliya Performing Arts Center on August 9. And at the Kiryat Motzkin Performing Arts Center on August 10.For more information, visit www.karmielfestival.co.il.