Companhia de Danca Deborah Colker – 2006

Deborah Colker 2006

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Choreography: Deborah ColkerMusic: Berna Ceppas And a selction of other artistsFurther Info: Dancers tied up with ropes, bodies imprisoned and then freed, movements inspired by a horse, Knotdancers intertwined, a woman held by her own hair. In her seventh work, Knot, choreographer Deborah Colker translates into dance a very human theme: desire.

Wearing costumes by Alexandre Herchcovitch for the first time - tight fitting skin toned colours adorned with splashes of black and red - the 16 dancers, including Deborah, create a show which is both violent and delicate, harsh and sensitive, shocking and amorous. A show in which the dramatic comes to the fore.

Taking over two years to create and co-directed by her brother, Flavio Colker, the technical crew for Knot includes names which have been with Deborah since the birth of the company. Jorginho Carvalho is responsible for the lighting, Joao Elias is the executive director and the musical direction is by Berna Ceppas, who this time has chosen a more conceptual score. There has also been a new and important addition to the group. In order to deal with the complexity of the theme, the company changed its working style and alongside the physical work the dancers now have philosophy seminars with Professor Fernando Muniz, who will remain a part of the team.

KnotIn the first act, the dancers move among a tangle of 120 ropes. Ropes which are knotted up and which symbolize the affectionate bonds which tie us together. Ropes which are used to imprison, pull, link and free us. In a company known for its discipline, there were months of exhausting training to learn how to deal with this new apparatus, especially as each day the moves emerged differently.

It also became crucial to master new techniques. Deborah used 'Bondage' (a technique used to control pain, movement and pleasure) as well as the knowledge of different types of knots, taught by a sailor, to contribute towards the choreographic construction.

In the second act, the ropes disappear and the stage is occupied by a transparent box measuring Knot3,1 X 2,5m, a creation by set designer Gringo Cardia. The inspiration for this act comes from the Red Light District in Amsterdam, where Deborah saw prostitutes displaying themselves in the front windows of houses. In this gigantic aquarium made out of aluminium and polycarbonate material used for making bullet-proof cars - the dancers come together and separate. It is a metaphor for desire. For what we want but must not touch. For what we see but cannot have. For what we dream of but cannot turn into reality. In the background, we hear Elizeth Cardoso's voice (a late Brazilian Singer from the fiftty’s) in "Preciso aprender a ser só" (I must learn to be alone) illustrating the loneliness of those women and their clients. The dancers use classical and contemporary techniques in moves which are both delicate and brutal.

KnotWith a voyeuristic gaze, the audience follows the dancers in a visceral show full of fetishistic elements but Deborah avoids electing victims and culprits. She wants to show that within dominating relationships there is room for choice and consent. One dominates, the other is dominated but the roles get swapped and mixed up. The human knots are done and undone, the pervesity seduces, the seduction perverts.

A Knot which strangles and sustains, which tightens and liberates desire, which obstructs and brings together.