Grupo Corpo 2014
1 October - 5 November 2014

Grupo Corpo 2014

Alhambra Theatre Bradford / Birmingham Hippodrome / Festival Theatre Edinburgh / Grand Opera House Belfast / Mayflower Theatre Southampton / Sadler’s Wells London / The Lowry Salford Quays / Theatre Royal Plymouth / Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff

Sem Mim

Choreography: Rodrigo PederneirasLighting Designer: PAULO PEDERNEIRASCostume Designer: FREUSA ZECHMEISTERMusic: CARLOS NÚÑES and JOSÉ MIGUEL WISNIK (on songs by MARTÍN CODAX)Set Design: PAULO PEDERNEIRASFurther Info: The sea (of Vigo), that carries away and brings back the lover, the friend, gives life and movement to sem mim (without me). The ballet is rocked and soothed by the original score composed by Carlos Núñez, of Vigo, and José Miguel Wisnik, of Brazil, and based on the only set of pieces from the medieval Galician Portuguese secular songbook that has come down to us with its scores intact: the celebrated “sea of Vigo song cycle” by Martín Codax. In the seven songs, dating from the 13th century, the poet always expresses the voice of the woman, or, more specifically, the voice of maidens in love that weep at the absence or celebrate the imminent return of the lover friend. Anxious to be reunited, they confide at times in the sea, at times in the mother, at times in friends. And, to appease or excite their desire, they go bathing in the waves of the sea of Vigo. The lyrics of this medieval troubadour led Rodrigo Pederneiras to mark his moving score with the interchange between calm and fury and with the ebb and flow of the waves and also to (re)produce, in the posturing on stage, the separation between feminine and masculine, where one always complains of the absence of the other, in choreography portraying the constant flux of advances and retreats and the recurrence of sinuous or abrupt movements of the torso. From the combination of a geometric shape (an enormous, empty aluminum square) with an organic shape (meters and meters of a synthetic fabric made to provide shade for crops), both of which can be manipulated vertically, Paulo Pederneiras constructs a metamorphic set that transfigures during the show to represent different landscapes and elements: sea, mountains, clouds, boat, fishing net, dawn. On finely knit unitards, dyed to match the skin color of each dancer, Freusa Zechmeister applies inscriptions and textures based on ornaments from the Middle Ages, transforming the dancers’ bodies into media conveying all the symbology of the era, and creating the illusion that the scene is populated by men and women “au naturel”, whose “nudity” is only covered by one of the most archaic signs of maritime imagination: the tattoo.


Choreography: Rodrigo PederneirasCostume Designer: FREUSA ZECHMEISTERMusic: TOM ZÉ and JOSÉ MIGUEL WISNIKSet Design: FERNANDO VELLOSO and PAULO PEDERNEIRASFurther Info: In the interior of Brazil, rhythms are characters of a culture which is continuously changing. The music of Tom Zé / José Miguel Wisnik bases itself on this characteristic and uses it as a source. The choreography represents the strongest characteristic of Rodrigo Pederneiras’ work: the ability to travel from the popular art to the erudite art. Here there are no frontiers. Parabelo emanates the characteristics of the land. It introduces a Brazil filled with regional nuances.


Choreography: RODRIGO PEDERNEIRASLighting Designer: PAULO PEDERNEIRAS and GABRIEL PEDERNEIRASCostume Designer: FREUSA ZECHMEISTERMusic: LENINESet Design: PAULO PEDERNEIRASFurther Info: Only Performed at Sadler's Wells. The sensation of being just a hair’s breadth away from the blade of the mythical sword of Damocles was so imperative during the entire gestation period of the ballet from Grupo Corpo that it not only became the broad motif, but also inspired its name: Triz, an imitative term most likely deriving from the Greek triks/trikós (hair), symbolized in the expression por um triz (by a hair). In order to stimulate the creation of the soundtrack for Grupo Corpo’s ballet, Lenine himself placed Damocles’ sword above his own head by constructing a musical topography interlaced with rhythmical subversions (a passion) from a single leitmotif and using only strings. In a work where the occupation of space reflects the diabolical intermittence and guile worked on time by Lenine’s music, the possibility of creating a series of female duos acted as a soothing moment and a pause for breath. This was so necessary not only for the execution of the choreography by Rodrigo Pederneiras, but also for the execution of the movements by the ballet dancers, who worked in their group formations in such a state of permanent tension that being off by a single hair, for just an instant, could be fatal. With close to fifteen kilometers of steel cable, Paulo Pederneiras constructs scenery that alludes to the sovereign presence of strings in Lenine’s score while, at the same time, imposing itself as a powerful metaphor for the limitations placed on the creative team and the Grupo Corpo performers in producing Triz. Freusa Zechmeister relies on full length bodysuits, exclusively using blocks of black and white to vertically divide the dancers’ bodies into two symmetrical halves. This option takes the notion of relating to limits and brings it almost to the edge of play. In a performance that takes the oppressive nature of limits as a starting point for its construction, Zechmeister’s costumes arise as a more evident symbol that the key to overcoming can be in the mere determination to stay in motion.