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A poetic translation of the violent, barbarous times we live in, Grupo Corpo´s ballet Breu, which debuted in 2007, features Rodrigo Perderneiras´ most radical dance movements in 30 years as the Brazilian dance company´s choreographer. In order to express in movement the complex, piercing score by singer and composer Lenine, the choreographer and the dancers had to leave behind the sensuality, lyricism and joy that had characterized the group´s work since 1992 and initiate new forms of movement. The result was Breu, a ballet featuring forms that are harsher, more angular and more powerful that its predecessors. The abrupt falls and the painfully slow upward movements of the dancers appear to condemn their bodies to the ground, where they move with the aid of the pelvis, wrists, elbows, knees, ankles and heels. To remain standing, or to rise higher, it becomes necessary to ignore the others or to face them as enemies, thus reflecting our society´s win-at-any-cost philosophy. Our individualism, and our haste to confront others in order to survive, seem to govern the movements of the dancers during the 40-minute show.

The original score by Lenine encompasses a vast range of timbres, samplers, sound effects, musical references and styles, resulting in a stimulating babel of sound. Conceived as a unique piece, the score comprises eight movements, from hard rock to traditional Brazilian musical genres. The scenery, designed by Paulo Pederneiras, features huge plaques of shining black tile — arranged with geometrical precision — that evoke a sense of coldness. The dancers´ black and white leotards, created by Freusa Zechmeister, divide their bodies in half: in front, the costumes are dominated by various geometrical designs, while in back, from head to toe, the audience sees an intense, shiny black. Beneath the stage lights, the brilliance of the costumes emphasizes the dancers´ forms in such a manner that, for split-seconds, they seem to become one with the scenery, adding volume and curves to its straight, two-dimensional esthetic.

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