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ecotopia dance productions: biographies Balé da Cidade de São Paulo



When the dance company was founded in 1968, the most important point was at first to do justice to the neccessities of a theater in Latin America's biggest metropolis. In 1974, Antonio Carlos Cardoso then pushed a new development while searching dancers, who were able to realize his modern and innovative ideas. Both the name of the group, Balé da Cidade de São Paulo, and the exceptional status come from that time until today, the Balé da Cidade is an independent company inside the official structure of the theater.

In the 80s, many choreographers, directors, sceneographers, painters and musicians formed the company's style and constantly developed an own language and own aesthetics on the basis of modern dance techniques. The Brasilian self-image gave the dancers within the universal language as well technical as interpretatory variety, which had the consequences, that every direction of style flowed into the repertoire, from neo-classicism to dance theater.

The work which has developed this way, met a lively echo with audience and press and was awarded with prizes in all conceivable categories. In addition to various chreographies, technical perfection and artistic expression were especially praised.

Ismael Ivo
Born in: São Paulo, Brazil;

“Ismael Ivo studied drama and dance in Brazil and performed there as a solo dancer, before being invited to New York by Ailey in 1983. Here he continued creating and performing solo works [...], in which the charismatic intensity and sculptural power of this style brought him an international reputation. [...]”
(Oxford Dictionary of Dance, Oxford University Press)

Important impulse for the development of his distinctive style was the close collaboration with Márcia Haydée, Japanese Butoh dancer Ushio Amagatsu, leader of Sankai Juku Company, and with Johan Kresnik, the pioneer of German Dance Theatre.

Worldwide premieres and tours with his over 50 feature-length choreographies by now made Ismael Ivo a protagonist of contemporary dance in Europe. His oeuvre comprises solos and big company works, contemporary pieces, dance theatre, choreographic theatre and contemporary classic dance performances. His artistic interest in the research of a concept of the Performative Body resulted in joined projects with artists like Heiner Mueller, George Tabori and Marina Abramovic. His work with Yoshi Oida was awarded “Outstanding Performance of the Year” in London.

Besides substantial work as choreographer and dancer, his actives as director of festivals and cultural institutions are further creative focal points. In 1984 Ismael Ivo founded ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival together with Karl Regensburger, in the meantime Europe´s largest dance festival, which he is still leading as representative and artistic director. The German National Theatre in Weimar appointed Ismael Ivo as chief-choreographer and director of dance company from 1997 to 2000. At Max-Reinhardt-Seminar, University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna, he had the position of visiting professor.

In the years 2005 to 2012 Ismael Ivo was director of the International Festival of Contemporary Dance and the Dance Department of La Biennale di Venezia in Venice. His innovative festival programme and activities here were multiple-awarded in Italy.

With the task to upgrade professional formation in dance he founded the project Biblioteca do Corpo® in 2009 in Venice. From 2013 on this project is continued in collaboration of ImPulsTanz Vienna, SESC São Paulo and Secretaria de Estado da Cultura São Paulo. Since 2015 he is leading the government program of support of dance in the state of São Paulo.

Since 2017 Ismael Ivo is the artistic director of Balé da Cidade, the dance company of the Theatro Municipal, São Paulo.

Ismael Ivo´s cultural achievement was acknowledged by the presentation of The Order of Cultural Merit of the Federative Republic of Brazil in 2010 by his Excellence Mr. President of the Republic Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

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