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ecotopia dance productions: press clippings Balé da Cidade de São Paulo - tour 2007
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BALé DA CIDADE DE SãO PAULO

TOUR 2007

DANCING INTO A TRANCE
... Driven and restless, they run, jump and do cartwheels. Their partners fly through the air, are thrown like a ball from one man to the next, are dragged on the floor and lifted up. The opening performance by the Balé da Cidade de São Paulo at the 8th International Dance Festival at Oldenburg State Theatre is acrobatic and simply bursting with energy.
... In Gagik Ismailian’s piece ’Dualidade@br’ the strengths of the ensemble come to fruition: passion and devotion. Accompanied by ethno pop and songs by Fado artist Mália Rodrigues, the men and women meet in groups of two, three and eight. Gently and tenderly they beguile each other, passionately throw themselves into each others’ arms, dance into a trance with self-abandon. The appeal of Gagik Ismailian’s choreography lies in its quickness and surprising, complex movement sequences.
Alexandra Albrecht, Weser Kurier, 2 March 2007

TEMPERAMENT AND RIGOUR
... Latin America’s largest ballet company is from São Paulo and duly bursts with energy and eroticism, passion and joie de vivre. Nevertheless, it does not fulfil the clichéd European idea of Latin American temperament. A ’Carnival in Rio’-themed show is not to be expected from the ambitious ensemble. Instead, the three choreographies presented by the Latin Americans at their performance at Ludwigshafen’s Pfalzbautheater contain many European elements.
... ’Constanze’, danced almost entirely by females, stages the lives of the women surrounding Mozart in expressive scenes. Accompanied by the jubilant strains of the Jupiter Symphony, the dancers develop a kind of female counter world, marked by tireless effort, exhaustion and renewed effort. Choreographer Mário Nascimento sets up an appealing contrast to the classical music with a modern, angular movement vocabulary which again and again is briefly transformed into soft, flowing movements.
... In a stark contrast, ’Divinéia’ leads us into a total man’s world, characterised by aggression, even crime, but also excessive power and fierce vitality. Choreographer Jorge Garcia visualises the life of prisoners caught up between intimacy and brutality, accompanied by hammering rhythms form the North-East of Brazil: a piece full of martial arts elements and breathtaking acrobatics. The energetic, explosive power of the dance desperately opposes the forced, agonising inactivity of the prisoners.
Birgitt Scheuermann, Mannheimer Morgen, 4 March 2007

WIE EIN EUROPäISCHER TRAUM VON BRASILIEN
(…) Begeisterungsstürme entfachte das Stück von Galili, der in Ludwigshafen ein stets bejubelter Altbekannter ist. Und es hat es wahrlich in sich. Der israelische Choreograf, der seinen Wirkungskreis in den Niederlanden hat, kam mit dem niederländischen Percussion-Quartett „Percossa“, mit dem er schon wiederholt zusammengearbeitet hat, nach São Paulo und ließ sich von der Begegnung mit dem Land und der Compagnie einfach davontragen.
(…) Es ist wie ein europäischer Traum von Brasilien. Vom ersten Trommelschlag an fühlt sich der Zuschauer hineingezogen und möchte mehr, immer mehr. Schnell, atemlos vergeht die Zeit im stampfenden Rhythmus von 28 Körpern. Die Energie, die sie entfalten, wenn alle das Gleiche tun, wird durch straff gespannte Haltung, kerzengerade gespreizte Beine, gereckte Arme noch gesteigert. Itzig Galili geht souverän mit den Kräften um, die er entfacht, splittert die Masse auf in dynamische Reihen, schiebt wechselnde Untergruppierungen ein.
(…) Auch „Divineia“ ist eine außergewöhnliche Choreografie. „Divineia“ ist ein Tanztheater, das Szenisches mit bildhafter Symbolik, wie vielseitig verwendbaren Aluminiumtellern, und kraftbetonter Akrobatik verbindet. Es macht mit Humor eine Vielzahl elementarer Gefühle und Verhaltensweisen sichtbar.
Heike Marx, Rheinpfalz, 5. März 2007

MUSCULAR BODIES, WHOLEHEARTED ATTACK
... Mário Nascimento’s ’Constanze’ combines the Jupiter Symphony with Fabio Cardia’s Fantasia on Mozart’s ’Lacrimosa’. The choreographer intended to pay homage to the composer and his women. ... He constantly changes the formations, breaks off all scenes very quickly and surprisingly has everyone dance the same material in the same tempo to all four movements of the symphony. The women constantly tip over, squat on the floor, pull themselves together, wildly launch into a triple jump or a slow off-balance turn, tumble onwards or slump, pick themselves up again, skid through the space, abandon themselves to spiralling movements, interrupt their dance suddenly and exit.
... Jorge Garcia's ’Divinéia’ is much more varied, emotional. The title derives from the largest Latin American prison. ... Wild revolt alternates with martial arts elements, personal expression with the imitation of a temporary leader’s movements, aggressive trials of strength with exhaustion. All these actions are translated convincingly into athletic and acrobatic dance, and they are performed brilliantly.
Itzik Galili’s ’A linha curva’ embodies zest for life and the fun of dancing together. Male and female dancers are driven by the eclectic live music, following the various rhythms, and rejoice in the countless repetitions of the same forms, dance in unison as if by a spontaneous impulse. Rarely soloists break free from the group, triumphant with their skill, only to step back into line immediately. ... Playing with spatial patterns, the choreographer creatively works with symmetry, shifts and accumulation, while also employing lighting and colour to great effect.
Ursula Pellaton, Der Landbote, 9 March 2007

CARNIVAL AND PRISON
... In São Paulo a dance company has managed to liberate itself from having to fulfil the needs of an opera house, immersing itself into the world of contemporary dance. The Balé da Cidade de São Paulo has all dance styles at the ready – from ballet to dance theatre – while still maintaining its regional character.
... Following his invitation to Brazil, Itzik Galili was carried away by the proverbial joie de vivre of his host country. With ’A linha curva’, premiered in 2005, he produced a veritable hymn to the carnival, with 28 dancers forming intoxicating patterns on a chessboard created by colourful lighting. As a gift from Europe he has taken along the Dutch percussion group Percossa, whose performance drives the dancers to brilliant athletic and acrobatic feats.
... The evening started with Mario Nascimento’s very personal tribute to the women in Mozart’s life, accompanied by music on and by Mozart. ... They are women who bounce back, who won’t get laid by the alarmed Mozart. And within half an hour they run through the entire programme of female roles, before getting together at the end for virtuoso high-speed nods of the head: a very modern affirmation of Mozart.
... The show-stopper of the evening however was ’Divinéia’ by Jorge Garcia, who took the title from Sao Paulo’s largest prison. In his piece for eight dancers he looks at the particular allegiances formed by the men: in prison, bath houses, saunas and on the street. Samba, funk, hip hop and Brazilian club music provide the musical structure for Garcia’s presentation of an uptempo mix of different dance styles and contemporary dance theatre. Within a fast-paced half hour, the dance tells of intimacy and spectacle, camaraderie and rivalry, of brutality and closeness.
Isabelle v. Neumann-Cosel, Stuttgarter Nachrichten, 11 March 2007

ATHLETIC DYNAMISM AND AESTHETIC TEMPERAMENT
A high-energy dance event as part of the Dance Forum by the Ludwigsburg arts council: on its European tour, the Balé da Cidade de São Paulo stopped at the Forum for two rapturously received ballet performances. Sensuousness, energy and zest for life are brilliantly conveyed by the athletic dancers of this company, which ranks amongst the most renowned ensembles in Latin America. Their original mix of modern dance and Brazilian tradition is positioned nowhere near the clichés of samba and carnival in Rio.
Since 2001, the São Paulo City Ballet has been directed by Mônica Mion, previously a company member for 25 years. The programme in Ludwigsburg presented an excellent cross-section of the company’s expressive possibilities.
Gagik Ismailian’s ’Dualidade@Br’ is inspired by the melancholy and desperate passion of the Portuguese fado. Having emerged from the auditorium, four dancers appear in front of the curtain and then form sporty and supple couples on stage with their partners. What follows are breathtaking formations in trios, duets and solos: from acrobatic aireal work to fiery kisses and falling rose blossoms, this dance is a roller coaster ride of temperament and emotion.
Jorge Garcia’s ’Divinéia’ begins and ends with sociocritical gloom and coldness. Lifeless bodies are dragged around the stage like puppets in the dim light of a street lamp, until each of the ’corpses’ is freed from its lethargic stiffness by contact improvisation with a very lively partner.
Entirely danced by men (just for a moment women appear like a mirage), with its rap, comedy, flying ashtrays, somersaults and back-flips the performance offers a grotesque bit of hope and solidarity in its presentation of loneliness and isolation.
The final piece, „A linha curva“ by Itzik Galili, was a spectacular performance by the 28 brilliantly trained company dancers, accompanied live by the four percussionists of the Percossa ensemble.
Quite out of character for the Israeli choreographer, this ballet banks on the attractiveness of pulsating physicality, synchronised and in coloured blocks of light suggesting a chessboard. Here, too, funny details such as a skateboarder speeding across the stage lighten up the perfection of the choreography.
Dietholf Zerweck, Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung, 12 March 2007

THE FLOW OF ENERGY
Aesthetics, acrobatics, humour and boundless energy characterise the stirring physical language of the Balé da Cidade de São Paulo, which appeared at the Ludwigsburg Forum. Three different choreographies played to the different strengths of the young ensemble. 'Dualidade@br' by Gagik Ismailian was dominated by the continuing flow of movement, which was repeatedly modified in solos and groups of two and three, but never interrupted. In terms of expression the pas de trois was really a pas de deux with its fervent explosiveness. In Jorge Garcia’s 'Divinéia' eight dancers appeared on stage in leather trainers. The title refers to the São Paulo prison, but the piece was anything but oppressive. Stylised trials of strength alternated between suppleness, power and comedy conveyed through unconventional ideas, such as simultaneously breathing out wads of smoke in a beam of light.
A rush of rhythms, colours and movement was brought on by Itzik Galili’s ’A linha curva’ with up to 28 dancers in differently structured groups; the piece was accompanied by the Dutch Percossa ensemble, which raised a storm with its live percussion rhythms. The swaying, earthy Sao Paulo samba was the basic formal principle here. The audience loved it.
gab, Stuttgarter Zeitung, 12 March 2007

VIOLENCE AND PASSION
The São Paulo Ballet wowed the audience at Fürth’s sold-out municipal theatre with temperament, acrobatics and sensuality.
... The strong troupe from Brazil conquered the spectators’ hearts with three totally different pieces which displayed their diversity and stylistic range: ’ Constanze’ is about Mozart and women, ’Divinéia’ about a notorious prison in São Paulo and ’Zona Mina-Da’ about love, Italian-style.
The Balé da Cidade de Sao Paulo, founded in 1968 for the needs of an opera house, has long since developed into one of the best dance theatre ensembles in Latin America. Since 2001 the company, which combines contemporary dance structures with Brazilian tradition, has been directed by Mônica Mion.
... The hit songs by Italian songstress and diva Mina (’Tintarella di luna’) are the leitmotif in the piece ’Zona Mina-Da’ by Mauro Bigonzetti, the artistic director of Italian company Aterballetto. Here, the 30-strong ensemble appears in an ironic and cheerful dance of love. All in all, a new highlight in the dance season of the Fürth theatre!
radl, Nürnberger Nachrichten, 15 March 2007

WINTER STORMS ARE BLOWN AWAY
The outside temperatures really were nowhere near Latin American averages. A reason for despondency? Not for the Balé da Cidade de Sao Paulo. The energy driving this ensemble transforms every cold snap into an explosion of spring. This wellspring of strength does not only delight the choreographer, but also the audience – in Leverkusen as all over the world.
... Wiry, sporty, elegant: Mário Nascimento uses the company’s technique skills – including those of the women – in ’Constanze’. Mozart’s lover has many faces here, namely those of the 13 female dancers. The choreographer did not set the record straight on a singular biography, rather, Constanze stands for all women in a relationship with a genius, of whatever kind.
Ingeborg Schwenke-Runkel, Leverkusener Anzeiger, 23 March 2007

FROM PRISON TO DANCE SCHOOL
... Latin America, Portugal and Italy were guests at the Teo Otto Theatre in Remscheid. The performances at the rapturously received dance evening of the Balé da Cidade de São Paulo (artistic director: Mônica Mion) are characterised by those very countries.
Veronika Pantel, rga, 26 March 2007

TEMPO, SENSUOUSNESS AND IMAGINATION
The world-renowned dance company Balé da Cidade São Paulo staged imaginative dance scenes to very varied music at the Schlosstheater. Choreographies to Mozart’s ’Constanze’, Portuguese Fado and Tango Argentino were met with rapturous applause, partly even standing ovations. Sensuality, dynamism and tempo were the key elements of the expressive performance by the nearly 40 dancers.
Helmut Maaß, Fuldaer Zeitung, 28 March 2007

LATIN AMERICANS AND PASSIONATE BALLET
Wherever the Balé da Cidade de São Paulo, Latin America’s largest dance company, appears, its brilliant technique, fiery temperament and extraordinary movement language are lauded. The Brazilian guests proved their multi-faceted skills at the Graf Zeppelin House with three contrasting, short ballet pieces.
... The third performance, in contrast, ’Zona Mina-Da’ by Mauro Bigonzetti, was full of exuberant vitality: a hot-tempered homage to the 67-year old Italian singer Mina. There were her love songs, such as ’Non credere’ or ’Vorrei che fosse amore’, which set free power and energy. The piece began with an ear-splitting rattling of stools on both sides of the stage, where the 26-strong ensemble took their seats. Ever new couplings and groups ran riot, one moment romantic, then playful and extremely funny, then wildly, fervently devoted. There was rock’n roll with somersaults, there were pure acrobatics. No wonder that the ensemble practically drowned in rapturous applause at the end.
chv, Schwäbische Zeitung, 29 March 2007

JOIE DE VIVRE AND SENSUALITY
Such a dance festival of superlatives can roundly be classed as unique.
... The Tuesday night audience at the well-attended Hugo-Eckener-Saal celebrated the Balé da Cidade de São Paulo, directed by Mônica Mion, with enthused intermittent applause and a rapturous response at the end of the performance. The company is said to be Latin America’s best dance ensemble. Spectators were spellbound by the grand, neo-classical dance theatre full of great imagination, fascinating sensuousness, energy and pure joie de vivre, as well as an explosive mix of Portuguese, African and American influences. The high-spirited and uptempo movement language, interspersed with acrobatic elements and spiced up with a nice dose of humour, was enhanced by a warm and strong interplay of colours. With dreamy security and a maximum of physical awareness and musicality, the dancers embrace all ballet techniques with great presence. The performance by the likeable, 30-strong troupe is intensely expressive, elegant and strong: supple, agile convergences, angular movement or jumps full of carefree lightness. This polarity of constantly alternating tension and release requires the highest discipline and skill.
In three pieces full of verve and dynamism as well as sensitively felt moods, the ballet company expertly manages to bring ballet and modern dance elements into a harmonious balance.
Elfi Braschel, Südkurier, 29 March 2007

MOZART’S WOMEN, LAGS AND ITALIANATE ROMANCE
The Brazilians have impressed more than once with the art of their dance in Lörrach. Full house at the Burghof on Thursday night. The Balé da Cidade de São Paulo brought along three pieces which built up tension as they were put in a clever sequence.
… A lightfooted beginning sees Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony accompany Mario Nascimento’s work ‘Constanze’ (the name of Mozart’s wife), a tribute to the women who have accompanied and enriched the exceptional musician. Vivacious, original and playful, the women abandon themselves to the music, their bodies seemingly shaken by the genius of Mozart every now and then.
… ‘Divineia’ by Jorge Garcia is a male and dynamic alternative to ‘Constanze’. We are plunged into a bare, naked, pugnacious prison world which is all about power, strength, dominance and pure survival. There are explosive jumps, large steps: violence and voicelessness, men’s dreams and loneliness are pictured with great authenticity and brilliant dance skill.
… The colourful final piece ‘Zona Mina-da’ by Mauro Bigonzetti gives the dancers a chance to bring all their temperament to bear. The musical homage to the Italian actress and singer Mina is adroitly positioned at the end of the evening. For it contains all the qualities which distinguish the Brazilians: musicality, overflowing vitality and technical perfection, spiced up with a dose of humour.
… The dance evening ends with a tongue-in-cheek tribute to love (‘Vorrei che fosse amore’) and the infectious joie de vivre that is typical of the Brazilian company. The thrilled audience applauded for many minutes.
Gabriele Hauger, Die Oberbadische, 31 March 2007

EXPRESSION AND PERFECT ENTERTAINMENT
… Now the acclaim of the dance company from the 20-million metropolis São Paolo makes sense. The Burghof has rarely been as packed on a theatre night. Expressiveness and acrobatics, passion and physical control meet in a symbiosis which is startling, touching and impressive.
With the third part, ‘Zona Mina-Da’, positions the company in the genre of musical. Candy-coloured chairs serve both as percussion instruments and piazza furniture, and the little stories full of love and passion about Italian singer Mina are pretty. Dancers who master the traditional language of ballet exquisitely: check, emotional solo performances: check, rich pas de deux: check, plus the classic two-men-one-woman figure complete with lifts and turns. Perfect entertainment. A lot of applause from the delighted audience.
Marina David-Wenk, Badische Zeitung, 31 March 2007

A FEAST FOR ALL SENSES
… An excess of joie de vivre, an infectious joy of movement and a great sense of rhythm – topped off by solos with the highest degree of technical skills and charmingly choreographed mass scenes with the impressive number of 29 performers on stage. A lot going on! It’s a feast for all senses.
Silvia Nagl, OÖNachrichten, 3 April 2007

ITALO-POP AND BRAZILIAN VIDA LOCA
An ambivalent night with a brilliant finale. The Balé da Cidade de São Paulo drowned in applause.
La vida loca! On Palm Sunday the Balé da Cidade de São Paulo bestowed the Posthof with the most fiery day of dance yet. With three works very different in quality and content the renowned company showed the whole spectrum of their skill.
poi, OberÖsterreich, 3. April 2007

HIGH-ENERGY KALEIDOSCOPE FROM CLASSICAL HITS TO ITALO-POP
The Balé da Cidade de São Paolo collaborates with the most diverse acclaimed choreographers, which explains the enormous creative and technical spectrum. The multicultural troupe gave three samples of their art at the Posthof on Saturday.
Birgit Thek, Neues Volksblatt, 3 April 2007

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