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With stunning vigour, stamping, beating their chests, a single stream of energy made of 24 bodies in many different, sweating colours of their skin, the Balé da Cidade de Sao Paulo, at their German premiËre in the Ludwigsburg Forum Theatre, danced right into the hearts of the festival audience. The dancers moved their audience to genuine thunders of applause, by their exotic good looks, spontaneousness, liveliness, passion - let alone their extraordinary virtuosity.
Stuttgarter Zeitung 5. June 1997

The company that has been repeatedly marked out for its ensemble spirit succeeds effortlessly in bringing a sense of authentic life to a style they have not been familiar with at first. As opposed to quite a few European companies, they do not go for miserable imitation but verve and dynamic dancing.
ballett international tanz aktuell Mai 1997

Eine wundervolle Kompanie kam aus Brasilien. Die Choreographie "Z" benannt nach dem Afro-Brasilianischen Freiheitskämpfer, ist ein Stück voll innerem Feuer. Rhythmische Bewegungen, angereichert mit afrikanischem Bewegungsmaterial und eine aufregende choreographische Umsetzung machen "Z" zu einem künstlerisch anspruchsvollen Stück, das mit einem bewegenden Solo beginnt und dann von einer Kompanie mit 28 exzellenten Tänzern getanzt wird. Alle TänzerInnen besitzen beste klassische und moderne Techniken, die aber mit einer besonderen brasilianischen Note angereichert sind.
Ha'aretz Jerusalem, 4. Juni 1998

Ecstatic Acclaim for Dance of the Possessed
For us, dance from South America always represents the triumph of the human body. We are captivated by the power, elegance, tempo and rhythmic tensions of every movement, as well as by the aesthetic sense that radiates from it. It confirms once again what we know from experience, that dance has to do with a primeval joie de vivre that breaks new ground with powerful energy and culminates in starkly contrasting images... psychology-based dance art of our time and of the highest standard. The ecstatic final applause was fully understandable.
Thüringische Landeszeitung 13. Juni 1998

The lead-in was positively sensual. Claudia Palma and Armando Aurich danced a rapt pas-de-deux to Maurice Ravel's piano piece "La Valse". As changing as the music were the moods, expressed in dance, of this pair of lovers, varying from fusion to aversion and from yearning to despair. Choreographer Luis Arrieta combined elements of waltz and tango, classical ballet and modern dance as seamlessly as if they had always belonged together. In the middle part of the programme, six male and seven female dancers dance to Benjamin Britten's "Sinfonia de Requiem". Rapid changes from groups to pas-de-deux and solo scenes enhance the uncommonly dynamic impression of this
choreographic sequence. The final and longest section consists of the choreography "Z". The Brazilian tradition conceals enormous potential: that of a different kind of mobility and of a powerful capacity for expression.
Gießener Allgemeine Zeitung 8. Mai 1998

The Balé da Cidade de São Paulo was a guest at the May Festival at Wiesbaden Staatstheater, with a three-part program that earned it standing ovations by the public. The strength of this thirty-strong dance troupe from Brazil lies in its homo-geneity. Despite their differing statures and skin colours, all the dancers in the company seem to draw their energy from the same rich source that captivates the audience as well.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 7. Mai 1998

On the occasion of the Brazilian dance troupe's first appearance in Switzerland, the applause grew from piece to piece, to culminate in a standing ovation for the incredibly present, vital and intensely expressive dancers of this company.
Neue Zürcher Zeitung 2./3.Mai 1998

Three choreographies, three poems from a single country. Directed by widely differing choreographers and artistic directors, the dancers master all of the physical techniques of ballet. Besides energy and homogeneity, in Germaine Acognie's choreography the company demonstrates its deep-rooted musicality. Taking as its basis elements of modern African dance, it performs a mix of percussion, song and orchestra to music by Gilberto Gil and Carlinhos Brown. A powerful, deeply impressive performance that earned shouts of "Bravo!" and endless applause.
Christina Altmann Mannheimer Morgen 4.5.99

You look in vain for the names of Balé da Cidade de São Paulo's soloists in the programme of Ludwigshafen's Brazilian Festival, which opened with brio. There's a reason behind the omission: in São Paulo's 30-strong ballet, founded 30 years ago, every member is a superb soloist with such an expressive dance personality that dance creators report that its ballets arise from a joint process between the choreographer and the dancers. The tempo, energy and intensity of their dance make the Balé da Cidade de São Paulo brilliant ambassadors of their country
Kurt Witterstätter Die Rheinpfalz 4.5.99

The final contribution to Tanztage 99 in a sold-out Posthof in Linz ended on Tuesday with wild acclaim for the Balé da Cidade de São Paulo. The entire company was thrilling as it passionately played out this part of Brazil's history in dance. It was rewarded by enthusiastic applause from the audience
Neues Volksblatt Linz 29.4.99

The triumph came at the end: with its explosive choreography entitled "Z", the Balé da Cidade de São Paulo reaped veritable storms of enthusiasm in the twice sold-out Festpielhaus. It thanked the audience with an encore of the sparkling celebration that ends this choreo-graphy honouring the 300th anniversary of the death of the Afro-Brazilian freedom fighter, Zumbi.
Neue Vorarlberger Tageszeitung 25./26.4.99

Full of energy: The Balé da Cidade de São Paulo at the Burghof
Kicking off the ambitious Burghof dance series of six unusual guest performances, the Brazilians danced with passion, devotion, wit and temperament, gaining the hearts of the 500-plus audience. The acclaim seemed neverending. The dance season in Lörrach couldnât have got off to a better or more beautiful start. Four choreographies by four choreographers ö four wholly different pieces. What links them is the vitality of a style that combines the vocabulary of contemporary dance with Brazilâs cultural traditions. (*) The effect is highly sensual, and at the same time flowing and harmonious. They dance in duos, trios, quartets and ensembles, in a breathtaking tempo devoid of punctuation and pauses ö especially in the final piece, "Plenilúnio", a choreography by Susana Yamauchi and João Mauricio that marked the highpoint of the two-and-a-half hour performance.
Badische Zeitung, 26.10.2002

Brazilian Balé da Cidade de São Paulo at the Pfalzbau Theatre
At its earlier performances in Ludwigshafen, most recently at the Brazil Festival, the São Paulo Ballet had already justified its reputation as a top international company at the Pfalzbau Theatre. The rush for the remaining tickets for the evening performances was correspondingly great; the ballet troupe danced to a full house on two successive evenings. And how they danced! On the global pulse of time, in a highly aesthetic back-to-the-roots style, breathtakingly beautiful and glowing with inner fire. With acrobatic vitality, temperament and skill, they celebrated neo-classical noblesse. Just watching made you dizzy and unable to decide which was more bewitching ö the perfect dance technique or the whirlwind of emotions it fanned up. Passionate outpourings and lyrical restraint were moulded around strict ballet structures to uncover the soul of that mysterious creature, humanity today.
Die Rheinpfalz, 4.11.2002

The dynamic São Paulo Ballet thrills audiences at the Fürth Theatre.
On its two-day guest appearance at Fürth municipal theatre, the Balé da Cidade de São Paulo ignited a firework display of dynamic movement, tempo and expression, in which not a fibre of muscle was allowed to rest for so much as a split second: 27 dancers torn between the bitter melancholy of fado and African drums, between an elegiac mood of farewell to the world and wild joy of living, between the consuming and craving yearning of love. The company from Brazilâs metropolis delivered pure eroticism, with the two sexes constantly circling around one another, moving closer, then further away, teasing and lurking. That sounds like a classic ballet theme, and so it was, at least in the first two choreographies. But the perfection with which the ensemble tableaux broke up into solo formations, the pleasure they took in relating these stories without words, as well as the confident dance style, moved the performance onto a plane of its own.
Nürnberger Nachrichten, 1.11.2002

"The Brazilian dancers radiate something from deep inside," enthuses Vasco Wellenkamp, erstwhile dancer of the Portuguese Gulbenkian Ballet, pupil of the Merce-Cunningham school in New York, choreographer and university teacher. He knows what heâs talking about. Heâs worked on and off for the Balé da Cidade de São Paulo for many years. Founded in 1968, this ballet company spent many years working on all the styles from neo-classical to dance theatre. Under new management, it returned to its Brazilian roots. (*) The ensemble has fantastic technique consisting of precise leg work and pioneering arm work, as well as a vast kaleidoscope of acrobatic interludes together with an intuitive feel for meaningful distribution of space. Splendid sequences of sensitive masculinity in shimmering skirmishings, a solo dancer bathed magnificently in red light, on whom snippets of red paper snow down with passionate slowness. Suddenly, eleven actors swivel their eyes onto the audience ö a powerfully magical finale.
Südkurier, 8.10.2002

Es war schon eine umwerfende Mischung, die das Balé da Cidade de São Paulo dem Publikum ins Ludwigsburger Forum mitbrachte: ein Höchstmaß an Körpergefühl und Musikalität, gepaart mit enormem technischem Vermögen und großer Ausdruckskraft - das Ganze getränkt von überschäumender Lebensfreude und gewürzt mit einer ordentlichen Prise Humor. Die Beifallsstürme am Freitagabend wollten gar nicht enden.
Leonberger Kreiszeitung 19.Juli 2004

... ganz anders Bigonzettis Beitrag, der keine Scheu vor dem Sentiment hatte. Vor einer mit Nischen versehenen Rückwand, deren Patina im Scheinwerferlicht etwas Erhabenes hatte, schuf Bigonzetti die hitzige Atmosphäre eines Tanzsalons allein durch farbenfrohe Holzschemel, eine von der Decke baumelnde Lampe und bunt gekleidete Protagonisten, die sich mit geradezu akrobatischer Wucht ins Nachtleben stürzten. Die Gefühle, die hier ausgelebt werden, entspringen der Sehnsucht nach emotionalem Erleben, sind nicht real. So zeigt sich in lustvollen Momenten das Vergebliche.
Stuttgarter Nachrichten 20. Juli 2004

"Tanzen zählt zu den elementaren Lebensäußerungen des Menschen." Was das Lexikon in kargen Worten beschreibt, wurde im Fuldaer Schlosstheater zum atemberaubenden Erlebnis: Die Brasilianischen Compagnie Balé da Cidade de São Paulo überwältigte das begeistert mitgehende Publikum mit Tempo und Temperament.
Fuldaer Zeitung 12.5.2005

Die Choreographie Dualidade@br von Gagik Ismailian erzählt sanft und sinnlich von der Liebe. Die Musik passt perfekt dazu, portugiesischer Fado, gesungen von der Legende Amalia Rodrigues. In Pas de Deux, Dreier- und Achtergruppen bringen die TänzerInnen das Thema auf die Bühne. Ob zart und sanft oder wild und beherrscht, begehrend oder hin und hergerissen zwischen zwei Partnern. Alles drückt diese wunderbare Compagnie durch ihre Bewegungen aus, die sanft aber zugleich von unheimlicher Kraft, wild aber zugleich unglaubliche Sicherheit vermittelnd sind. Diese herrliche Choreographie wird durch Beleuchtung - rot nur im Hintergrund - und das stets wiederkehrende Anfangsthema in der Musik zu einem atemberaubenden Ganzen, eine große Hommage an die vielen Arten der Liebe.
Neue Vorarlberger Zeitung 21.5.2005

Ein Tanzspektakel der Sonderklasse beginnt! Atemberaubend in seiner Perfektion, die trotz alledem der Individualität viel Platz lässt. Melancholie bekommt eine unbeschwerte Leichtigkeit, scheinbar Absurdes hat eine Ernsthaftigkleit, Liebeswerben eine spielerische Koketterie. Die Übergänge sind ohne Brüche, fließend. Glühende tänzerische Leidenschaft mit akrobatischer Äesthetik gibt dieser Compagnie eine besondere Note.
Kronenzeitung Innsbruck 25.Juli 2005

Zona Mina-da, Dualidade@br and The curved line, by Balé da Cidade de São Paulo. Choreography: Mauro Bigonzetti, Gagik Ismailian and Itzik Galili. 26 October in Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam.
The opening piece, Zona Mina-da by the Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti, presented couples who took the dance floor by storm, as if it was the beach where their passionate holiday romances were taking place.
Galili’s energetic physical acrobatics were perfectly suited to these dancers from São Paulo. He came up with a succession of original exchanges between male and female, which even included an original variation on the spinning force of the classical fouetté.
In between these two frenzied pieces came the calmer team of the Portuguese-Armenian-Iraqi Gagik Ismailian. Right up to the fluttering rose petals, Dualidade@br was a beautifully constructed group piece in which four men came ashore in the mist and five women in trios imagined themselves torn between two men.
Annette Embrechts, De Volkskrant 28.10.2005

With its exalted passion and unbridled hot-bloodedness, the programme presented in Holland by the Brazilian company Balé da Cidade de São Paulo keeps the Dutch winter at bay a little longer. This dance company, the largest in South America, represents the cultural diversity of São Paulo and, led by Monica Mion, presents an appealing repertoire of neoclassical dance with a large dose of Brazilian temperament.
Three choreographers have made works for this programme, which are specially created on the tanned physicality of the group. Nostalgia predominated in the nine popular songs by the Italian singer Mina that inspired Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti for his group piece ‘Zona Mina-da’. Mina’s oeuvre spans about forty years, ranging from rock ‘n roll from the sixties to the wonderful songs of life’s experience that gave cult status to the singer, who is now getting on in years.
Dancers stand around next to stools, languid and sultry in colourful baggy dresses and shirts, beating out the rhythm and flitting out one by one to dance a passionate duet or dynamic group piece. Acrobatic rock ‘n roll capers and ballroom phrases turn the ensemble into a lively dance machine that sparkles with the love of dance.
In ‘Dualidade@br’, by Iranian choreographer Gagik Ismailian, the dancers unabashedly abandon themselves to it. The dualism referred to in the title is expressed in the red and white costumes and in the different sections, where ‘saudade’ is explicitly juxtaposed with passion within (how could it be otherwise?) the theme of all-consuming love. With wildly flapping hair, the female dancers throw themselves spiritedly into the arms of their partners with circus-like flying leaps, and the solos are full of exalted ‘suffering’.
But then – the final piece! At the invitation of the company, Israeli choreographer Itzik Galili, director of NND/Galili Dance from Groningen, made a breathtaking spectacle, at the end of which the audience leapt up out of their plush seats.
In ‘The Curved Line’, the dancers look like pawns in an ever-changing game of chess. To the live music of percussion group Percossa, they make colourfully-lit formations, hold carnival celebrations to stirring samba sounds and have incredibly funny tête-à-têtes.
Galili’s movement material – earthy and acrobatic – suits the muscular bodies of the company down to the ground and gives the audience plenty of opportunity to float off into associative dreams, prompted by this deliciously warm representation of the Brazilian ‘joie de vivre’.
Sander Hiskemuller, TROUW 28.10.05

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