Grupo Corpo (Plymouth Theatre Royal)
Rhythmetic syncopations with the wow factor!
Grupo Corpo is something of a family affair with founding brothers Paulo and Rodrigo Pederneiras providing the artistic direction (and lighting design) and choreography respectively. Since the Brazilian contemporary dance company's inception in 1975 several more relations have joined – notably Pedro as technical director and Miriam as choreographic assistant.
But throughout the company there is a family feel with clear connection between the dancers whose bond is tenable.
On tour is a double bill – Sem Mim (2011) and Parabelo (1997).
Set to music by Carlos Nunes and Jose Miguel Wisnik (on songs by Martin Codax),Sem Mim – meaning ‘without me' – is danced on an empty stage under a gauze canopy which changes shape to illustrate mountains, sea, clouds and more.
Clothed in skin-matching translucent onesies painted to convey extensive tattoos, 20 incredible fit dancers exude a primitive aura with undulating, gravity-defying, exact synchronisity.
With heart-achingly beautiful pas de deux and precise patterning, Grupo Corpo stamps its mark with repetition (but a tad too much sameness at times) and sheer delight in the ensemble in fluid motion.
Parabelo (gun) is a feisty fiesta of riotous colour and snaky hips.
Evoking carnival and joie de vivre, the dancers strut their stuff with absolute confidence and swagger to a score by Tom Ze and Jose Miguel Wisnik.
With a whisper of samba and bossa nova spaced with moments of quiet intensity, the dancers are clearly enjoying every moment as indeed did an appreciative audience.