“Grupo Corpo is under nobody’s name: we were able to get an identity as a group”. It’s a fact: dance, music, lighting, costumes, stage setting, everything is integrated as one in Grupo Corpo’s creations. But someone must direct the group – and this was always Paulo Pederneiras’s job.
As general and artistic director of the company, which Paulo Pederneiras founded in 1975, Paulo is responsible for the lighting of the ballets. In addition, since the 1996 production of Bach  Paulo has been instrumental in creating the stage settings. Paulo treats light as a strong presence which both illuminates and serves as a space for dancing. “I think of the space the same way I think of the lighting. Sometimes the light is the space,” says Paulo. This attitude can be appreciated in the piece O Corpo , where the distinction between stage setting and lighting virtually disappears and the dancers dance in red or, in 21 , where a spot light serves as a mobile tunnel for a block of bodies, or in Sete ou Oito peças para um ballet  where, at the end, each dancer individualizes themselves in a vertical column of color. There are so many other moments when light, itself, seem to direct the counterpoint of the bodies on stage, which it forces one to both see and understand its meaning.
To see and understand: but understanding to Paulo, is a poor name for not knowing things, it’s a commitment with amazement or with reticence, which is at the core of each new work. This goes from the time the ballet itself is being imagined to the way the team works: “to question one’s own work is fundamental. It’s always a risk, but a productive risk. To try to see what one has and to try to undo or to dismantle one’s own methodology. Art must have that or no steps are taken forward. It’s either that or it will be a dishonest art.”
Since its foundation in 1975, Grupo Corpo has been dealing with the dilemmas which involve not only the learning process but the control over a language and also the administrative maintenance of the company.
To look for funds and to support one’s own work, without compromising quality, has been a characteristic of Grupo Corpo in these last 35 years. And Grupo Corpo is known throughout the world today.
Besides his work with Grupo Corpo, Paulo has done lighting projects for several operas, such as: Don Giovanni, Suor Angelica, Lucia di Lammermoor, La Voix Humaine, Salomé and Orfeo, to mention a few. He has also done the set designing for exhibits such as the section for “Indigenous and Anthropologic Art” at the Brazil 500 Years Exhibit, at the “Oca” (Hut) – at the Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo, 2000).
“A Brazilian company has great physical diversity. Each dancer’s movement is different, and yet the idea of being a group is not lost. That’s where the dance draws its strength from.” The words describe what happens with the bodies, but equally serve to describe the company. Under the direction of Paulo, Grupo Corpo made a virtue out of its diversities. And it continues to make this virtue the principle of creation: a way of knowing and not knowing, a bet on the unknown, in order to always reach a new dance, which will always be its own dance.
“It was only in 1988, when working in Uakti, that I started thinking about what it would be like to make a dance which would be more inside our body”.
Rodrigo’s words deﬁne a crucial moment not only for his career but also for Grupo Corpo. Since this moment his work can be seen in a variety of explorations of this “dance inside our body” – which is the dance of Corpo.
“Our body” learned how to dance on the street and the language of Rodrigo is essentially a modern one. In his own way he harbors the xaxado, the samba, the ball room dance, the celebrations, the capoeira. Everything is translated into a private world, where, dynamics and balance have even more meaning than movement. Everything with a certain amount of joy and humor, which, even though joyous and good humored, does not hide the violence and the ambiguity of our condition. Always guided by music, Rodrigo “breaks” the classical movements in an intensely Brazilian way, however, entirely free from the exotic, from boastful and from easy identities. Characteristic imaging: one or more dancers separate from a group, as if pulled by a strong force. The group then reorganizes itself until pressure from another impulse comes on. Circles are rare in such choreography. The stage is built as a central point and the front space is well deﬁned. The lines are the result of the dancers’ movements and they are formed without a pre-established shape, from the ﬁrst moment of the creation.
Being Corpo’s choreographer since 1978, Rodrigo’s work is now known and recognized nationally and internationally. He has choreographed for Ballet do Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, Ballet do Teatro Guaíra, Ballet da Cidade de São Paulo and Companhia de Dança de Minas Gerais. Outside Brazil: Deutsche Oper Berlin Company (Germany), Gulbenkian (Portugal), Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (Canada), Stadttheater Saint Gallen (Switzerland), and Opéra du Rhin (France). But creating for Grupo Corpo remains his main interest.
“Today, Grupo Corpo has its own language, which was something hard to achieve.” This does not mean that things become easier; on the contrary, he feels, “I may make a mistake one thousand times while creating, until I ﬁnd what I want. This is not possible with other dance companies. There are pressures for time.”
Creation, almost by deﬁnition, means anguish; but the support of the choreography assistants, Carmen Purri and Miriam Pederneiras, helps minimize the efforts behind the dance being slowly created on stage. With their help, Grupo Corpo’s dancers learn what this body of ours is, as imagined by Rodrigo during the creation phase. They are like tuned up instrument ready to be played. If Grupo Corpo has a language all its own today, it is Rodrigo’s language: it has his unmistakable accent, which is understood by everybody, because everyone feels compelled to dance upon hearing it.”
Joined Grupo Corpo in 2017, having previously danced with Cia Sesc de Dança.
Began her dance studies in September 2006. Before joining Grupo Corpo in June 2014, she danced with Companhia Jovem de Ballet do Rio de Janeiro and Companhia de Dança do Sesc.
Began her dance studies in 1999 and has danced with Ballet Jovem do Palácio das Artes. She joined Grupo Corpo in 2013.
Joined Grupo Corpo in 2012, having previously danced with Cia de Dança Sesiminas. She began her dance studies in 2001.
Started his dance studies in 2004 and worked with Cia de Dança Sesiminas before joining Grupo Corpo in 2018.
Began his dance studies in 2002 and danced with Ballet Jovem do Palácio das Artes before joining Grupo Corpo in 2014.
Before joining Grupo Corpo in 2001, he worked with Ballet do Teatro Guaira and began his dance studies in 1997.
Started his dance studies in 1989. He danced with Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Companhia de Dança de Minas Gerais, Ballet do Teatro Castro Alves and Cia Deborah Colker before joining Grupo Corpo in 2009.
Joined Grupo Corpo in 2005, having previously danced with Raça Companhia de Dança and Ballet do Teatro Castro Alves. He began his dance studies in 1993.
Started his dance studies in 2000. He worked with Ballet Jovem do Rio de Janeiro, Ballet Contemporaneo de Caracas, Moinho Cultural Sul-Americano, Ballet de la Provincia and São Paulo Cia de Dança before joining Grupo Corpo in 2008.
Joined Grupo Corpo in 2004, having previously danced with Companhia de Dança de Minas Gerais, Grupo Camaleão and Quik Companhia de Dança. He began his studies in 1996.
Began her dance studies in 1981 and danced with Companhia de Dança de Minas Gerais before joining Grupo Corpo in 2000.
After beginning her dance studies in 2008, she danced with Cia Sesc de Dança. She joined Grupo Corpo in 2017.
Began his dance studies in 2007 and has danced with Cia de Ballet Jovem do Rio de Janeiro, Cia Nós da Dança and Cia Sesc de Dança, before joining Grupo Corpo in 2016.
After beginning his dance studies in 2006, he danced with Cia de Teatro e Dança Ivaldo Bertazzo, Bienal de Dança Contemporânea de Veneza and Cia de Dança Deborah Colker. He joined Grupo Corpo in December 2013.
Began her dance studies in 1990. She danced with Grupo Camaleão, Ballet do Teatro Castro Alves and Ballet Jovem do Palácio das Artes before joining Grupo Corpo in 2011.
Before joining Grupo Corpo in 2005, she danced with Ballet do Teatro Guaira and Balé da Cidade de São Paulo. She began her dance studies in 1989.
Started his dance studies in 2002 and danced with Cia Mario Nascimento before joining Grupo Corpo in 2012.
Started her dance studies in 1998 and joined Grupo Corpo in 2011.
Danced with Ballet da Cidade de São Paulo and Companhia de Dança de Minas Gerais before joining Grupo Corpo in 2001.
Before joining Grupo Corpo in 2012, she worked with Washington Ballet and São Paulo Cia de Dança. She began her dance studies in 1990.
Started her dance studies in 1999 and joined Grupo Corpo in 2012.