Grupo Corpo is sex. Grupo Corpo is spectacle. Grupo Corpo is South American sizzle.

Grupo blog image
© José Luiz Pederneiras

I don't want to shock you, gentle blog-reader, but sometimes (rarely) a publicist has to use a tiny touch of hyperbole to describe a show. You know: steak vs. sizzle. But here's the thing: there is no exaggeration required when it comes to describing the explosive pyrotechnics of Brazil's most successful export. Grupo Corpo was founded in 1975 by the still-active Pederneiras family. Paulo Pederneiras remains as founding Artistic Director (as well as set and lighting designer) and brother Rodrigo Pederneiras, a former dancer with the company, is the troupe's principal choreographer. Grupo Corpo has performed seven times at the NAC, including five times at the invitation of Dance Producer Cathy Levy. And Grupo Corpo does not disappoint. Every show sells out, every show is a stone cold treat for eyes and ears, and every show demands a standing O, with a stunned audience screaming and applauding for more, more, more.

The reasons are abundantly obvious onstage:

  • The dancers are drop-dead gorgeous. So gorgeous that you will want to join a zumba class immediately after seeing a Grupo Corpo show. Reality check: that won't make you Brazilian, so why bother? Unless you already are Brazilian, in which case oa sorte com isso, mel.
  • The men are lithe and muscular and the sinuous, athletic women are unusually small even by the dance world's micro standards, meaning the men can swing them around with daring and ease. They are also lightning fast and eye-poppingly neat. And that's not even mentioning their stamina, which seems both endless and effortless.
  • The choreography is innovative and thrilling, an unusual fusion of the precision of ballet with the laid-back allure of all things Latin American. Classical training meets the sexy strut of Brazilian street dance.
  • The company style is lean and limber. It includes a signature pelvic shimmy, the flirty bendiness of rhumba, the bounce of capoeira, the skyward swoop of the Lindy Hop, and the lightning footwork of a Brazilian soccer midfielder.
  • Music! Each piece features carefully selected music, or an original score, that perfectly complements and inspires the choreography and often highlights the incredible talent and versatility of Brazilian musicians.
  • Style -- lighting! Lighting effects are pure spectacle, with state-of-the-art technology washing the stage in a riot of tropical colour or moody minimalist precision.
  • Style -- costumes! Eye-popping, body-revealing costumes that evoke symbolic nudity, or a blaze of bright colour, or the restrained elegance of monochromatic black and white.

Grupo Corpo performs a dazzling double bill -- Ímã (2009) and Sem Mim (2011) -- in Southam Hall on October 26-27 only. You'd be crazy to miss it.

Related events

Join our email list for the latest updates!