Gigs, dance, art

November 26th, 2009: Lia Rodrigues – Pororoca


The only thing I knew about Lia Rodrigues was that she had been part of Maguy Marin’s company, back when I liked what she was doing. Nothing, actually. She may be from Brazil, but there was no samba rhythm, thankfully. Just kidding, this was contemporary dance, and any postcard bit would have been tongue in cheek anyway. No music at all, actually, and I didn’t miss it, there was enough going on already, and that was fitting somehow, the sounds of their steps and breathing was enough. I can’t say I liked the only extra sounds in the show, when they were crossing the stage on all fours while belting out animal cries.

At first the dancers came on the side of the stage carrying plenty of stuff, from a table to plastic bags, through lawn chairs and shoes. They stool still for a while then erupted in a frenzied outburst, throwing those objects around. There were several times when they just stood still this way between bursts of movement. These stops paced the show in a way. There was a quite long sequence with most of the dancers somewhere between fights and embraces, more or less in a front to back line. Sometimes one would step or be pushed apart from the group and be on her or his own for a short while before going back into the group. I liked that, in part because of the group/individual dimension, and also because it made each more distinct, and that helped me to figure out that what had first seemed to like a confused heap was nothing like that at all. It was all minutely written, and I could clearly seen the patterns inside, the temporary pairings that added a middle level between the group and the persons. That made for a dense clockwork of interlocking patterns, nothing could be further from confusion.

That was my favorite part, the rest was slower and more immediately readable in my opinion, though there were also some striking images, like their holding hands in a distended circle in the front, or a moving circle in the back. The pauses often made a lot of sense, especially the one with them eating oranges. The long one when they stared at the audience while making faces came close to being too long, but they did it right, long enough to bring out some awkwardness, but just short of being just boring and losing its strength. Overall, I liked this show, despite a few times when I didn’t like what was going on, there was a great control of pretend chaos here.

After the show, there was a Q&A session with Rodrigues, and that was quite interesting. She explained how she was inspired by the alternative organization of her surroundings that she couldn’t make sense of at first, and I think she perfectly reached that goal. She also said an important theme was territoriality, and I totally missed that. Some questions were funny too, with the audience’s usual obsessing over sex. She said it wasn’t part of what she was saying, but I don’t think they believed her. Another interesting bit was her saying that the standing-still-and-staring part was originally over 40 minutes long — I’m happy she cut that shorter. And her work in Rio and her explanations about the way they prepared that show over there made me want to learn more. And see more, of course.


December 2, 2009 - Posted by | Dance | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Thank You!

    For us brazilians is very important your positive comments.

    Comment by Claudio Campos | December 4, 2009 | Reply

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