Deborah Colker announces return to Portugal

with a show based on a poem by João Cabral de Melo Neto

One of the world’s leading directors and choreographers brings “Cão sem Plumas” to Teatro Tivoli on November 21, 22, and 23.

One of the world’s foremost directors and choreographers, Deborah Colker announces that she will be bringing her company to three performances at the Tivoli Theater in November. On the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, Colker will show “Cão Sem Plumas”, recognized by the renowned “Prix Benois de la Danse” in the choreography category. The show is based on the homonymous poem by João Cabral de Melo Neto (1920-1999). The poet has deep connections with Portugal, as he lived for five years in Porto (1982-1987) as a diplomat.

“The show is about inconceivable things, which should not be allowed. It is against human ignorance. Destroying nature, children, what is full of life”, says Colker, who adds, “The elegance of the classic, the mud of the roots and the contemporary look are suitable. The name of this is João Cabral”, explains the director who, among so many shows acclaimed by critics and the public with her Company, was also the first woman to create and direct a show for Cirque du Soleil: Ovo, a great success in Lisbon.

“Cão Sem Plumas” has already been presented in more than 50 Brazilian cities, with an audience of more than 400 thousand people, and, internationally, in the United States, France, United Kingdom, Germany and Uruguay.

Published in 1950, the poem by João Cabral de Melo Neto follows the course of the Capibaribe River, which crosses a large part of the state of Pernambuco. It shows the poverty of the riverside population, the neglect of the elites, life in the mangroves, of “invincible and anonymous force”. The image of the “dog without feathers” serves the river and the people who live around it.

In the show, dance mixes with cinema. Scenes from a film signed by Deborah and Cláudio Assis, from Pernambuco – director of feature films such as the award-winning “Amarelo Manga”, “Febre do Rato” and “Big Jato” – are projected at the back of the stage and dialogue with the bodies of the 14 dancers. The images were recorded in November 2016, when the choreographer, filmmaker and the entire company traveled for 24 days through the interior of the state of Pernambuco, passing through the sertão and agreste, until reaching the capital, Recife.

The journey was also documented by photographer Cafi, born in Pernambuco. In the original soundtrack there are two more from Pernambuco: Jorge Dü Peixe, from the band Nação Zumbi and one of the exponents of the mangue beat movement, and Lirinha (singer of Cordel do Fogo Encantado, poet and actor), in addition to the carioca Berna Ceppas, who accompanies Deborah since his debut work, “Vulcão” (1994).

Other former partners are in scenography and art direction, Gringo Cardia and in lighting, Jorginho de Carvalho. The costumes are by Claudia Kopke. The executive director is João Elias, the company’s founder.

On stage, the dancers cover themselves with mud, in an allusion to the landscapes that the poem describes, and their steps evoke crabs. The animal that lives in the mangrove is in the ideas of the geographer Josué de Castro (1908-1973), author of “Geografia da Fome e Homens e Crabs”, and of the singer and composer Chico Science (1966-1997), main name of the mangue beat . The movement mixes regional and universal, tradition and technology. As Deborah does.

To build a man-animal, a concept that is the basis of the entire choreography, the artist did not rely solely on manifestations that are strong in Pernambuco, such as maracatu and coco. She also used samba, jongo, kuduro and other popular dances.

“My story is a story of mixtures”, says Colker, who was the director of movement for the opening ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

About Deborah Colker Company
The Deborah Colker Company established itself as a pop phenomenon in “Velox” (1995), “Rota” (1997) and “Casa” (1999). The shows “Nó” (2005), “Cruel” (2008), “Tatyana” (2011) and “Belle” (2014) dealt with existential themes, such as affections.

In “Cão Sem Plumas”, Deborah brings together aspects of her entire career. Subsequently, the Company performed “Cura”, with which it had been performing since October 2021.

About Deborah Colker
Internationally recognized, Deborah Colker received in 2001 the Laurence Olivier Award in the category Oustanding Achievement in Dance (most notable achievement in dance in the world). In 2009, she created a show for Cirque du Soleil: Ovo. In 2016, she was the movement director for the opening ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, leading more than 3,000 people.

About João Cabral de Melo Neto
João Cabral was living in Barcelona, as a diplomat, when he read in a magazine that life expectancy in Recife was lower than in India. The news was the impulse to make “O Cão Sem Plumas”. In 1953, the writer published “O Rio ou Relação da Viagem que Capibaribe makes from Sua Nascente à Cidade do Recife” and, three years later, his best-known work, “Morte e Vida Severina”. His poetry, one of the most important in Brazil, is marked by rigor and rejection of sentimentality. A diplomat, João Cabral de Melo Neto lived in Portugal between 1982 and 1987, when he worked at the Brazilian embassy in Porto. Elected a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters on August 15, 1968, he took office on May 6, 1969. Melo Neto died on October 9, 1999, in Rio de Janeiro, aged 79.

Cão Sem Plumas

  • Creation, Choreography and Direction: DEBORAH COLKER
  • Executive Board: JOÃO ELIAS
  • Cinematographic Direction and Dramaturgy: CLAUDIO ASSIS
  • Art Direction and Scenography: GRINGO CARDIA
  • Musical Direction: JORGE DÜ PEIXE and BERNA CEPPAS, special participation LIRINHA
  • Costume Design: CLAUDIA KOPKE
  • Duration: 1h10 minutes

Always confirm with the concert hall or promoter the conditions of access, confirmation of the date or time, tickets place of sale, price, and availability.

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