UMS Staff Picks: Grupo Corpo selected by Rachelle Lesko, Development Administrative Assistant
By Stephanie NormannTweet
SN: Grupo Corpo’s work has been described as “searing sensuality elegantly under control” (Le Monde, Paris)—what specific style(s) of dance can audience members expect to see at this performance?
RL: From the numerous video clips I have seen, they are masters of blending many different styles of dance like ballet, modern dance, and Brazilian dance. Each of these dance styles is known for different focal elements such as grace, fluidity, dynamic energy, and sensuality, and the way that Grupo Corpo manages to merge and transition between these different stylistic elements is incredible. The piece Imã, which they are performing in Ann Arbor, showcases a tremendous sense of fluidity and strength between the dancers. Throughout the course of the piece they seamlessly transition from modern dance and Afro-Brazilian visual and musical influences to lyrical ballet and lively, hip-shaking samba moves. I can’t wait to see it in its entirety.
SN: Have you seen a performance by Grupo Corpo before?
RL: I have not seen Grupo Corpo perform in person before, but I have attended many other UMS dance performances. A few that I particularly enjoyed over the years were Rubberbandance Group, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and the Trinity Irish Dancers — each of which embodies, in different ways, the energy, athleticism, and passion that can be found in Grupo Corpo. I love attending dance performances because of the sheer emotion and physicality present on the stage in front of you, which I find thrilling. I never get bored! There is always something to capture my attention, whether it’s the amazing technique of an individual or the interactions and broader picture of the group as a whole. I find dance companies that make a point to interweave different dance styles, like Grupo Corpo, especially enjoyable to watch because they throw in a little bit of the familiar for everyone, but then take you by surprise and bring it to a completely new and creative level.
SN: What are you most looking forward to about this performance?
RL: I think I am most looking forward to experiencing the blend of their particular dance styles, especially the incorporation of Brazilian samba and Afro-Brazilian roots. Latin dance (and music) is incredibly dynamic, infectious, and just plain fun! I can’t wait to see how Grupo Corpo brings that flavor to life on the stage AND to the audience.
SN: What other events are on your “must see” list for the 10/11 season?
RL: Wow. That’s a hard question! First of all, I want to say that I’m really excited about this season in general because there are so many artists coming that I personally am not familiar with and/or have never seen perform before, so I’m really looking forward to a year of new experiences. However, I do have a few that are definitely on my radar, like Rosanne Cash, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Rafal Blechacz, Tetzlaff Quartet, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán… I’ll stop there, but I could go on! I think this season’s global focus on the Americas is going to be very exciting and I’m looking forward to attending many of those concerts.
SN: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
RL: In my free time I enjoy playing the trumpet, both casually and in a local concert band, and spending time with friends and family. I also enjoy running and have recently started to participate in longer distance road races, which I find much more fun and exciting than the training part!
SN: What have you been listening to on your iPod?
RL: Well, a lot of what I’ve been listening to lately has been my running music so it’s a lot of upbeat 80’s rock music: Def Leppard, AC/DC, Journey, R.E.M, Madonna, etc., as well as some Natalie Merchant, Tori Amos, and Norah Jones to relax.
What is the most memorable dance event you’ve ever been to?