Grupo Corpo, Festival Theatre

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The Independent Culture

Brazilian dance troupe Grupo Corpo are a bouncy company, doing lots of flying leaps and cheerful samba shimmies. The dancers are lithe and polished, dancing with acrobatic ease. They're likeable, but their material is limited. Music and dance get into a groove, and stick there.

The company is led by the Pederneiras family, with Rodrigo as choreographer and his brother Paulo as artistic director. Paulo also works on set and lighting design: bare stages, dark floors and backdrops, spotlit dancers.

Rodrigo Pederneiras's choreography has plenty of energy, showing off his dancers in high kicks, turning jumps and quick, loping steps. Parabelo opens with dancers sitting on the floor, bending and folding in unison. In another, a man carries a clingy woman about. In between, there are swinging hips, running and jumping.

Though there's a carnival atmosphere in the music by Tom Zé and José Miguel Wisnik, the beats are unvaried, with little melody to carry the dance along. There's no obvious link between numbers; they keep going until they run out of material.

Onqotô is weaker. When different groups tap out a beat, there's no contrast between them, no sense of a conversation. They're just taking turns to tap out exactly what happens on the soundtrack, without development or invention.

In a double duet, couples in white leap onto each other, landing with an unnerving thwack of flesh on flesh. Athletic as these dancers are, it sounds painful.

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