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 Post subject: Deborah Colker in London
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 2:45 am 
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Deborah Colker
By Sanjoy Roy for The Guardian


Bold designs are a cornerstone of Deborah Colker's work, and 4 Por 4 uses installations from four Brazilian artists. First up are six toplit wooden nooks by Cildo Meireles. Each corner contains a slinky woman in a cocktail dress, private dancers who know they're being watched by the audience and by the men who join them. The choreography echoes the contours of the set and treats the corners as intimate hidey-holes.

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<small>[ 12 December 2003, 03:46 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Colker in London
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 12:14 pm 
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Location: London UK
The works presented in Deborah Coker’s “4 por 4” could not be more different and her originality is quite staggering. The opening work, “Corners”, is just that – a set of corners of a room with two walls complete with skirting board and a triangle of floor. Each corner is occupied by a beautiful girl in a stunning clingy dress and stiletto heels, each at first dancing alone, stretching against the walls and confidently inhabiting her own space. Eventually they are joined by the boys, some entering around the corners, others descending from above, and in one case, just a pair of male arms appearing through a crack, clasping the girl in an amorous embrace before pulling her slowly through the crack, making her disappear completely. With some choreographers, this might be interpreted as a study in isolation, but these girls are far too self-assured and too much at home in their corners to ever be described as lonely.

The second piece of the evening “Table” was a real oddity as a strange table/trolley of Heath Robinson appearance slowly progresses across the front of the stage. The tabletop is on some kind of roller causing the dancers on top of the table to be constantly moving backwards. A near naked man is perched above the wheels and between the table legs, eventually emerging to join the couple on top. I found something clinical about this, a cross between a hospital trolley and an operating table perhaps.

“Some People” the last work in the first half had a vividly painted backdrop of disembodied heads and genitalia, in front of which the dancers cavorted clutching their crotches like Michael Jackson and then smelling the palms of their hands. A bit of a “yuk” factor actually, but the dancers performed this so merrily that it was difficult to really take offence. There was a brightly painted floor cloth too, but from my seat in the stalls I couldn’t make out what it depicted: probably more of the same.

A moment of unexpected drama occurred at the beginning of the second half when the rising curtain also raised one side of the grand piano at which Deborah Colker was sitting. A pair of burly stagehands rushed forward uttering expletives in their alarm, but Ms Colker kept her professional cool and after some readjustment of the piano’s position the show went on. “The Girls” is performed to Colker’s playing of a Mozart sonata with the dancers donning their point shoes for some slightly quirky classicism clearly inspired wholly by the music. As the eponymous girls dance in the foreground, other dancers enter behind them, each carrying a vase to be placed carefully at regular intervals across the stage, and after the removal of the piano we move seamlessly in to the final work of the evening. “Vases” is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen, a coming together of dancers and props in a manner that is quite unique. As the dancers perform daringly between the uniform lines of pots, a host of glittering slender pendulums descend from above changing the landscape of the stage. Whereas before the dancers danced between, now they are also dancing below. The pendulums descend still further, each entering the necks of the pots with perfect precision and creating sharply defined aisles for the dancers to negotiate, requiring even more skill and accuracy than before. Presumably there is some sort of magnet inside each vase as they slowly start to ascend allowing the dancers to perform underneath the suspended pots.

It all looked utterly gorgeous and the audience’s standing ovation showed that I wasn’t the only one to be bowled over by such a compellingly lovely work. A real fusion of the arts. The Turner Prize has been awarded for less.


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Colker in London
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2003 12:51 am 
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Glad you enjoyed Deborah Colker Cassandra. I'm looking forward to Monday.

I wish I had seen "Casa" at the 2002 Dance Umbrella. Here is the link:

http://forum.criticaldance.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=14;t=000006


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Colker in London
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2003 8:24 am 
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Deborah Colker
By Donald Hutera for The Times


THE Brazilian dance-maker Deborah Colker’s 4 por 4 (Four by Four) is an exhibition for her eponymous company of dancing triggered by her varied — and variably successful — responses to a quartet of her country’s visual artists.
Several sections of 4 por 4 derive their kinetic impetus from spatial restrictions. In Cantos (Corners) Colker investigates the psychological underpinnings of being cornered.

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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Colker in London
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 1:42 am 
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Deborah Colker
By Jann Parry for The Observer

Deborah Colker sets ingenious challenges for her acrobatic Brazilian company. On previous visits, they've danced up and down a climbing wall, clung from a human-hamster wheel, swung through the scaffolding of a house. In her latest production, 4 por 4, they have to negotiate a minefield of 90 china vases.

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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Colker in London
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2003 12:21 am 
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A bull in a china shop. But no breakages
By Jenny Gilbert for The Independent on Sunday

A curious thing happened at the Barbican the other night. The pianist sat down to play the first movement of Mozart's Sonata in A, K331, the safety screen began to rise and, a few notes into the piece, the rear end of the Steinway began to rise with it, like the nose of a performing seal.

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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Colker in London
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2003 1:09 am 
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<img src="http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/15_12_03/monday/images_day/deborah_colker.jpg" alt="" />

Listen to Deborah Colker on Woman's Hour
Monday 15 December 2003

Choreographer Deborah Colker: The award winning Brazilian choreographer Deborah Colker and her company are renowned for using modern dance to challenge notions of space and gravity.

Now 43, Colker, an ex-concert pianist, volleyball player and psychologist, both dances and plays the piano in her latest work, 4 by 4, which has just opened at the Barbican.

Deborah Colker joins Jenni to talk about her physically daring work and her belief that to dance is to eat energy.

click here for the audio link to the 7 minute interview

<small>[ 16 December 2003, 02:13 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Colker in London
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2003 3:37 am 
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I hadn't seen Deborah Colker's company before this tour but I have been really impressed, especially by the first programme. The dancers are amazing, so finely tuned. And the work is brilliantly watchable while still being inventive. 'Vases' was breathtaking, one of the best things I've seen on stage for ages.


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Colker in London
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2003 4:29 am 
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I saw the second programme "Rota" this time and also enjoyed Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker. It's the third time I have seen them and the mix of dance and gymnastics is very appealing in the same way as a company like Momix.

The Brazilian sense of rhythm and Deborah Colker's high performance standards, leading onstage at 43, mean that this is some of the most synchronised dancing you will see anywhere. I find her choreography fits the dancers and the aims of the pieces. In the fast works, you hardly have time to draw breath and in the slow ones, the balances are extraordinary - often on colleagues' shoulders.

It's a fun evening, great for dance newcomers or cynical old b******s like me.

The Barbican Box Office tell me that there are tickets available at most prices for the remaining evenings till 18th December. Details:

By telephone (for credit/debit card bookings and reservations 9am-8pm daily on 020 7638 8891) We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Switch for payment.

<small>[ 21 December 2003, 05:08 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Colker in London
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 1:30 am 
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Review from The Guardian.

Quote:
Like all the works of Brazilian dancemaker Deborah Colker, Rota is gorgeous to look at. The women enter in bouncy silken frocks, the men are dapper in sheer shirts. Gringo Cardia's bright set is a map of squiggles and dashes that spread across the floor. The opening choreography, too, is mere doodling. The dancers begin earnestly with classical arabesques and pirouettes, but pop the bubble with goofy mugging gestures. They're only kidding. Then they turn into kids, fractious cheek-slapping games leading to tiny tantrums. Again, nothing serious. They regress still further, reappearing in coloured romper suits for an aerobic number that's first joggy, then jumpy.
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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Colker in London
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2003 9:52 am 
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“Rota”, Deborah Colker’s second programme at the Barbican, showed just as clearly as the first that she is totally enamoured of props. The first half though, was danced without any – just happy dancers performing with their unique warm-heartedness to a classical score in very free movement, simply responding to the score.

In the second act the props were introduced: ladders/climbing frames on either side of a huge wheel that dominated the centre of the stage. The wheel is rotated by the dancers who cling to the outside and swing on the spokes inside. They leap onto the wheel singly, in couples and in groups, making it look the easiest thing in the world when it fact it clearly requires perfect timing. While one group performs on the wheel, other dancers climb the ladders at the side, using the rungs as support as they curve and swing making a frame for their colleagues in the centre.

Perhaps Deborah Colker was inspired by the medieval concept of the “Wheel of Fortune”, one of the pictures on a tarot card with Fortune raising the fortunate up and hurling the unlucky down (the idea behind the opening and closing of Carl Orff’s famous “Carmina Burana”). Others might see hamsters in their exercise wheel, but the finale with each dancer curled onto the outside of the wheel to the strains of a Strauss waltz, must surely have been a reference to the giant Ferris wheel in the Prater in Vienna made famous by the film “The Third Man”. It certainly looked a spectacular finish.


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 Post subject: Re: Deborah Colker in London
PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2003 1:05 am 
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Latin verve
David Dougill for The Sunday Times finds Deborah Colker’s Brazilian carnival style bold but a little brash.


The Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker, from Rio de Janeiro, has established a trademark style of punchy contemporary dance and acrobatic daredevilry in spectacular stage settings. It has just returned to the Barbican for its fourth London appearance in five years.

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