This writing about art milarkey is a beast.
How to describe a work of high art without sounding like a right pompous git: sprinkling metaphores and 4-syllable words round the place like you know what you’re talking about? Grrr, rather you than me.
Yesterday, I was dreading it all day long. ‘A Brazilian fusion of classical ballet with Brazilian sounds, music and moves’ sounded brilliant to watch. But before Grupo Corpo‘s performance at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre last night I was sweating buckets of dread.
I hurried to the Playhouse an hour early so that I could swot up on the brochure which might help me build some sort of a narrative, or an angle. But no, a whole lorra big words with massive sentences and paragraphs.
It was a packed house and all the great and good, and funky dance afficionados were there in full force. Then the lights blacked out entirely during the whole show, except for soft, vibrant blasts of colour on stage. Argh, I was going to have to take notes in the complete dark!
You should see my notepad. There’s about 3 swirling sentences per page all sloping downwards at a 45-degree angle.
By the time I got to the last act though, I had worked out a brilliant system of note-taking by using my thumb as a guide.
I would like to thank my thumb for all its generous support in composing this review.
The show was a gift for a fledgling writer. Within minutes I was awe-struck by the sensuality and discipline of the dancers and the pulsating rhythms and sounds of Brazil.
Gilberto Gil was a great inspiration for the composers as well as lazy grasshoppers, driving faxes, sleepy bottle-blowing, football whistles, miaoling cats, birds in the rainforest, trilling pan flutes, sawing violins, harmonic mandolins, Capoiera instruments, (Berimbau, Pandeiro, Attabaque, Agogo, and Rasp), urging African voices and not tap, but slap shoes.
Latin Experimental and micro-tonal Baile Funk at its very sizzling best. Musically alone, I was blown away.
The dancing was precise, disciplined, structured and graceful, following the strictures of traditional ballet. Plus it was sensual, violent, cheery and soulful according to the rigours of Brazilian movement.
The dancers were thrown around aggresively, tucked under arms foetally, pranced playfully in group folk steps, coaxed mischieviously by mythological tricksters, made love with tenderness and violence and crawled painfully into creation with bone-wrenching moves.
If you want to know what it is like to live in Brazil, go swot up on a tourist guide. If you want to know the sounds of Brazil, check out the many musical websites across the internet.
But if you want to know what it feels like being Brazilian, go see Grupo Corpo.
There, that wasnt too bad, was it? I dont have an editor here in my wee flat in Leith. Please feel free to suggest improvements to these works of artistic endeavour, ha.
Grupo Corpo has brilliant website where you can experience multimedia extracts of both dance pieces: Parabelo and Onqoto. Check www.grupocorpo.com.br
- Grupo Corpo | Edinburgh dance review (guardian.co.uk)
- Step-by-step guide to dance: Grupo Corpo (guardian.co.uk)
- Grupo Corpo, Festival Theatre (independent.co.uk)
- Grupo Corpo, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, review (telegraph.co.uk)
- This week’s new dance (guardian.co.uk)