Original and authentic multimedia production Dog Without Feathers by Deborah Colker Dance Company from Brazil, сombines dance, movement, poetry and videography in a challenging but hypnotizing performance. This recent production from the acclaimed director comes to Southbank Centre for four nights only.
The performance follows the verses of ‘Cão Sem Plumas’, the poem by Brazilian poet João Cabral de Melo Neto. In the centre of the story is a mystical river Capibare that defines the life of humans and animals on its shores. From ritual dances and working farmers to massive crabs migration, gracious herons and peculiar mangrove trees, we travel across times and cultures of those who ever lived on river shores. While there is no single plot in the production, it has clearly identifiable parts which mark the change of landscape by change of music and choreography.
Videography on a massive background screen competes with the dancers for attention and while sometimes it wins over, it also manages to often step away. The figures on stage follow the movement on the screen in some moments and contradict it in the next, creating a unique connection between two art forms. Poetical lines and natural sounds mixed into the music, create a vibrating and powerful soundtrack for the show. Overall, the performance makes you feel and perceive the movement emotionally, not rationally.
As characters on the stage seem to unite with the magnificent river that turns dry soil into mud and brings life to deserted areas, the audience becomes deeply immersed into the show. It sets an unusual, distinctively South-American, transcendental mood and helps us travel through time and space within 70 minutes of the performance.
The choreography and flexibility of the dancers is impressive. Deborah Colker is famous for her original approach to dance movement and combination of athletics, acrobatics and dance in her choreography. In the past, she directed the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Rio and Ovo for Cirque du Soleil. Her new piece, Dog Without Feathers, brings a new dimension – ritual dancing – to the stage. And it makes this performance so special.
Everything from lighting and minimalist costumes of the dancers, to black and white projections, and simple, but symbolic props, creates visual perfection. Dog Without Feathers is a must see for lovers of ultra-modern choreography and mixed arts.
Image Credit: Cia de Danca Deborah Colker