South America’s Grupo Corpo brings a new physicality to live interpretive dance in Davis on March 13

By Eddie Jorgensen

It’s no great secret that Brazilian communities are growing in the Sacramento Valley and surrounding areas. Yet some say there’s been a drought when it comes to heritage Brazilian acts performing in these parts: The Grupo Corpo dance company’s upcoming show at the Mondavi Center looks to fill some of that void.

Originally founded by choreographers Paulo and Rodrigo Pederneiras, the company combines aspects of modern dance with elements of Afro-Brazilian movment that are steeped in the history and free spirit of Brazil.

Attendees can expect a two-part show: The first and newer 2022 piece is titled ’Gil Refazendo’ and showcases the music of Brazilian musical legend Gilberto Gil. This will include performers draped in linen while the sounds play before a massive screen featuring ever-changing background images of sunflowers that seemingly rise up from their roots.

The second part of the night involves a seven-year-old composition titled ‘Gira,’ which takes a deep dive into the minutiae of Afro-Brazilian religions aided by the sounds of Brazilian jazz greats, Metá Metá.

Rodrigo Pederneiras will lead the attendees on a journey exhibiting parts of the lesser-known Candomblé and Umbanda rituals in dance.

For those fortunate enough to have already seen Grupo Corpo, they know what a force this dance troupe is when they performed the wholly different, but no less compelling ‘Seven or Eight Pieces for a Ballet’ and ‘Breu.’

Grupo Corpo performs Wednesday, March 13 at Jackson Hall located inside the Mondavi Center on the UC Davis campus at One Shields Avenue. Tickets start at just $30 with premier seating topping out at $79 and can be purchased in advance at Doors open at 6:30pm and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. All ages are welcome.                                                                                                                                         

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