During the entire hour on-stage of Käfig Brasil, dancers moved with incredible energy that created an acrobatic dance piece.
French choreographer Mourad Merzouki wants to transform hip-hop dance into a conventional and theatrical art form. Presented at the Vancouver Playhouse on April 10 and 11, Käfig Brasil manifested his intention. In this piece, created in 2012 for 11 Brazilian dancers, Compagnie Käfig fuses hip-hop with capoeira, Brazilian martial and samba.
Merzouki wanted to discover other dance styles. In this production, composed of five moments, Merzouki put together four choreographers: three from France, Anthony Egéa, Céline Lefèvre, Denis Plassard, and Octavio Nassur from Brazil. The dancers themselves created the fifth piece.
The night started with dancers clustered into a silhouette shape articulating their fingers like tentacles. In this first section, which played with voices and sounds of bodies, each movement was accompanied by a sound performed live by dancers.
Even when dancers were moving together, in a sort of ecstatic trip, their personalities were evident and never hidden. An explosion of sincere joy accompanied their dance generating a deep connection with spectators, as well as hilarious moments.
The show built a crescendo of energy and rhythm. At the end of the show dancers stood shuffling, moving their heads and arms to each beat of music – not to mention the curtain call when dancers spun on their heads and jumped with back and front flips. Käfig’s vitality and exuberance transformed the audience into passionate fans, clapping and moving their bodies with the music; dancers spun on their heads during the curtain call.
The dance was not too polished and was not always exacting, but the strength of Compagnie Käfig was its ability to engage the audience, with a fusion of acrobatic movement, muscular dance, energy, and wonderful truthful smiles on dancers faces.