Grupo Corpo’s women move with uncommon suppleness and don’t-give-a-damn sass; the men radiate a rootedness that inspires feelings of security. Viewers gasp, and other choreographers—from ballet to Broadway—must be hotly envious of Rodrigo Pederneiras for his gifted, glamorous Brazilian crew. At BAM, in the ballroom-inspired Lecuona—set to old-time romantic songs by Cuba’s Ernesto Lecuona—one couple after another displayed florid, tango-ish duets, their bodies molded together or executing impossibly melty or peppery maneuvers. I grumble at the sight of women roughly manipulated by men as if they were inflatable, posable sex dolls, but get drawn in again by the dancers’ unassailable technical acuity. (Besides, one of these ladies got her own back, tossing her mate’s head from hand to hand.) Pederneiras’s visually striking Onqotô, accompanied by Caetano Veloso and JoséMiguel Wisnik, represented both modes of this super grupo—dreamy and razor sharp.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 1, 2005