Mix was born from a European view of Brazilian contemporary dance, and is a fusion of Vulcão and Velox, the first two creations of the Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker. During the curatorship of the 6th edition of the Lyon Dance Biennial, dedicated to Brazil, the French director of the event, Guy Darmet, went to see the two ballets, was enchanted with both, and suggested to Deborah Colker that she prepare, especially
for the festival, a sort of medley of the two.
Masterfully mixed by the Rio choreographer and her skilled troupe of dancers, the raw and simmering sentiments of Passion, the irony and elegance of The Fashion Show, reflections of physical movement, sketched in Machines and developed in Mechanics and Sonar, the Babel of gestures and movements in Quotidian, and the electrifying vertical ballet of Mountaineering culminated in a third production, which would become one of the company’s classics, levering its launch on the international scenario.
With the world premiere of Mix in the Lyon Thêatre National Populaire on September 16, 1996, the
Cia Deborah Colker started an international tour, which in four years crossed three continents, visiting
12 cities in eight countries, including Europe, South America, North America and Asia. In 2001, five years after joining the scene for the first time in Lyon, Mix, coming from a London season of major repercussions in the Barbican Theatre the previous year, gained definitive recognition of excellence, awarding its creator with an honor never before conceded to a Brazilian artist – the Laurence Olivier Award, one of the most prestigious in Performing Arts on the European continent, in the category "Outstanding Achievement in Dance".
Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker has been sponsored by the Brazilian state oil company Petrobras since 1995.
Mix, scene by scene
Machines (originating from: Vulcão) – The human body, the best designed of Nature’s creations, explores its physical limits. Precision and synchrony are the applicable words. A naked couple frames the scene,
in aseptic and totemic enlargements. The sound is techno, industrial, and is mixed with noises and micro-distortions. The lighting suggests sunbeams through the glass roof of a large 1930s factory, recreating
the atmosphere of movie classics such as Metropolis and Modern Times.
Fashion Show (originating from: Vulcão) – An intriguing collection of gestures and movements.
With Brazilian rhythms such as samba, maxixe, marcha-rancho, bossa-nova, maracatu or baião, the dancers dispute, among flashes and elbowing, supremacy on the catwalk. In the background, three super-large chairs play with the idea of (dis)proportion, and abolish the notion of exact measurement.
Passion (originating from: Vulcão) – The sublime and the pathetic of a body in full amorous trance.
The unique moment in which all limits are abolished. Heart-beat out of control. High temperature and impulsiveness absolute, violent movements and eventual instants of tenderness. To the sound of a collection of romantic mega-hits, a circle of 23 pas-de-deux takes over the scene. In filigree-like movements, programmed by computer, the evening falls slowly and inexorably over the stage.
Mechanics (originating from: Velox) – Weight, balance, opposition, geometry. Centrifugal and centripetal forces, basic principles of movement, are translated into choreographic language and materialize on stage. Six gyrating blades, 3 meters in diameter, positioned in the vertical, indicate the passage of time and the gears of mechanical movement.
Quotidian (originating from: Velox) – A whirlpool of gestures and movements, abrupt and repetitive, invades the scene. Ordinary, commonplace, quotidian, loaded with intent but reduced in context, they evoke the drama, the tragedy, the comedy, the amusement, the pathetic in a Babel of mute dialog that seems
to give life and movement to an expressionist scene. The blades are still rotating, nervously. The sound, strident and turbulent, mixes street noises, radio hisses, sirens, disconnected dialogs.
Sonar (originating from: Velox) – The gradual slowing of the gigantic fans-mills provides the tone for
the simple and brief quartet that follows – a species of rite of passage from Quotidian to Mountaineering.
Signs of a study of a change of axis start here. While the female dancers maintain a state of slow fluctuation, agile, virile and sometimes brusque movements underline the male dancers’ alternation between suspension and fall. The sound is a continuous echo of the ocean.
Mountaineering (originating from: Velox) – The search for absolute balance, the obsession of all dancers, is taken to paroxysm in the final scene of Mix. The passé relevé, the arabesque pirouette with relevé, the fouetté give place here to an impressive aerial ballet that leaves the audience gasping for breath. The floor is verticalized, challenging the law of gravity, the company dancers dance with impeccable aplomb on
a 6.6m high and 8.4m wide scenic wall.