Portraits seem to be what director, creator, and choreographer Mourad Merzouki does best as Celebrity Series of Boston, as part of their 75th season, presented ‘Compagnie Kafig’ for a Sunday matinee on February 9 at the Shubert Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts. These incredibly nimble and enthusiastic Brazilian dancers took the audience on a wild, humorous, and visually stunning journey, all at the roots of a mesmerizing hip hop beat. Click here for an interview with Mourad Merzouki.
I couldn’t help but notice sitting in the Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont Street in Boston, Massachusetts, there does not seem to be a bad seat in this intimate, beautiful theater. Even the furthest seat in the back does not seem very far away.
With eleven core dancers performing two, distinct, meticulously- staged dance acts, Compagnie Kafig’s Artistic director Mourad Merzouki masterfully made great use of stage. Mourad collaborates with the dancers, using their dance backgrounds to create each unique dance experience with simple sets and using very few props. The first dance, called ‘Correria’ which means “running,” was created in 2010.
‘Correria’ builds from a simple concept and broadens into a fascinating sequence. There is no closing of the curtain and scenes transform within each scene. Creating shadows, film, and light, ‘Correria’ depicts collective portraits from one man running, to several men on bicycles, to men with multiple feet! A particular highlight is a man outrunning a movie screen.
Mourad depicts in ‘Correria’ an incredible silent artistry. From wild, booming hip hop with European influences to opera, the dancers rarely speak, but dazzle with stunts, flips, and leaps using subtle humor through a head nod or a surprised look to extract a belly laugh from the audience.
The second dance, ‘Agwa’ or “water” was created in 2008. With dancers humorously dressed in transparent raincoats, water is diverted from a wave into an ocean, reflected in bright, red lighting. A simple, plastic cup becomes a curious prop in stirring moments of humor as dancers incorporate break dancing, stunts, martial arts, and circus artistry into an astounding display of freestyle and synchronized dancing. Soaring, twisting, and flipping through the air, especially in the stunning finale, these dedicated, enthusiastic dancers love the thrill of the crowd.
Celebrity Series of Boston has been fascinated by sheer dance athleticism with ‘Compagnie Kafig,’ as dancers poured impressive flips, leaps, and high flying twists into an afternoon. This athleticism continues with the all-human, Australian circus troupe, ‘Circus Oz,’ as performers demonstrate sheer elegance with death defying acrobatics and much more from Wednesday, February 19 through Sunday, February 23! Visit www.celebrityseries.org for tickets and for their full list of upcoming events!