Deborah Colker established her dance company in 1994. Since 1996, the Company has had its own premises with stage, storage rooms for costumes and props, and a space where their own sets are built and stored, in downtown Rio de Janeiro. It is a space where Deborah Colker and her group test their limits.
Made up of 16 dancers, Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker alternates periods of creation with performances and tours. This keeps the group active throughout the year, with at least seven daily hours of work, divided between classes and rehearsals – nothing unusual for a company obsessed with the search for a distinct language.
Classical technique is the basis for this language, supplemented by contemporary technique, constantly reworked in new investigations. It is technique in the service of simplicity, and of beauty.
The company’s repertory – Vulcão (1994), Velox (1995), Mix (1996), Rota (1997), Casa (1999) and 4 por 4 (2002) – has been performed in over 30 Brazilian cities and in major venues worldwide. The company’s latest production, Nó (Knot), premiered at the Movimentos Tanzfestival in Wolfsburg, Germany in May 2005.
Colker’s works are the results of aesthetic questioning. Her choreography marries physically audacious work with high-concept design. Velox, from 1995, features a huge and colourful climbing wall rigged with stepping treads. In Rota, the dominant image is of a 22 foot-high wheel, framed by ladders. Casa spotlights body architecture in the domestic context of a split-level house, while the movement material is derived from universally familiar activities.
The company has performed with enormous success in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Colombia, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, France, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. Recent engagements include a national tour of the United Kingdom, the company’s debut at Festpielhaus Baden-Baden and a return to the Singapore Arts Festival.
Following London performances of Mix, Deborah Colker won the prestigious 2001 Laurence Olivier Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Dance”.
“Pleasure to me is linked to knowledge, control and conscience, just as pain is.”