Every artist hopes to find that perfect muse to inspire their work. Compagnie Käfig founder and choreographer Mourad Merzouki was lucky enough to find 11 of them all at the same time. Merzouki met a group of scrappy young men from Rio de Janeiro at the Lyon Dance Biennial in 2006, and they immediately struck a chord with him. “These young dancers, mostly from Rio’s favelas, were dancing to express themselves, to exist, to survive,” Merzouki says. “The rhythm and the passion is really present within them. It really fascinated me and I decided to create the piece Agwa for them.”
Agwa, which means water in Portugese, was soon followed by Correria, which means running. “I try to tell stories on universal themes, and topics that mean a lot to people in every country,” Merzouki says. “For Correria/Agwa, I wanted to work on a project which was not only linked to what we already know about Brazil, the favelas, etc. Water and running were very interesting to me because they concern dancers and also the rest of the world. In today’s society, we need to run, and water is a vital element. But I don’t necessarily want to deliver a particular message through all my creations.” Both pieces blend elements of hip-hop, capoeria, samba, bossa nova, and electronic music.
Approx. 1 hour, 15 minutes. Part of Spoleto Festival USA.