Deborah Colker’s Dog Without Feathers

Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

DanceHouse, in partnership with Digidance, announces the Canadian digital broadcast of celebrated Brazilian choreographer Deborah Colker’s Dog Without Feathers, streaming September 29th to October 11th – and you can enter to win streaming access.

Inspired by a poem by João Cabral of the same name, Colker crafts a mesmerizing vision of mud-and-dust-covered dancers shown as emergent from the animal and elemental worlds, yet at the same time destructive of them. In creating the work, Colker’s 14-member company explored the beauty as well as the cultural and environmental impact of Northeast Brazil’s Capibaribe River; the work is saturated with the sounds, landscape, animals, plants and people of the region.

Deborah Colker’s Dog Without Feathers - Image by CAFI
Deborah Colker’s Dog Without Feathers – Image by CAFI

Deborah Colker’s Dog Without Feathers

  • When: September 29 to October 11, 2021
  • Where: Video on Demand Streaming in Canada only
  • Tickets: Available online for $15 + applicable taxes

The broadcast of Dog Without Feathers is due to the coordinated effort of Digidance, a national initiative formed in response to COVID-19 in 2020 between four of Canada’s leading dance presenters: DanceHouse (Vancouver), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), and Danse Danse (Montreal).

Based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker is a company well-known for combining “death-defying feats on giant hamster wheels, vogueing, hip-hop, acrobatics and anything else that suits Colker’s eclectic sensibility,” (NYT). The work’s title, Dog Without Feathers, speaks to the sluggish Capibaribe River and the people who live by and depend upon it. Speaking to its message and intentions Colker explained, “It conveys the soul of Brazil from the rich and miserable to the mud and mangroves.”

Following its premiere in 2017, the work quickly received international acclaim and attention. In 2018, in recognition of Dog Without Feathers, Colker was honoured as the choreography recipient of the International Dance Association’s Prix Benois de la Danse – otherwise known as the ‘Oscars of dance’ – joining the ranks of such luminaries as Crystal Pite, Christopher Wheeldon, Jiří Kylián, among others.

Dog Without Feathers welcomes audiences into its world with voiceovers of Cabral’s poem, accompanied by Cláudio Assis’ black and white film projections and photography of the Capibaribe River, which include ​​startling images of a dry river bed, of a burning crop field, rugged terrain, lush forests, and a shanty town. The lithe and intensely athletic dance artists enter the space in mud-coloured tights and coated with fine dust that plumes into clouds as they move through Colker’s mercurial, dynamic, and acrobatic choreography.

Over the course of eight movements, the artists come to embody not only the landscape of the Capibaribe region, but also the frogs, birds, and fauna that call the region home. Ultimately, they evolve to represent humanity itself – and explore how our species are simultaneously dependent upon and destructive of the natural world.

Colker has risen to become one of Brazil’s most prominent and influential cultural figures since founding her company in 1994. Her works have toured to four continents and been seen on some of the world’s greatest stages. In addition to the Prix Benois de la Danse, the international community has recognized her achievements when she became the first Brazilian to win a Laurence Olivier Award in 2001 for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Dance’. Beyond the work she has created for her own company, Colker served as Cirque du Soleil’s first-ever female choreographer for 2009’s Ovo and as the Movement Director and Choreographer for the 2016 Olympics in her hometown of Rio de Janeiro.

Digidance’s presentation of Dog Without Feathers will also include a 20-minute pre-show documentary.

Enter to Win

I have a streaming pass available for this production that provides timely, artful commentary on the impact of human beings on nature and the resulting climate crisis. Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Copy/paste the text below on Twitter (1 entry)
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I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Monday, September 20, 2021. Follow DanceHouse Vancouver on Facebook for more info.

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2 Comments  —  Add a Comment Below

  1. Jason BTuesday, September 14th, 2021 — 1:49pm PDT

    A live event would be great.

  2. Don MTuesday, September 14th, 2021 — 8:13pm PDT

    This sounds as if it is an amazing production. I would love to see it.

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