Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker to Return to the Barbican with TATYANA

Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker to Return to the Barbican with TATYANA

Internationally acclaimed Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker return to the Barbican with Tatyana, a new piece inspired by Alexander Pushkin's masterpiece Eugene Onegin. Straight from the heart of Rio de Janeiro, Olivier award-winning choreographer Deborah Colker radically adapts this famous Russian story of young love, passion, obsession and rejection. Tatyana met with great acclaim at the 2012 Edinburgh International Festival.

Pushkin's classic novel Eugene Onegin is the tragic love story of Tatyana, a carefree and beautiful country girl who falls hopelessly in love with the privileged but bored Eugene Onegin. He coldly rejects her but when they meet again years later the tables are turned.

Tatyana explores the four main characters from the novel and adds a fifth – Pushkin himself, who interacts with the desires, thoughts and actions of the other characters. This physically daring, sensual production is performed on a striking set designed by Colker's long-term collaborator Gringo Cardia. It is set to an eclectic soundtrack featuring Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and Prokofiev, mixed with contemporary music by American composers MoonDog and Terry Riley and Brazilian composer Berna Ceppas.

Deborah Colker holds the distinction of being the first woman to direct for Cirque du Soleil. Her 2008 production of OVO has toured extensively. She was the first Brazilian artist to be awarded an Olivier Award, winning 'Outstanding Achievement in Dance' for her choreography of Mix at the Barbican in 2001. She established Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker in 1994 and has since created ten full-length pieces: Vulcão, Velox, Mix, Rota, Casa, 4 Por 4, Knot, Dynamo, Cruel and Tatyana.

Alexander Pushkin is one of the most influential Russian writers. His novel in verse Eugene Onegin was serialized from 1823 – 1831 and has since inspired many adaptations, including an opera by Tchaikovsky, ballets by choreographers John Cranko and Boris Eifman, and a film starring Ralph Fiennes. Pushkin's other work includes the play Boris Godunov and the short stories The Queen of Spades and The Tales of the Late Ivan Petrovich. Pushkin was fatally wounded in a duel at the age of 37.


Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker
Barbican Theatre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS
31 January - 9 February 2013
Box Office: 020 7638 8891

Press night: 31 January 2013, 7.45 pm

Performance Times: Mon – Sat 7.45pm, Sat 9 Feb 3pm Matinee

Tickets Prices: £16 - 30

Weekend Labs
The Theatre & Dance Weekend Labs for spring/summer 2013 are now on sale. Linked to Deborah Colker's new piece Tatyana, Ionesco's Rhinocéros, Wayne McGregor/Random Dance's new piece in the Rain Room exhibition and Cheek by Jowl's new production of Jarry's Ubu Roi, these workshops offer opportunities for learning and discovery. Aimed at dance and theatre artists from student to professional, they give participants an opportunity for in-depth, practical exploration and experimentation with world-class companies in a laboratory-style setting. Previous companies/artists who have led Weekend Labs include Peter Brook, Complicite and Thomas Ostermeier. The Labs take place at the Barbican on Saturdays and Sundays from 10.30am to 4.30pm. The weekends are programmed and subsidised by the Barbican's Creative Learning programme, and the fee of £50 includes a ticket to see the performance.

For more information click here

Post Show Talk 4 February

Post Show Talk with members of Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker
Free to same-day ticket holders


Deborah Colker studied and performed as a pianist for 12 years, as well as studying psychology and playing professional volleyball. Between 1980 and 1988 she danced, choreographed and taught for Coringa Dance Group under the direction of Graciela Figueroa. Following this she collaborated with many of Brazil's most important theatre directors and actors as a Movement Director. Deborah also choreographed music shows and video clips for a variety of Brazilian pop stars. For the famous Rio Carnival she regularly choreographs the group that opens the parade of each Samba School. She established her own company in 1994 following an invitation to participate in the Carlton Dance Festival and has since created ten full-length dance pieces: Vulcão, Velox, Mix, Rota, Casa, 4 por 4, Knot, Dynamo, Cruel and Tatyana. Her work has been recognized in various Brazilian awards ceremonies over the years. She was also the first Brazilian artist to receive a Laurence Olivier Award in 2001 for her choreography of Mix at the Barbican. In 2003 Deborah debuted an evening of work as a guest choreographer at Komische Oper Berlin including Ela and Casa. This resulted in the development of Knot, which has been presented across Brazil and the UK since its 2005 premiere at the Movimentos Dance Festival in Germany. In 2008 Deborah wrote, directed and choreographed Cirqu Du Soleil's show OVO. She has the distinction of being the first woman to direct for Cirque du Soleil.

The embryo of what would be Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker was born in 1993, in the dance halls of Casa do Minho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where Deborah Colker used to teach. A year later the company made its debut at the Globo em Movimento festival at Rio's Municipal Theatre, in a double bill with Momix Dance Group. With the freedom to develop in its own Rio-based centre, the company has been working to create new dance languages and original scenic elements, combining contemporary and traditional techniques and drawing on everyday themes that audiences can relate to. Over the years Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker has staged performances in Argentina, Austria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, England, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Macao, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Portugal, Scotland, Singapore, Uruguay, USA and Wales.

João Elias Alvares da Silva has worked as an actor, producer, and director. From 1984-1986 he performed in and produced a variety of theater and music shows in Rio. In 1987 he produced television commercials and worked at TV Globo, appearing in several news programs. In 1992 he founded JE Produções, a company that has made a variety of films and videos for leading Brazilian artists and television documentaries. In 1994 he began his association with Deborah Colker, and helped her with the founding of her dance company. Three years later a partnership with Belisario Franca/Giros Produções, a company specializing in documentaries for Brazilian television, was formed. In 2000 the partnership with Belisario ended and João now dedicates himself exclusively to Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker.

Responsible for all of the company's set designs since its inception in 1994, Gringo Cardía is one of the most popular designers in Brazil working as a graphic artist, set designer, architect, art director, and director of music videos, theatre shows, and concerts. He has collaborated with music artists such as Gilberto Gil, Marisa Monte, Daniela Mercury, and various Brazilian rock bands, as well as designed fashion shows for the label Salinas and the Brazilian Pavilion at Expo 2000 in Hanover, Germany. Since 1999 he has been responsible for the design of the Christmas window of H.Stern's Fifth Avenue store in New York. He has won many awards and was selected along with such names as David Carson, Fred Trollerm, and Massimo Vignelli for the Pan American Graphic Summit in São Paulo. He designed the set for Cirque du Soleil's OVO in 2008.

Having studied music under the direction of João Carlos Assis Brasil, Berna Ceppas has worked with many Brazilian vocalists and musicians, as well as composed and arranged for television shows. After learning musical production for video and film, and digital sound processing technology, he began to compose using computers and samplers. He has since been responsible for the production of several records and remixes. Berna began collaborating with Cia de Dança Deborah Colker in 1994, participating on the soundtrack for Vulcão and all subsequent pieces in the company's repertoire. He composes and directs works across many genres, from Rio de Janeiro's samba revival group Orquestra Imperial to Cirque du Soleil's OVO.