BWW Review: Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker Returns to Kennedy Center with DOG WITHOUT FEATHERS (Cão Sem Plumas)

BWW Review: Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker Returns to Kennedy Center with DOG WITHOUT FEATHERS (Cão Sem Plumas)
Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker; photo courtesy of the Company

Last seen at Kennedy Center in 2010, Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker returned to our local venerable arts institution this past week with Dog without Feathers (Cão Sem Plumas). Artistic Director and Choreographer Deborah Colker and her stunning cast transported us to a rugged river region in Brazil. The 70-minute dance piece, inspired by João Cabral de Melo Neto's poem O cão sem plumas, was - in a word - unique. Complemented by some beautiful film work (directed by Cláudio Assis and Deborah Colker) that captures the rugged terrain and how humans interact with it, the dancers demonstrated their extraordinary flexibility and ability to perform as one singular unit with passion, energy, and precision. Claudio Kopke's costumes and Jorginho de Carvalho lighting enhance the evocative mood of each of the eight scenes.

If I were to offer some criticism, I would suggest that the piece is simply not varied enough. What's jaw-dropping in the first thirty minutes or so became monotonous in the latter half despite the exceptional athletic and artistic talent of the dancers. Pulsating music (directed by Jorge du Peixe and Berna Ceppas) contributes to the ambience throughout, but after awhile it began to sound all the same. The narration work was initially so loud that the sound was distorted at the performance I attended. Admittedly, I am not all that familiar with the poem on which the piece is based (and of course there's a question of whether the translation does it justice), but the spoken narration did not invite me further into the world it explores - at least not to the extent of the dancing and film work.

These quibbles aside, one cannot deny the uniqueness of this piece and the immeasurable talent of all involved.

Running Time: 70 minutes with no intermission.

Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker's Dog without Feathers (Cão Sem Plumas) played the Kennedy Center - located at 2700 F Street, NW in Washington, DC - from October 18 - 20, 2018.

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From This Author Jennifer Perry

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