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Compagnie Käfig Fuses Hip-Hop, Circus and Martial Arts

by on January 25, 2014 3:45 PM

Compagnie Käfig, a French dance company led by Mourad Merzouki and influenced by contemporary Brazil, makes its Penn State debut with two dances blending hip-hop, martial arts and circus skills.

The company performs Correria and Agwa at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

Artistic Director Merzouki brings together 11 dancers from Rio de Janeiro who are driven by a passion for movement and a determination to make a difference. The performers create a complex mix of street dance, capoeira and samba set to electronic music.

“This elixir de la danse, though billed as a hip-hop company, defies easy categorization,” wrote a Boston Globe critic. The program of two pieces, each choreographed by the troupe’s Lyon-based artistic director, Mourad Merzouki, in collaboration with the dancers, "is not exactly a street spectacle brought indoors. Nor is it a formal dance concert. Rather, it’s a joyous hybrid of the two worlds … .”

Correria (2010), Portuguese for “running,” exposes audiences to a race just like the one that governs many people’s daily lives. The often-frenetic pace of the choreography accentuates the movement of legs — on the stage and through the air. Agwa (2008) uses water, a vital natural resource and a symbol of renewal, as its point of departure, but the dance is really a celebration of vitality.

Tickets for the Center for the Performing Arts presentation are $38 for an adult, $15 for a University Park student and $28 for a person 18 and younger. Click HERE to buy tickets online or call 814-863-0255. Outside the local calling area, dial 1-800-ARTS-TIX. Tickets are also available at four State College locations: Eisenhower Auditorium (weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Penn State Downtown Theatre Center (weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), HUB-Robeson Center Information Desk (weekdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Bryce Jordan Center (weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

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This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.
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