quinta-feira, 19 de setembro de 2013


"Fado, the most representative way of expression in Portuguese traditional culture. In a multitude of movements, sounds, sensations and feelings, the dancers pass on to us their art, beauty and apparent ease, what all our senses perceive and our heart fells. Fusing Fado with the Contemporary Dance, “Correr o Fado” break with the traditional way of see, hear and feel the Fado, demystifiying its nostalgic and melancholic connotation."

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Traditional music, contemporary dance

A top portuguese troupe dances to fado

The Embassy of Portugal's contributions to Bangkok's International Festival of Dance and Music over the past years have mainly alternated between contemporary dance companies and fado singers. This year, it's a combination of the two, as Quorum Ballet's highly acclaimed work "Correr o Fado" is not only inspired by fado but will also feature live fado singing onstage.

The eight-member Quorum Ballet is also well-regarded and was named "Best Contemporary Dance Company" by the inaugural Portugal Dance Awards in 2009, even though it had been founded just four years earlier.

We recently had a chat by email with the company's founder and artistic director Daniel Cardoso, who is also actively performing and is currently touring China with his new version of "Swan Lake".

"The kind of dancers I like to work with have to be extremely versatile. They need to have a strong technique foundation but more importantly, be good movers with a good quality of movement. My work is extremely physical so all the dancers have to be in top shape. Being able to work and learn the choreographic material quickly is another big plus," he says

In an interview with Dance Europe magazine, Cardoso noted that he'd been "really lucky to work with the right people."

Talking of how he came up with the idea for blending contemporary dance with fado in "Correr o Fado", Cardoso says, "I wanted a performance that was inspired by our culture and the many aspects of being Portuguese - and there was nothing better than working with Fado music. It's a big challenge: it's not easy to work with traditional music in a contemporary dance language.

"Fado is a part of our culture and how we are as people. The piece is inspired by this aspect and also by the lyrics of different songs. I do hope we're leaving some kind of mark in our home country and also contributing to the dance world. I believe that we show that fado can also be danced and not only sung."

Cardoso also explained to Dance Europe that his works are "making the environment appear glued to the dance". Another interesting aspect of "Correr o Fado" is how water becomes an integral part of the production. Cardoso explains, "To work with water on stage is another challenge. We had to find technical solutions to having water and light working in tandem during the show and the result is visually very strong. Water was not chosen because of its beautiful visual effects, but because it's a very important part of our history.

"More than half of our country is surrounded by the sea. The sea was what made Portugal known to the world during the age of exploration when Portuguese sailors found their way from Europe to Brazil and India. Portuguese people nowadays have a very strong connection with the sea and beach."

Cardoso notes that "Correr o Fado" has been a big success in Portugal as well as in China, Spain, Denmark, Serbia, Ecuador and Holland among other places.

"The reaction from audiences and press has been very good, sometimes even exceeding our expectations," he says, promising his Bangkok audience, "an evening full of energy, music and a lot of dance".

The 15th Bangkok's International Festival of Dance and Music is supported by Bangkok Bank, Bangkok Hospital, B. Grimm, Dusit Thani Bangkok, Indorama Venture, Nation Multimedia Group, Beiersdorf, SCG, Singha, Thai Airways International, Tourism Authority of Thailand and Toyota Motor Thailand.