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February 14, 2014 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-14

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6 - Friday, February 14, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

6 - Friday, February 14, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Football is fleeting,
jackets are forever

Compagnie Kafig
finds joy in dance

As I sink deeper into the
sands of time and come closer
to understanding the transient
entity that is our own mortality,
I realize that I just don't have
time for the
Super Bowl.
I've become
increasingly
less inclined
to attend
event-relat-
ed parties orE
even pretend
that I have HARWOOD
the slightest
awareness
of who's playing (something
about the two states that legal-
ized weed?). I can no longer be
coaxed with booze, commer-
cials with obscene budgets or
even the camaraderie provided
by friends and family to feign
emotional interest and give up
roughly three hours of my time
here on earth - I just don't care
about the Super Bowl.
This past Super Bowl, I was
obliged to perform my edito-
rial duties at 420 Maynard
AKA the Student Publications
Building AKA where we make
this paper day in and day out. A
majority of the staff was enam-
ored with the inflated Ameri-
can tradition, keeping one eye
on their work - while the other
was glued to one of the three
screens in the office playing the
game. As halftime approached,
the argument of Bruno Mars's
worthiness to headline such a
coveted spot grew. As an arts
editor, I felt inclined to form an
opinion on the matter, but once
again, I just didn't care enough.
But as Bruno's performance
began, I started to find myself
feeling like the rest of the
newsroom, unable to look away
- with not one, but two eyes
latched on to the hovering TV.
Yes, Bruno made his descent
onto the-stadium whilst on a
levitating drum set. He also did
the splits while dancing and
didn't look like an asshole. The
set was impressive, but there
was something else - some-

thing
sparkl
for th
cared.
Bru
metall
rent bl
"I
annou:
one)
a few
silence
House
over I
are."
No
but it'
ed in
the Su
- prin
men'sj
Jusi
tally h
while

J
t

with literal, physical and his gold-cladded, leather
e that captivated me and lapel'd back-up band stole the
e first time in years - I show ... and the game as far as
my sports-disabled mind is con-
no's retro, slim-fitted, cerned.
ic gold Yves Saint Lau- There's a worn out, yet still
lazer. somehow prevalent assumption
love these jackets," I about the significance (or insig-
nced to anyone (read: no nificance, rather) of fashion. It's
who was listening. After an assumption plaguing argu-
more brief moments of ments that are full of words like
e, I felt compelled by the "shallow," "vapid" and "use-
of YSL again. "I can't get less." While some may read
how great these jackets this and think that a column
dedicating hundreds of words
one aside from me cared, to a single jacket is outrageous
was too late. I was invest- (that's right - if you're still
the Super Bowl - well, reading, you've read hundreds
per Bowl Halftime Show of words on a jacket), those peo-
marily due to sparkly gold ple haven't begun an attempt at
jackets. digesting the implications that
t so you know, I can basi- one jacket can have.
ear your eyes rolling, and Not everyone may have con-
you may think it's war- nected those shiny gold blaz-
ers to their Parisian roots, not
even I did at first glance (if you
were to check my search his-
M ars's gold tory, it would read something
along the lines of "bruno mars
acket out of superbowl outfit."). But they
do connect it to the continually
this world. budding musical force that is
Bruno Mars - the soulful, ret-
ro-infused powerhouse, who by
now has been propelled further
, let me recount Super into superstardom.
XLVII for you. When I look back on Super
game begins. One team is Bowl XLVII, I won't remem-
lously ahead of the other ber that the Seahawks beat the
This continues for hours Broncos or that endearing Bud-
1). The aforementioned weiser commercial with the
eins. End game. horse and puppy. I probably
n for die-hard football won't remember that the Chili
the game itself sucked Peppers were even there. What
ossed the line into boring I will remember is that Bruno
d 20 minutes in. Mars put on an insane Halftime
ile it's plausible that Mars Show, and that he drew me in
have gone on stage in a with a drum solo, killer dance
bag and still killed his moves, and most of all, with
mance, there's definite- that retro, slim-fitted, metallic
tething to be said about gold Yves Saint Laurent blazer.
nd his stylist's) sarto- I'll remember that for one brief
cision. Even against the moment - for the first time in
'e stadium backdrop and years - I actually cared about
neral presence of a half- the Super Bowl, and it was all
Red Hot Chili Peppers because of a single jacket.

reographer
and send them
around the
world?
Compagnie
Kfig's chore-
ographer and
artistic direc-
tor, Mourad
Merzouki,
started explor-
ing the move-
ment arts at a

Compagnie
Kafig
Friday and
Saturday
at 8 p.m.
Power Center
Starting at $22
($0 for student)

ranted
Bowl
The
ridicul
team.'
(plura
team
Eve
fans,
and cr
arounc
Wh
could
trash
perfor
ly som
his (a
rial de
massiv
the ge
naked
(a ban
tual c
middle
to dev

By GILLIAN JAKAB
Community t CultureEditor
What happens when you put 11
male dancers from Rio de Janeiro
under the direction of a French-
Algerian cho-

young age. Beginning with circus
performance and martial arts
training at age 7, Merzouki has a
thrillingmovementvocabulary. As
a teenager, he gravitated towards
the hip-hop trend in the streets
and in the early '90s started danc-
ing with, and choreographing for,
his friends.
Soon he began to create shows.
His first project was called "Kfig,"
a title that carries a meaning close
to "cage" inbothGerman and Ara-
bic. Merzouki is intrigued by the
concept of confinement and the
ways in which dance can tran-
scend the boundaries we create
and connect people. It became the
name and mission of the company:
"Compagnie Kfig."
For the first decade, the compa-
ny's dancers were mostly French
and of Algerian descent like Mer-
zouki. The group you will see
dancing at the Power Center this
Saturday, however, comes from an
entirely different part of the world.
Merzouki met 11 Brazilian
dancers touring with their com-
pany - Urbana de Danga - at
the Lyon Biennial dance festival
in 2006. He was so impressed by
their vibrant energy that Mer-
zouki wanted to get to know them
and their personal stories fromthe
favelas (Brazilian shanty towns). A
few years later, Merzouki created
the dance "Agwa" specifically for
the 11 dancers, and they became
part of the company.

One,
from R
dos Sat
love for
in his e
"I St.
old. Bu
fun. Ilil
dos San
was for
because
fan(bas
like soc
and pla
formyl
I dance
I'm sti
mom l
Com
- foun'
Brazilia
the Afr
with th
choices
stage.
"Wh
fun int
open -
because
sibility.
Hi'
0]
no,
thing i:
said. "I
stage if
can shr
best pa
come ul
say, 'I'v
times I
my dar
Those t
price."
Mer2
draws
culture
of brea
batics a

of these young performers "He began working with how
io de Janeiro, Diego Alves (the Brazilian dancers) moved and
ntos, speaks of his natural really used that as a starting point
'dance and the role it plays to create the choreography," said
veryday life. Camille Gillet,the company's com-
arted dancing at nine years munications and press relations
t as a child it was just for officer,as well as Merzouki'strans-
ked dance too much,"Alves lator. "They were really rooted in
tos said. "My mom's dream capoeira, samba - all the Brazil-
me to be a soccer player, ian styles of movement and they've
e in Brazil there's such a integrated thatinto hip-hop."
e) for soccer. But I didn't Pulling from dance traditions
cer very much; I liked to see around the world, Merzouki makes
y it sometimes,but for me - it hard to categorize the company's
ife, myreal love is dance. So style. He blends together avariety
d for my mom all the time. of deeply-rooted and historic styles
II dancing today. And my until the movement is something
ves myjob." both familiar and entirely new.
pagnie Kfig combines the "It hasn't been easy, because
nal ritual of street dance there is still a language barrier,"
d at the origins of both the Gillet said. "Mourad doesn't speak
tn dance form Capoeira and Portuguese - now some of (the
ican tradition of hip-hip - dancers) speak more French and
.e deliberate choreographic English so it's started to be easier,
of dance presented on a but at first dance was really here
to connect them together. Mourad
en you're dancing just for used their own vocabulary, their
the street you can be more own way of moving, to start creat-
- your mind opens more ing something for them and that's
e you don'thavethe respon- how it worked. That's real proof
Nothing's wrong; every- that dance can be universal."
Using dance a lingua franca
Compagnie Kdfig's performances
can communicate with people
p-hop dance around the world. Touring four,
five or six months at a time the
n the stage, dancers are constantlyengagingin
, a global dialogue.
t just on the "Thegreatthingaboutthecom-
pany is that I do my dance with my
streets. friends and I show it in so many
countriesaroundtheworld,"Alves
dos Santos said. "I have the oppor-
tunity to meet new people, great
s right," Alves dos Santos hip-hop dancers and train in great
But when you dance on a places. It's so fun because before
's beautiful too,because you the company I saw things (around
ow your best dance, your the world) only on Youtube or
rt to the people ... People heard about them from some
p to you after the show and friends, but today I can see these
'e never seen that' Some- things with the company because
see people crying because I travel to, for example, the United
ncing has touched them. States and I get to know the great
things for me don't have a b-boys and famous dancers."
Compagnie Kfigis sharingtwo
zouki's choreography pieces with us here in Ann Arbor
inspiration from Brazilian as part of UMS's winter season.
and mixes it with a palette The first, "Agwa" is athletic and
k-dancing, b-boying, acro- exuberant; the dancers backflip
nd martial arts. between plastic cups of water
around the stage. Focusing on
water, avital force, the dance is not
specified by culture and instead
becomes a unifying experience.
,1-4115 The second piece, Correria, mean-
ing "running," is less celebratory
splay@gmail.com but equally as elemental. It aims
to hone in on the chaos and frantic
nature of our everyday lives - with
k as l014.movement quite beyond the every-

d I've felt a deep, spiri-
onnection to ever since
e school when I started
elop "an attitude"), Mars

Harwood loves you just the
way you are. E-mail erikacat '5
umich.edu if you do too.

Call: #734-4
Email: dailydi
A 1i iau EFF I &

Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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day.
The separate international and
cultural influences are seen clearly
within Merzouki's choreographic
devices. But the combinations of
these dance and movement tra-
ditions from around the world,
paired with core human themes,
create something beyond identi-
fication. Matching hip-hop cho-
reography with lyrical music, or
spontaneous street dance with
conceptual compositions, he asks
the audienceto reimagine.
"(Merzouki) really wants to
show that 11 Brazilian dancers
choreographed by a French artist
can totally work and the show can
have a strongimpact wherever itis:
in Asia, in Australia - we've been
everywhere with this show really,"
Gillet said. "The message is really
positive everywhere. It shows that
hip-hop dance can be on stage
- it's not only in the streets. The'
physical aspect ...works with every
culture. It really shows that dance
can be universal and it's here to
break the limits and the boundar-
ies."

xwordeditor@aol.com

t

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