Brazilian dance troupe brings unique brand of hip-hop to St. Louis | St. Louis Public Radio

Brazilian dance troupe brings unique brand of hip-hop to St. Louis

Apr 24, 2015

Fans of dance in St. Louis are in for a treat this weekend, with National Dance Week - St. Louis taking over Grand Center and an exciting dance performance at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.  

Dance St. Louis presents Compagnie Käfig, a male Brazilian dance troupe that has been selling out performances on their U.S. tour and will perform at the Touhill this weekend.

Compagnie Käfig has its own unique brand of hip-hop which will be displayed in two works called Correria (Running) and Agwa (Water). In Agwa, the dancers perform around 300 cups filled with water without spilling them. Correria features breathtaking dance movements that represent the hectic pace of everyday life.

On Friday, two members of the troupe, Diego Alves Dos Santos, known as Dieguinho, and Fidelis Da Conceicao, known as Geovane, spoke with “Cityscape” host Steve Potter.

“We try studying all the styles from the hip-hop culture, because there are so many styles like bopping, hip-hop, breaking, house dance, and after that we try studying other styles like capoeira, tricking, Samba, Brazilian styles, and other styles like contemporary and jazz, and we try to mix it with our bodies and create a new style,” said Geovane.

Compagnie Käfig’s founder and artistic director is Mourad Merzouki, a native of Lyon, France who studied martial arts and circus arts as a child and was influenced by hip-hop as a teen. Merzouki met the 11 young dancers from Rio de Janeiro at a dance festival in France in 2006, and they joined forces to create their dance company.

The 11 have performed together for about 7 years, and according to Geovane and Dieguinho, they are a family.

In addition to their performances at the Touhill, Compagnie Käfig will kick off National Dance Week - St. Louis with a performance at noon Saturday.  

Linda Green, Missouri state director of National Dance Week, told Steve Potter Friday, that it was “designed to bring attention to many different disciplines of dance, to educate the general public about the dance that is available around our country and the impact it has on our culture, and to let our St. Louis community be aware of how much dance we have right here in our own city.”

Fifty dance companies are performing in the 18th annual National Dance Week - St. Louis in Grand Center. The event is from 12-5 and is free to the public.

18th Annual National Dance Week

Dance St. Louis presents Compagnie Käfig

“Cityscape” is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and sponsored in part by theMissouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.