marcela levi


Roberto Pereira
Special for Jornal do Brasil
Rio de Janeiro
June 2007

Marcela Levi: No-Compromise Poetics

Without compromises to be made, poetry remains, present, as though it were raw material ready for distillation. That is how Marcela Levi builds the plot of her latest solo piece, part of a trilogy by the name of in-organic. The show debuted at Espaço Sesc last Thursday and will continue through next weekend.

What stands out from the get-go is that this is not merely a dancer, but a creator who does not create for herself, but within herself. She does not simply use her body in her dance, her body is her dance, overflowing with a disconcerting presence.

Each object on stage, from an enormous pearl necklace to a stuffed bull's head, takes part in her ability to construct the idea onstage as a condition, never as an afterthought. This is what makes in-organic so very organic in reaching the right dose of irony; a precise and subtle puncture to the perception of the audience.

Marcela's creative process carries the DNA of choreographer Lia Rodrigues, whom she worked with for eight years. She has the same sharp perception of how pieces of information, tacitly accepted as they may be in society, reveal the cruelty of the world. Her scenes, aligned in a fine path of pointed criticism, are so arid, so dry, and yet so full of poetry, cutting in their conciseness, exact in their timing; reminiscent of a João Cabral de Melo Neto poem.

One of the springboards in this piece is an award-winning news photo, in which a mother appears seated on the sidewalk, mourning over the body of her son, murdered in downtown Rio. The space between the pain stamped on the image and the declarations of satisfaction by the photographer for having won the award is a space in which the idea is constructed, in other words, a demanding and uncomfortable space.

Marcela Levi's dancing works in the following way: by taking a no compromise approach, she increases our (the audience's) chance of understanding that dance has long ceased to be what lovers of harmonies and beautiful movements set to music would have it. Her dance, existing in the world, carries with it the imperative of this world, in which harmonies and movements are also expressed inside-out. <