Top Brazilian choreographer on first visit to the Netherlands

October 2005 -

He is a choreographer and benefactor but also a sort of magician. His name is Ivaldo Bertazzo, and for decades now he’s been travelling all over the world to put on dance projects with underprivileged young people. In his hometown of Sao Paulo in the 1970s, he developed a teaching method that gave its pupils so much self-confidence that they were able to achieve top-notch artistic performances. He founded the School for Re-education of Movement and wrote on his work in 'Space and Body.'


Ivaldo Bertazzo and the cast of 'Samwaad - The Street of the Encounter' (Copyright: Gal Oppido)

Unlike similar projects where the creative process is often more important than the artistic result, Bertazzo succeeds in creating dance productions that are showered with praise from all sides. This year, Bertazzo is a guest artist at the Holland Dance Festival with his production of 'Samwaad - Street of Encounters'. The high cost of staging this production – it has 55 (!) dancers - is the reason why it has rarely been seen outside Brazil. However, last year Bertazzo was awarded the Prince Claus Prize, which has made it possible for the company to stage Samwaad in the Netherlands. The show has received much praise for its exuberant beauty and vitality. Its strength lies both in its dazzling use of motion and its social relevance. Here we see people on stage who are given a chance to examine their own identity and to combine it with their emotional and physical qualities. This makes Bertazzo’s dance productions completely different to those of Alain Platel, who also uses untrained dancers but whose productions mainly evolve from a conceptual idea. In 'Samwaad', on the other hand, Bartazzo places the emphasis on communication, and combines music and rhythms from Brazil and India. He makes sure that his dancers receive not only dance training but also proper schooling and social assistance.

Ivaldo Bertazzo’s Samwaad can be seen at the Holland Dance Festival in The Hague from November 8-12.