Rio de Janeiro-born choreographer Alice Ripoll founded the Cia REC company in 2007. She has created five productions to date including aCORdo, which made such an impression at the Wiener Festwochen in 2019. The company is comprised of dancers who grew up in Rio’s favelas and is now a firm fixture on Brazil’s dance scene. For her new piece entitled Lavagem (Washing), Ripoll has immersed the performance space in water, soap and foam, all synonyms for hygiene. The association between black bodies and dirt is a racist cliché, and here it is contrasted with the economic fact that many of the dancers’ mothers work as cleaners in the upper class residential areas of Brazil’s divided society. Ripoll lends a poetic twist to the act of cleaning. The bodies become slippery, lose their grip or cannot grab one another. This in turn creates new opportunities: A sense of sliding, floating and gliding that unsettles the relationship between beholder and beheld. Who or what has to be cleaned up? And why?
Alice Ripoll / Cia REC