Alice Ripoll / Cia REC aCORdo

© Renato Mangolin

Every society has upper and lower strata. For eight years the Brazilian choreographer Alice Ripoll has been working with the dancers performing in aCORdo. As black people living in a favela, they are familiar with the Brazilian police’s methods of keeping the poor segment of the population away from the rich by means of control and intimidation. The Portuguese word “acordo” can mean many things – it could be an agreement, for instance, or a wake-up call. In Ripoll’s spelling of the word it also means “the colour of”. But what agreement did the social majority make with those regarded as “of a different colour”? Are they only seen as a living, breathing cliché, as potential criminals and as cheap labour – or also as people? The four dancers open up a space with their movements in which other types of encounters become possible. And in which our own reflexes and prejudices come to the surface. How does it feel to suddenly be face to face with those from whom we are otherwise “protected”? And why have we suddenly tightened our grip on our belongings?

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