is a Berlin-based
contemporary dance collective
the Brazilian choreographer
Ricardo De Paula
Concrete and parks full of harsh contrasts of lived realities right next to each other, high pace of daily life, and little looking back in the streets, islands of self-organization, and art arising from the margins: Berlin seems to be a miracle ever suspended in a vertigo caused by rapid changes and a soft melancholy that only a few years back everything has been different. As a dramatic and vivid city where people with very different cultural and social backgrounds come together, Berlin has always been an undercover protagonist in the work of Grupo Oito. Whereas the city has been the scenery to some work, its political urgencies are crucial questions dealt with in other artistic projects.
Grupo Oito works in the free scene and, as an intercultural conglomerate, is committed to displaying plurality on Berlin’s stages. Since its foundation, Grupo Oito works with dance, theater, and video to develop approaches towards political questions: The collective researches the relationship between the individual and contemporary society and is especially interested in how this relationship is racialized and gendered.
lay at the heart
and political resistance
of the work.
In the work of Grupo Oito, the body is understood as a site where inscriptions of social identities meet and intersect. Based on these inscriptions the body is legible – or rather the body is thought of as being legible. Dance can be an approximation to the physical manifestations of the conditions we live in and reveal stereotypical images of the body and their significations. And yet, the dancing body makes tangible what is before and beyond those norms by putting at stake its specific physicality, sensitivity, limits, and, occasionally, its unexpected strength. Dance can be a tool to destabilize what is taken for granted. It can open up spaces for dancers and audience alike to make sensorial and aesthetic encounters with different perspectives on the body and the society it moves through. Dance can be a powerful practice to manifest the political potential of the body in the ways it moves, and especially in the ways it encounters others and interacts and creates together.
These politics build the foundation for the Get Physical Process, a movement practice developed by Ricardo De Paula. Techniques from Contemporary Dance, Capoeira Angola, Body Mind Centering, and Contact Improvisation flow into this method and create a unique practice that makes the body stronger, more resilient, and more sensitive while being respectful about its history and peculiarity. The Get Physical Process aims at creating encounters between bodies, opening up spaces for a multiplicity of bodily knowledge to be shared and nourished, and for political and artistic development to be manifest in movement.
Grupo Oito researches modes of discrimination, especially racism, from a postcolonial and feminist perspective, developing practices of resistance and empowerment. The members of the collective have diverse cultural, social, and artistic backgrounds and hence bring varied, multifaceted voices and bodies to the studio and to the creative processes.