Compagnie Käfig fuses hip-hop, circus and martial arts Feb. 4 at Eisenhower

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Compagnie Käfig, a French dance company led by Mourad Merzouki and influenced by contemporary Brazil, makes its Penn State debut with two dances blending hip-hop, martial arts and circus skills. The company performs "Correria" and "Agwa" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

Artistic Director Merzouki brings together 11 dancers from Rio de Janeiro who are driven by a passion for movement and a determination to make a difference. The performers create a complex mix of street dance, capoeira and samba set to electronic music.

Tickets for the Center for the Performing Arts presentation are $38 for an adult, $15 for a University Park student and $28 for a person 18 and younger. Tickets are available online at or by phone at 814-863-0255. Outside the local calling area, dial 800-ARTS-TIX. Tickets are also available at four State College locations: Eisenhower Auditorium (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays), Penn State Downtown Theatre Center (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays), HUB-Robeson Center Information Desk (11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays) and Bryce Jordan Center (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays). A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

“This elixir de la danse, though billed as a hip-hop company, defies easy categorization,” wrote a Boston Globe critic. The program of two pieces, each choreographed by the troupe’s Lyon-based artistic director, Mourad Merzouki, in collaboration with the dancers, is not exactly a street spectacle brought indoors. Nor is it a formal dance concert. Rather, it’s a joyous hybrid of the two worlds … .”

"Correria" (2010), Portuguese for “running,” exposes audiences to a race just like the one that governs many people’s daily lives. The often-frenetic pace of the choreography accentuates the movement of legs — on the stage and through the air. "Agwa" (2008) uses water, a vital natural resource and a symbol of renewal as its point of departure, but the dance is really a celebration of vitality.

Watch a video preview of "Agwa" at

Audio description, which is especially helpful to patrons with sight loss, is available for this performance at no extra charge to ticket holders.

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a touring artist or a local expert, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity. Seating is available on a first arrival basis.

Penn State International Dance Ensemble Endowment sponsors the presentation.

Compagnie Käfig production photos for media use are available to download at

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Last Updated January 16, 2014