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 http://cpa.psu.edu 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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fTtPrrKEPo.

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 http://cpa.psu.edu/press.

Find the Center for the Performing Arts on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pscpa.

Last Updated January 16, 2014