The Companhia de Danca Deborah Colker will be one of the attractions at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ Final Draw, which takes place at Costa do Sauipe in Bahia on 6 December 2013. Considered one of the world’s leading contemporary dance groups, the company is led by Deborah Colker, who represents one of the cornerstones of Brazil and the Brazilian people: the power of innovation. In 2006, her show Maracana was one of the cultural highlights that took place around the FIFA World Cup in Germany, and in 2008, Deborah became the first woman to direct a production of Cirque du Soleil.
Deborah Colker has long been fascinated by the similarities between football and dance, and spoke exclusively to FIFA.com about her hopes for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final Draw.
FIFA.com: What does it mean to be part of a special moment for your country like the World Cup Final Draw?
Deborah Colker: It is a huge privilege. I‘m honoured to be representing Brazil at the event, because it’s more than just a draw – it’s a celebration, a sign of the great things to come. The World Cup is perhaps the biggest event on the planet, one that keeps people glued to their TVs all over the world. Nothing – not race, religion, politics, social differences or economic problems - gets in the way of people’s desire to watch and take part in the World Cup.
You often travel abroad with your dance company. Have you had the chance to experience a World Cup in another country?
I have, funnily enough. During the 2006 World Cup I was in Germany with our show Maracana. Then in 2010, I was in England during the South Africa World Cup, and we took televisions onto the stage to watch the games. It was amazing to see people’s reactions, how everything stopped for the World Cup. I have tried to capture football in my choreography before, but there are certain moments in the game that are impossible to reproduce.
What kind of situations?
One of the most difficult things to recreate is a goal, because there is nothing that really compares to it outside the game. The attention of an entire stadium is fixed on the ball. Imagine the size of the goalposts, the ball entering the goal, the players and the surroundings. How can you recreate the excitement of a goal? The movement of football is very simple. There are eleven players on each side, spread across the field. But at the same time it seems to represent something epic, something mythical. Football combines perfectly with opera, a tragedy of incredible intensity. On the other hand it goes well with samba too, or a song by Legiao Urbana. That is the beauty of football.
How would you describe the relationship between football and dance?
A newspaper once asked me to analyse twenty photos of football matches from the perspective of dance. When I looked at the photos I could clearly see the similarity between the dynamics of the two. Football is a major inspiration for my choreography, because what I do is very closely related to the sport. Football is such an intelligent game, but at the same time it is fun, and filled with passion, and athletic. The players are so physically well prepared these days.
What is your relationship with football?
I’ve been married to a few serious football fans. At the moment I’m married to a Tricolor [Fluminense] fanatic, but I’ve also been married to a Gremio fanatic and a Flamengo fanatic. I think that there are two sides to football. There is the national team, when people who say they don’t care about football suddenly start cheering for their country, and then there is club football, which is a more personal thing. At the moment I don’t support any one team, though I have a few secrets which I’m not going to reveal right now [laughs]. I’m a huge Neymar fan. There are two Argentinians in the company who talk about Messi all the time, so we are always winding each other up. I’m also a big Ronaldo fan. He even came to see one of our shows, at the peak of his career, at the Teatro Municipal. He had to sneak in in the dark, jumping from one VIP box to another. It was crazy. He wanted to talk to me on the way out, but it was impossible.
What can you tell us about your presentation at the Final Draw?
It is four minutes long, and is a very rhythmic, energetic presentation, in which I take things that happen in football and transform them into a breakdance style, a staccato, rhythmic movement. There is one moment when I act like I am a player in a table football game, like a machine, a kind of mechanical football. There are headers, shirt-pulling, a ball in human form, all following the rhythm of the dance. It is like taking the players and cutting and pasting them onto the stage. I like to joke that it is a bit like the substitute who spends the whole second half warming up and then comes on with just a minute left. If I had to define it in four words, it will be a spectacle of pure energy, motion, mechanics and joy. I am sure the players and ex-players at the ceremony will feel honoured.