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Friday, Oct. 10, 2008

El Colegio del Cuerpo to show their moves

Staff writer

The Colombian contemporary dance group El Colegio del Cuerpo will show off its prizewinning style in the troupe's first-ever Japan performances on Oct. 29 and 30 in Tokyo.

News photo
School of body: Dancers of El Colegio del Cuerpo, one of the best contemporary dance groups in Latin America, will bring their dynamic performance to Japan for the first time on Oct. 29 and 30.

The group, whose name means "school of body" in Spanish, is based in Cartagena, a city on the Caribbean coast known for its tourism but also for the economic and social disparity among its residents. El Colegio's trip to Japan is being supported by the Colombian Embassy to commemorate 100 years of friendly relations with Japan.

The group was established in 1997 by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alvaro Restrepo, and many of the dancers come from Cartagena's poorest slums. Over the years, the group has given lessons in contemporary dance to children from these poor families and nurtured many dance careers.

El Colegio del Cuerpo is one of the best contemporary-dance companies in Latin America, according to the organizer. Among its awards are a prize by the Colombian Ministry of Culture in 2003, and an award from Portafolio, the country's largest economic newspaper, for the dance group's contributions to social welfare.

Their artistic and dynamic performance, incorporating modern styles and a mix of Spanish, African and indigenous traditions, has a reputation for overwhelming the audience.

El Colegio del Cuerpo will perform Oct. 29 and 30 at Rokko Kai, a two-minute walk from the North Exit of Shinbaba Station on the Keihin Kyuko Line (two local stops from Shinagawa Station). The doors open at 6 p.m. and the performance starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are ¥5,000 in advance or ¥5,500 at the door. For ticket information and reservations, call Salsa 120% at (03) 3463-3120. For information online about El Colegio del Cuerpo, go to www.elcolegiodelcuerpo.org (in Spanish)

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