Grupo Corpo - Pieces - Missa do Orfanato
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choreography: Rodrigo Pederneiras

music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

set design: Fernando Velloso

costume design: Freusa Zechmeister

lighting: Paulo Pederneiras

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choreography: Rodrigo Pederneiras

music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

set design: Fernando Velloso

costume design: Freusa Zechmeister

lighting: Paulo Pederneiras

Missa do Orfanato is an original choreography to “The Orphanage Mass”, written and first conducted by Mozart at the age of thirteen for the consecration of the Orphanage Church in Vienna in 1768. The choreography made its debut in 1989 and became one of Corpo’s masterpieces. It is a turning point in their career, bearing the first signs of the signature choreographic style Rodrigo Pederneiras would consolidate three years later, when 21 was created. Here Pederneiras turns the dancers into a wretched crowd, embodying the tragedy and misery of the human condition rather than the desire to praise the Lord prescribed by the Ordinary of the mass. In contrition the dancers portray the helplessness, fear, affliction, and loneliness of beings inherently and irrevocably worldly and transitory. In a ceaseless thrust upwards, their convulsed gestures simulate cries for mercy.


In earthy and ashen hues, Fernando Velloso’s scenery reminds us of the façade of a run-down cathedral whose magnificence still belittles the desperate souls begging for redemption on stage, reducing them to their mundane, petty dimension. Freusa Zechmeister designed costumes resembling regular clothing, made of flax and raw silk, aged and dyed in earthy and ashen hues. Dressed in them, the dancers look like an assemblage of age-old pilgrims. With gradations of white and yellow shades and stage smoke, Paulo Pederneiras envelopes the scenery in a glazing similar to the atmosphere of religious offices.


Missa do Corpo imagines a Calvary for humanity, but it also offers redemption and communion with the divine spirit to the dancers on stage and the audience through art from Corpo’s dazzling ballet and from an impressive score by a young Mozart.

missa do orfanato    1989
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