In The Company of Beautiful People: Quorum Ballet At the Downtown Dance Festival

Nice thing about New York in August is that there are lots of outdoor art festivals offering free viewings. I of course have been attending as many of the little dance performances as I can. Many are by very small companies, and the works are brief. Here’s a troupe that caught my eye yesterday, Quorum Ballet from Lisbon, Portugal, who performed at Chase Plaza as part of the Downtown Dance Festival organized by Battery Dance Company.

Their movement style was what I’d call contemporary ballet mixed with modern — no toe shoes but some lovely balletic lifts — and in one piece I saw a smidgeon of Flamenco. Music was mainly poppy with a fun, solid beat.

Beautifully sexy movement, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a gorgeous group of dancers! It’s a small, very new company founded only in 2005, by choreographer and dancer Daniel Cardoso,

(how much does he look like Herman or Joaquin 🙂 — jumps not unlike them too!), who, along with lead dancer Theresa da Silva, was previously affiliated with seminal modern dance company Martha Graham. (The two are pictured above and below, in “Kismet,” my favorite, and the piece that, at least in its solo parts, reminded me of a balletic flamenco).

Here are some more pics from their other pieces:

My only qualm was that some of their lifts looked a bit too “trick-y” as in, you kind of felt like drum rolls should be preceeding them, similar to what I’ve seen at many of the exhibition dancesport competitions I’ve been to. Suits some people’s tastes but not mine, and I don’t think this company really intended for them to be that way, although maybe they felt they were playing to an audience unaccustomed to dance and felt like they should play up the showy aspects. And some of the lifts seemed a bit out of sync with the style. For example, the “bluebird” lift above (where da Silva is balancing on Cardoso’s shoulder, back arched), a typical ballet lift, seemed to me a bit at odds with the flamenco-y flavor of that dance. I would rather have seen more original parterning, specific to the dance style, such as that employed by Mimulus, which I wrote about earlier. But the solo and ensemble work were just gorgeous.

Cardoso had some beautiful pelvic and ribcage isolations going on. Very Latin 🙂

Okay, that’s all for now. Will likely be more to come depending on whatever else strikes my fancy in the next few days … 🙂


  1. I love the pictures!

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