Deborah Colker isn't your usual dancer-choreographer. Hers isn't the story of the toddler who could barely walk thrust into dance lessons and discovering the joys of being onstage.
"I used to be an athletic person [volleyball] and I used to study piano," she told Art Attack. "Also, I studied psychology at a university."
But she did eventually come to dance, and when she did, brought different ideas (including balls as part of some of her dances), none a better example of this than MIX, the long ago fusion of various dance programs the Brazilian choreographer had developed.
MIX has been performed around the world, showered with accolades and now is coming to Jones Hall, for the opening night of the Society for the Performing Arts' season on October 12 at 8 p.m.
MIX is composed of seven movements and as Colker told us, tries to get across different emotions and points as they "defy gravity" -- which is really the case in the "Mountaineering" segment when they do a no-harness performance on a climbing wall.
Other segments have names such as Machines, Fashion Show and Passion.
As SPA announced:
Colker was the first Brazilian awarded London's prestigious Lawrence Olivier Award in 2001 for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for MIX. She is also the first woman to direct for Cirque du Soleil, creating, directing and choreographing OVO in 2009. OVO made its Houston debut in 2011 and also featured a large climbing wall for its performers. In addition, Colker is a regular choreographer for Rio's famed annual festival, Carnival.
Colker's dance company is headquartered in Rio de Janeiro and because of the acclaim, has started to attract dancers from other countries, Colker said. The physical demands of her choreography (she no longer dances) mean some regular turnover of her dancers, which for her means another opportunity to tinker with MIX and other choreography she's done.
"Now the dancers are better and better. We are more established now," she said. "Dancers come from Cuba, Chile, Argentina. We are bigger when I did MIX. Also, my mind has been changing. I cleaned some moments I did make some changes."
"When we have something I like, we rethink the movement. It's impossible not to put my hand on it. I want to make better and better."
Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker will perform MIX on October 12 at 8 p.m. at Jones Hall. For ticket information, call 713-227-4772 or visit the SPA website. $35-$65.