Review: Sem Mim & Ímã (Grupo Corpo/Harbourfront Centre World Stage)

Harbourfront Centre in Toronto plays host to a dance production full of fervour and playfulness

I don’t even know where to begin with this piece. I’m always impressed with the Harbourfront Centre World Stage series, but I have to say the productions are getting more innovative with each passing year.

Last night’s production of Sem Mim & Ímã performed at the Fleck dance theatre at the Harbourfront Centre is in a category of its own! Travelling all the way from Brazil, Grupo Corpo, translated to “Body Group” in English, is a phenomenal world-renowned company founded in 1975 by a clearly creative genius, Paulo Pederneiras.

The first dance piece set the stage for an awe-inspiring evening. Ímã, is an hour of non-stop indefatigable strength and energy. Fresh and playful, this piece combines solos, duets and larger group numbers.

Complimenting the extraordinary ensemble of 22 dancers is Pederneiras multi-coloured LEDs as the fiery backdrop to the Brazillian inspired samba music, with blends of African and Japanese melodies intertwined.

Although the dancers brilliantly use their incredible athletic bodies as the instruments and vessels of this piece, artistic director, Pederneiras is a driving force in this production. His strength lies in his concept. His fine taste for aesthetic beauty which is evident in his minimalistic set design in the second half of the show titled, Sem Mim, which reads like a fine piece of modern architecture. His lighting effects are just as stellar!

Limber and lyrical, the dancers execute Rodrigo Pederneiras original choreography effortlessly, even two hours later! Both pieces are perfect contrasts. Ímã, as diverse and as beautiful as Brazillian culture, is fast paced, exploring the nature of magnetism in which dancers attract, repel and unify.

In Sem Mim, translated to “without me”, dancers take us on a journey of evolution from sea to earth with their flowing and organic-like movements. Their tattooed costume pieces created by Freusa Zechmeister added to the tribal-like atmosphere without being overly cliche.

I feel that although each dance show in the Harbourfront Centre World Stage series is unique, Sem Mim & Ímã is particularly extraordinary. From the technically fierce dancers of Grupo Corpo to the overall production value, Sem Mim & Ímã takes modern dance and ballet to new heights. It will leave a lasting impression for years to come.


Sem Mim & Ímã presented by Grupo Corpo will be playing at the Fleck dance theatre on the 3rd Floor, Queens Quay Terminal, 207 Queens Quay West at the Harbourfront Centre from February 21st-February 23rd at 8pm.

-Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 416-973-4000.

Photograph provided by Jose Pederneiras