Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Event Slides Per Node

  • Nine members of Compagnie Käfig wear clear rain smocks as they dance on stage.
  • Shirtless Compagnie Käfig male dancer wears black pants and sneakers as he performs on stage in sitting position.
  • Six members of Compagnie Käfig stand on stage in background as one member does backflip on stage.

Compagnie Käfig
Correria / Agwa

7:30 pm Tuesday, February 4, 2014

“What do you get when you mix one Frenchman trained in circus skills, martial arts, and hip-hop with eleven male street dancers from Rio de Janeiro’s notoriously perilous shantytowns?” asks a Boston Globe critic. “The answer is Compagnie Käfig, a.k.a.: the cure for pretty much anything that ails you. This elixir de la danse, though billed as a hip-hop company, defies easy categorization. The program of two pieces, each choreographed by the troupe’s Lyon-based artistic director, Mourad Merzouki, in collaboration with the dancers, is not exactly a street spectacle brought indoors. Nor is it a formal dance concert. Rather, it’s a joyous hybrid of the two worlds … .” Correria (2010), Portuguese for “running,” exposes audiences to a race just like the one that governs many people’s daily lives. The often-frenetic pace of the choreography accentuates the movement of legs — on the stage and through the air. Agwa (2008) uses water, a vital natural resource and a symbol of renewal, as its point of departure, but the dance is really a celebration of vitality. “Hundreds of clear plastic cups serve both as brilliantly simple set design — the cups are neatly placed in vertical strips across the stage, or stacked like fragile sculpture — and as props juggled precariously, like uprightly undulating Slinkys,” the Globe reviewer observes. “The dancers — standouts, all of them — are gleeful and charming when they groove and slide, and simply jaw-dropping when they pitch and fly.” Merzouki, a native of Lyon, began learning martial arts and circus skills at age 7. By 15, he had discovered hip-hop and started exploring various kinds of dance. He created Compagnie Käfig in 1996.

Penn State International Dance Ensemble Endowment

This tour of Compagnie Käfig is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Adult $38
University Park Student $15
18 and Younger $28

Create your own Choice series — and receive a 10-percent discount — by purchasing together tickets to four or more Center for the Performing Arts presentations.

Program Notes: 
Artist Websites: 

Audio Description

Audio Description logo

Audio description, which is especially helpful to patrons with sight loss, is available for this performance at no extra charge to ticket holders.

Secondary Events on Each Event

Dance Master Class

3:30 pm Monday, February 3, 2014

132 White Building

The public is welcome to observe as a Compagnie Käfig troupe member teaches an intermediate- and advanced-level dance class at University Park. Elisha Clark Halpin, head of the dance program at Penn State, facilitates the 75-minute session.


Artistic Viewpoints

6:30 pm Thursday, February 6, 2014

Eisenhower Auditorium Conference Room

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring choreographer's assistant Astrid Toledo, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.