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Portuguese Fado and Chinese modern dance

By Zhang Qian   (Shanghai Daily)

09:02, April 28, 2012

"Correr O Fade" ("Run the Fate") will be presented by Portugal's Quorum Ballet.

A FADO dance drama from Portugal and an abstract modern dance with elements of Tibetan Buddhism will be performed in coming weeks as part of Shanghai's Spring International Music Festival.

Fado (originally meaning fate) is mournful, powerful urban folk music, which will be performed in "Correr O Fado" ("Run the Fate") by Portugal's Quorum Ballet at Shanghai Oriental Art Center on May 11. This is the first time it will be performed in a contemporary dance production.

Fado originated in Portugal in the 19th century and usually involves a vocalist and guitar or mandolin, similar to flamenco dance. The subjects are usually the hard lives of ordinary people and relationships between men and women.

Choreographer Daniel Cardoso says he had been thinking about creating a rich work closely related with Portuguese culture and was inspired by Fado, which he heard on the streets during his childhood.

"Every note brings back memories," he says. The performance will include Fado singers, Portuguese guitar and band to present "pure, original Fado music," he says.

The balance between dance and music is a key to the performance's success, according to Cardoso.

"I do pick music for certain choreographic moves, and I also adapt the dance part for the music as well to present the best result," he says.

Since Portugal is a seafaring nation, the set will include various water elements. Changeable lighting will add color to the stage, creating a kind of water world.

"Because Portugal is close to the sea, we have a special feeling for water," Cardoso says. "Water nurtured Portuguese's passion and optimism and through water, we spread our culture to China, India and South America."

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