As we go on tour with The Shadow, choreographed by Anthony Missen, we meet the cast and introduce you to our amazing dancers. First in line is the outstanding dance artist, Gustavo Oliveira.
Drum roll please….
Hey Gustavo, so pleased you’re part of the Company for The Shadow. We’d love for you to tell our readers more about you and your dance background
So, I was born in Brazil, which is where I started my dance career. At a very young age I fell in love with capoeira, which is still one of my biggest influences when I move and teach. I became a Contramestre when I was a teenager and started studying dance and music around the same time.
I toured throughout South America with the first professional company that I was in, continuing my professional career in Portugal.
At the age of 19 I left Brazil to come dance for the CPBC (Vasco Wellenkamp) in Portugal, one of the best contemporary dance companies at that time. After working hard I became a soloist and stayed there for the next 15 years, getting to work with great choreographers, getting involved in choreographing myself and teaching the company dancers, as well throughout Portugal.
When the company closed, I started freelancing – guest dancing, teaching, judging for competitions and choreographing throughout Europe and America, whilst collaborating with great theatres, companies and schools.
Over the years I was awarded renowned prizes and in the past few years I have founded my own project-based company ‘Gustavo Oliveira Dance Project’, which has performed my work throughout Europe.
What’s the most rewarding thing about working in a company and as a collective?
I’m happy to be back with Company Chameleon as a company dancer, a collaboration I have always very much enjoyed. I think the most rewarding thing about working in a Company is having the luxury of doing what you love every day. After freelancing for many years, it’s great to be back, to have a regular schedule, work on things daily and see progress.
It’s a great environment with Company Chameleon, as there are many young dancers in the company (compared to me ;)) and everyone is really hungry to learn more, eager to do their work better every day and just grow together as a team.
I also get to teach the Company, which I love, because sharing what I do on a regular basis is another great aspect of living the company life, you get to see the progress.
What are you most looking forward to about taking The Shadow on tour?
I am looking forward to being back on stage!
It’s a great challenge for me to dive into the vocabulary of Anthony, which he has created for The Shadow and therefore I am just very happy to be able to prove to myself and to everyone that I am able to do it.
For me dance, has changed my life, coming from the favelas in Brazil, to being able to teach and perform worldwide – I never would have thought that possible.
Therefore, I am excited to have this opportunity, and as with any new challenge that I come across, I know I can overcome it. Every time we perform The Shadow, I will be able to get deeper into the movement, the character and working with my fellow dancers on stage, which is really exciting.
WATCH Gustavo’s incredible movement style in the video further down the page.
The Shadow tours the UK this Spring. Full tour dates below. Click here for booking.
Thu 10 Feb, The Place, London
Thu 24 Feb, The Arts Centre, Edge Hill University
Sat 14 May, Riley Theatre – NSCD, Leeds
Wed 18, Thu 19 & Fri 20 May, Chameleon Studios, Manchester (ticket booking live soon)
Thu 26 May, The Civic Barnsley
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Thank you to everyone who comes to watch us perform and for all your wonderful comments and feedback!