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Dance by Dance

Deborah Colker is as animated in life as she is on the stage.

A director and choreographer with a more than 30-year career, Colker grew up in Brazil to Russian immigrant parents who gave her the Jewish education that she says allowed her to pursue dance and create art. Colker was the first woman to direct for Cirque du Soleil — her creation “OVO,” which means “egg” in Portuguese, premiered in Montreal in May, and will travel to New York in 2010.

Her latest work to land at the feet of a New York audience is “4×4,” a high-energy romp that intersperses visual art (paintings, ceramics) with the 17-person company’s classically rooted, if punky, choreography. The enthusiastic Colker could not stay behind the curtain if she tried; she dances in one number, and plays the piano in another. The performance recently completed a short run at City Center.

While in New York, Colker recently stopped by the Forward’s studio to discuss her choreography, depicted in this audio slideshow:

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