Although visually spectacular, the rambunctiousness of hip-hop dance can make it hard to transfer it from the street or dance club, where it can appear unfettered, to the formality of the stage, where its energy must be contained within bounds. One internationally successful attempt to theatricalize hip-hop is Compagnie Käfig, a French-based troupe of Brazilian dancers that’s bringing two productions for an all-male cast to the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.
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Each piece gains artistic shape by being focused on an overriding theme. “Correria” is based on the act of running, which can sometimes look funny and at other times turn emotionally powerful. The stage for “AGWA,” a tribute to water, is filled with hundreds of plastic cups, around which dancers perform increasingly virtuosic steps.
Mourad Merzouki, the troupe’s French director, has said that “käfig” can mean “cage” in both German and Arabic. But his structural cages free his choreographic imagination. (8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. next Sunday, Ted Shawn Theater, 358 George Carter Road, Becket, Mass., 413-243-0745, jacobspillow.org; $ 19-$ 69.)
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