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Companhia Urbana de Dança, by  Renato Mangolini.
Companhia Urbana de Dança, by Renato Mangolini.

Gia Kourlas’s interview with Sonia Destri, the founder of Companhia Urbana de Dança, a company of young  dancers from Rio currently performing at the Joyce as part of a Brazilian dance festival at the Joyce. And go to the Joyce if you can. Destri’s choreography is strong and spare, and the dancers are wonderful: varied, incredibly direct, and vibrant.

Here’s what I wrote about them in The Faster Times when they came to Fall for Dance in 2010:

“Lastly came Companhia Urbana de Dança, from Brazil, made up of beautiful, wild-haired young men from the rougher neighborhoods of Rio. They performed “ID: entidades,” a suite of deconstructed hip-hop, street-dance, and contemporary- dance miniatures set to an extremely spare electronic score consisting of sounds and the odd driving rhythm. This was no “Bring in ‘da Noise” or “Stomp”-style showcase however, but rather a dark, introspective meditation on the dancers’ ways of moving. Each had his specialty—fast-footwork, isolations, fluid movements of the torso and arms. In between, they ran, clashed, embraced. There was a contained aggression in their movements, but also refinement and a kind of innocence.”

NYCB Goes Back to Basics

Sterling Hyltin and Robert Fairchild in the second "aria" of Stravinsky Violin Concerto.
Sterling Hyltin and Robert Fairchild in the second “aria” of Stravinsky Violin Concerto.

The company ended its season in the key of Balanchine, with a strong program of black-and-white ballets: Concerto Barocco, The Four Temperaments, and Stravinsky Violin Concerto. All in all, it was a smashing performance, with the usual highs and lows. Right now, Violin Concerto is in the best shape of the three, with dancing so sharp it made me laugh with glee more than once. Here’s my review, for DanceTabs.