Hip-hop life

Companhia Urbana de Dança in Rio. ©Companhia Urbana
Companhia Urbana de Dança in Rio. ©Companhia Urbana

Here is my Times feature on the Brazilian contemporary hip-hop ensemble Companhia Urbana de Dança, a group I’ve really enjoyed seeing ever since they appeared at Fall For Dance a few years ago. They’ll be performing at Jacob’s Pillow next week.

Spring 2014 DanceView

The Spring 2014 DanceView is out. Lots of good stuff, including Ilona Landgraf on Stutgart Ballet; Mary Cargill, Leigh Witchel, and Carol Pardo on the Royal Ballet on film; and yours truly on the NY winter dance season.


Check out…

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.”