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.

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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.”