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A co-presentation with The Joyce
175 Eighth Avenue (at the corner of 19th Street)
New York, NY 10011
Artistic Director Sonia Destri Lie discovered her passion for hip-hop and b-boying while working in Germany as a contemporary, classical ballet, and jazz instructor. For its 651 ARTS debut, the company performs two powerhouse works revealing the imaginative handiwork of a choreographer who “has dissected hip-hop and dismantled its trickery…to show how the dance form…could enter into the realm of art.” (The New York Times)
When Companhia Urbana de Dança | Sonia Destri Lie made its U.S. debut at New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival in 2010, the eyes of even the most been-there-saw-that critics opened wide with amazement. Destri’s boldly original mix of contemporary Brazilian dance and hip-hop infused both forms with rigor, meditative one moment, explosive the next. Locating the true heart of hip-hop, Destri strips it of its easy tricks, bringing it back to its original emotional depth, expressive range and poetic integrity.
Founded in Brazil in 2004 by dancer Tiago Sousa and choreographer and artistic director Sonia Destri Lie, Companhia Urbana de Dança is an ensemble of street performers working to foster the human experience through dance. Destri’s experiences traveling through Europe for work in theater and films exposed her to hip-hop and b-boy techniques. Highly influenced by Brazilian street forms, she began to integrate these techniques into her already established contemporary movement sensibility. Pulling from the favelas of Rio where many of her company members grew up, Companhia Urbana de Dança aims to transcend cultural boundaries, while showcasing eclectic skill sets.
The work of Companhia Urbana de Dança brings its dancers’ identities, testimonials and attitudes to the stage, and it does that with a carioca, Afro-Brazilian accent, which is nevertheless universal. The group is firmly positioned in the most contemporary urban dance scene in Brazil and internationally. It highlights the talents of young, black, and poor Brazilians in the modern world, from an affirming and pluralist stance.
The presentation of Companhia Urbana de Dança is made possible in part by a grant from the National Performance Network’s Performing Americas Program. Lead funding of the National Performance Network Performing Americas Program is provided by the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Supported by The R. Britton Fisher and Family Gift for International Dance.
This tour of Companhia Urbana de Dança is made possible through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.
Jessica Lynne and DéLana R.A. Dameron reflect on ways they make a home, creatively, wherever they are.