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Press Releases Walker Art Center Presents Brazilian Hip Hop Dance Company Companhia Urbana De Danca Performing Na Pista and ID: Entidades

“Companhia Urbana de Dança is so wonderful that it seems miraculous.” —New York Times

Minneapolis, March 10, 2014— Freely mixing urban street styles, social dances, and thought-provoking contemporary vocabulary, the audacious and dynamic Companhia Urbana de Dança unleashes startlingly new forms for a truly moving experience Thursday–Saturday, March 27–29 at 8 pm in the William and Nadine McGuire Theater. Composed of eight immensely talented young dancers from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro on their first US tour, this poetic and explosive company stuns with stamina-testing solos and jaw-dropping group movement that defies the limits of physicality while retaining choreographic rigor. Alternately mesmerizing and rippling with adrenaline and raw energy, these two works conceived and choreographed by director Sonia Destri Lie explore the cultural roots of Brazil and the gritty life stories of the dancers themselves.

Companhia Urbana de Dança
Directed by Sonia Destri Lie, Companhia Urbana de Dança is a unique dance group with roots in hip-hop, urban and contemporary dance. The company has a particular artistic, urban expression of socialization.

This young, bold company has invented a new choreographic language with their own specialized vocabulary. They work on developing recognition of Brazilian cultural roots and to dialogue with the contemporary trends of urban dance, as well as cultural pride. Sonia Destri Lie created the Brazil-based dance group Companhia Urbana de Dança in 2005. After completing her degree in ballet and psychology, Sonia Destri Lie traveled throughout Brazil and Germany working in theater, dance, films, and musicals. Her ideas about choreography radically changed when she was introduced to hip-hop and “b-boying” while she was in Europe. This exposure inspired her to create powerful work that joins hip-hop and her background in contemporary dance.

Since its creation in 2005, the Company has performed in numerous locations abroad, including Biennales de la Danse de Lyon, France (2006, 2008); Festival de Biarritz, France (2008); Festival Hoptimum, Hangar23 in Rouen, France (2010); Suresnes cités danse, Paris (2011); Fall For Dance, New York City Center (2010); Peak Performances, Alexander Kasser Theatre at Montclair University, N.J. (2011); Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Beckett, Mass. (2013); Festival de Riccione, Italy (2012); and Teatro Lido, Medellin, Colombia (2009). The Companhia Urbana de Dança performs often throughout Brazil in many well-known theaters and festivals including Panorama de Dança and Plataforma de Dança. www.companhiaurbanadedanca.com.br

Tickets to Companhia Urbana de Dança are: Thursday, $20 ($16 Walker members); Friday–Saturday, $25 ($22) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600

Make a Night of It!
Balcony Bar

Meet the artists, talk about the show, and enjoy drinks on the upper balcony of the elegant William and Nadine McGuire Theater. Open one hour prior to and after most performances. For details, visit walkerart.org.

Related Events

Art School: Dance

Sunday, March 23, 2 – 3 pm
Walker Cinema
$5 (free for Contributing-level members)

A Program for Walker Art Center Members Part of Companhia Urbana de Dança, Art School: What the %#@! Is Contemporary Art? Come to understand the contemporary forms of world dance and hip-hop that influence the dynamic Brazilian group Companhia Urbana de Dança in advance of their performances at the Walker the following weekend. After the program, participants are invited to take part in Study Hall, a facilitated small group discussion.

Art School demystifies contemporary art by putting it into context—culturally, historically, and personally. Through short, succinct sessions, you’ll come to understand what the fuss is all about—and even feel like a connoisseur yourself. This program for Walker members is copresented by the University of Minnesota Departments of Art and Art History.

To Register: Registration is required online at members.walkerart.org, by e-mail to membership@walkerart.org

Dance Master Class: Urban Dynamics
Saturday, March 29, 11 am
William and Nadine McGuire Theater
$10 ($6 Walker members)

Get set to sweat with director Sonia Destri Lie and members of Companhia Urbana de Dança in this fun exploration of the contemporary vocabulary of Brazilian dance—from hip-hop to social dance styles. This playful movement workshop on the McGuire stage is open to all levels of experience; capacity: 50 participants.

This tour of Companhia Urbana de Dança is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and 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.

The Walker Art Center’s Dance Season is sponsored by Pine River Capital Management LP.

Walker Art Center Performing Arts
The Walker Art Center’s performing arts programs are made possible by generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation through the Doris Duke Performing Arts Fund, the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Producers’ Council
Performing Arts programs and commissions at the Walker are generously supported by members of the Producers’ Council: Russell Cowles; Sage Cowles; Nor Hall and Roger Hale; King’s Fountain/Barbara Watson Pillsbury and Henry Pillsbury; Emily Maltz; Dr. William W. and Nadine M. McGuire; Leni and David Moore, Jr.; Mike and Elizabeth Sweeney; and Frances and Frank Wilkinson.

Companhia Urbana De Danca

Photo: Renato Mangolin