COMPANHIA URBANA DE DANCA
March 7, 2014
As a part of The Joyce Theater’s three-week festival of Brazilian Dance (February 26 – March 16), Companhia Urbana de Danca made their Joyce debut with a two-work program. The company, which features eight dancers – exhibited a versatility and range of expression, yet were at their best in their more solemn, contemplative moments.
The first piece, ID: Entidades, choreographed by artistic director Sonia Destrie Lie alongside the dancers, was a dark, aggressive work that incorporated elements of hip-hop and contemporary dance. Performing in often near-darkness, the company moved with a controlled violence, conveying a certain psychological disconnect in the communion of styles they have absorbed. A melting pot of ballet, Brazilian, and urban dance, there was a longing and detachment between the dancers that brought tension and depth to the piece.
Na Pista, however, was a more playful, theatrical work – set in what appeared to be a dance hall or club. In the piece, the dancers played a version of musical chairs before competing for the attentions of Jessica Nascimento, the ensemble’s only female member. The work enabled each dancer to express their individual style, acumen and abilities. As the more wild and open piece on the program, it gave a New York audience the opportunity to appreciate the mutability and comic side of this young, strong company.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Geoff Lokke