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When Companhia Urbana de Dança made its US debut at New York Center in 2010, the eyes of even the most “been-there-saw-that” critics opened wide with amazement. Artistic director Sonia Destri Lie's boldly original mix of contemporary Brazilian dance and hip-hop infused both forms with new rigor, meditative one moment, explosive the next. Locating the true heart of hip-hop, Destri strips it of its east tricks, bringing it back to its original emotional depth, expressive rage, and poetic integrity.
Founded in Brazil in 2004/2005 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. 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 de Janeiro 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 family positioned in the most contemporary urban dance scene in Brazil and internationally.
About Sonia Destri Lie
Sonia Destri Lie is the artist and choreographer of Companhia Urbana de Dança. Receiving her degrees in both psychology and ballet has rendered her a unique perspective on human expression and human form. Destri had traveled throughout Brazil and Europe after completing her studies, working in dance, theatre, film, and musicals. It was then when she discovered hip-hop and b-boying dance. She had defined her unique and refreshing interpretation of these styles by infusing them with the rich cultural influences of Brazil and the favelas from within. Her works creatively embrace elements of hip-hop, b-boying, contemporary dance, and also Brazilian social dances. Destri's choreography has been cited as a significant contribution to the field of dance styles and the significances of sociocultural influences. Media and contemporary reviews of her performances are nothing short of spectacular. She received the Best Script Award by Ford Foundation, the Staging Award 2011 by the State of Rio de Janeiro for the show Eu Dança, the FADA Award by City Hall of Rio de Janeiro for the show Eu Dança, the FADA Award by the City of Rio de Janeiro (2012, 2013 and 2014) and the Best Choreography Award by Conseil International de la Danse (CID_Unesco).
Curriculum Connections for Grades 2-10
Social Studies, Dance, Team-building, Non-Verbal
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