Combining the classics of contemporary dance with the modern stylings of hip-hop, Brazilian dance troupe Companhia Urbana de Dança is set to bring its talents to Columbus as a part of the Wexner Center for the Arts’ multi-disciplinary Via Brasil movement.
Created in 2004, the Companhia Urbana de Dança features seven male members and a single female dancer, that perform to Brazil’s hip-hop sounds. The troupe is currently touring the United States, but is making a stop in Columbus to take part in the Wexner’s “Via Brasil” presentation, said Jennifer Wray, marketing and media assistant at the Wexner Center.
Wray said Companhia Urbana de Dança choreographer and creator Sonia Destri Lie was so inspired after her original trip to Columbus by the Via Brasil effort that she was willing to bring something previously unseen to the United States and specifically to Ohio’s capital city.
“This is the only time they’ll be performing this particular program and it will be the first time they perform this program in the United States,” Wray said. “Sonia was so taken in and excited with the Via Brasil project that she wanted to make this performance even that much more special.”
The production, only previously seen in Lie’s native Brazil, is to include eight solo pieces, one for each member of the group, therefore explaining the title of the performance: “EU Danço — 8 Solos No Geral” which translates to “I Dance – 8 Solos Overall” in English, Wray said.
As of right now, Wray said the show at the Capitol Theatre at the Riffe Center is nearly sold out, in large part because of resident assistants of the residence halls at Ohio State.
Liz Gordon-Canlas, OSU residence hall director at Drackett, said this performance would be a great event for RAs, in large part because of its exciting appeal and the specific values it incorporates.
“This event was selected because we feel confident it will offer an exciting and dynamic performance,” Gordon-Canlas said in an email. “It also touches especially on one of our four values, inclusion. In years past, we have done things like the symphony, opera, the ballet, etc … and we work to provide a different experience every year. We wanted to collaborate with the Wexner Center and this seemed like the perfect fit.”
Erik Pepple, spokesman for the Wexner Center, said the faithful dance-goers of Columbus also helped create buzz around the performance.
“We have a very loyal and involved audience for our dance performances and they’re always spreading the word about our dance lineup as well — so the anticipation for this has been out there from the start,” Pepple said. “It should be one of the major highlights of not just our ongoing Via Brasil project, but of our dance season as a whole.”
Wray said the Companhia Urbana de Dança will be enjoyed through many different lenses.
“People will approach this from a number of different perspectives,” Wray said. “Attendees there who are fans of dance, this will be a new way to experience it. If you’re a fan of hip-hop, this will give you the Brazilian influence. For people who have seen the exhibition or film series, this will provide yet another look into the art and culture in Brazil.”
The Capitol Theatre at the Riffe Center is located at 77 S. High St. The performance is set for Friday at 8 p.m. A limited amount of tickets are left, costing $11 for students and $23 for the public.