Brazilian dancers storm New York
Sonia Destri’s Urban Dance Company (Companhia Urbana de Dança) amazed critics at their premier in the U.S. last fall. With originality and audacity, Destri created a mix of contemporary Brazilian dance and hip-hop, both using new forms with meditative and explosive moments. Destri managed to strike the true heart of hip-hop, not giving in to simple moves, but rather raising it back up to its original emotional, expressive and poetic nature.
In September, she was scheduled to present the American premier of “Chapa Quente” (hot plate, or confrontation in Brazilian slang) in which heated dance confrontations between police and local gangs erupt. In “Chapa Quente,” Destri created an imaginative and dramatic mixture of samba and hip-hop. The program was also to include “Id:Edtidades,” which had its premiere at the New York City Center last fall.
Sonia Destri started the Urban Dance Group in Brazil in 2004. After completing her studies in ballet and psychology, she traveled throughout Brazil and Germany, working in plays, dance shows, films and musicals. Her ideas on choreography changed radically when she was introduced to hip-hop and “b-boying” while she was in Europe. This exposure inspired her to create powerful works that united hip-hip and contemporary dance.
Destri has displayed her dances in Latin America, France (Hoptimum Festival, Biarritz Festival, Biennial LyonDance Festival), the U.S. (New York City Center), and several festivals and theaters throughout Brazil, including the SESPI SP Circuit and SESC. In January, 2011, the Urban Dance Company performed as part of the SuresnesCités Dance, the most important urban dance festival in France.