Mimulus’ evening-length work, Dolores, inspired by characters in films by Pedro Almodóvar opened the festival with a voyeuristic look at dance. Jomar Mesquita and the collaborative team of dancers (Alexandre Tadra, Andrea Pinheiro, Fabiana Dias, Lorena Horta, Paula Pazos, Rodrigo de Castro and Samuel Samways) tell stories by groping body parts, kissing whoever is nearby or deconstructing salsa or the tango. In one exquisite duet danced by Mesquita and a female dancer , her leg pierces through or glides between both of his, a wad of her hair or an ankle helps to execute a turn, and, sensuously a hand grabs a button-down shirt for support after a head trails off a chest. They danced to Jacques Brel's Ne Me Quitte Pas. Each dancer’s command for movement clearly surpassed the many provocative and sometimes funny mini-stories.
Artistic director, Sonia Destrie Lie deconstructs popular dance forms for Urbana, and she is good at it. ID:ENTIDADES (2009 ) is just one example. This dark work, visually (lights show bodies cut in half) and conceptually (life in the favelas-slums of Brazil), show the seven men and one woman telling tacit movement stories through a blend of hip-hop and dance/theatre configurations. A shirt-less man stands popping and locking; ripples running through his upper body, on one side of the stage, while a pair, seated on the other side watches and mimics, with abbreviated look-alike gestures. The fun-filled Na Pista, on the other hand was lighter, beginning with a round of musical cheers, and followed by a nice splattering of b-boying, house, hip-hop dance and more. Cutting both works, by just 10 minutes would have been perfect.
The evening-length As Canções Que Você Dançou Pra Mim (Songs You Danced For Me) to the music of Brazilian singer-songwriter Roberto Carlos, choreographed by director Alex Neoral for Focus is remembered for the “four-minute-long-kiss.” Great, but, what must also be noted is how the dancers managed a seriously complicated duet of lifts, spins and balances during this famous kiss. Here again, the dancers master the art of dancing, this time with chairs as partners and make it all look so casual and easy.
More nice dancing abound in DanceBrazil’s Fé do Sertão (2013) and Gueto (2014) by artistic director Jelon Vieira, and Búzios (2014) by company member Guilherme Durate. Special mention must be given to Willians Ferreira for the graceful way he executes minimal movement during is too brief solo in Búzios. More please. We can always count on Viera and DanceBrazil to deliver exceptional live music and captivating capoeira.