P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2002
September 12, 2002
DanceBrazil Brings High Energy Feats to MASS MoCA October 12 and 13
(North Adams, Mass.) Jack Anderson of The New York Times termed DanceBrazil's recent performance at the Joyce Theater as "an uninhibited celebration." Now this troupe of daring dancers and accomplished musicians comes to MASS MoCA for two performances, Saturday, October 12 at 8:00 P.M. and Sunday, October 13 at 2:00 P.M.
The unique choreography of DanceBrazil blends Afro-Brazilian dance and music traditions such as capoeira (a lively dance-martial art form) and samba with modern dance drawing upon links between these two distinct cultural phenomena. Rather than including capoeira moves as isolated stunts, Jelon Vieira, DanceBrazil's artistic director, weaves the steps into the overall choreographic texture. The Times suggests he is developing a new Brazilian contemporary dance style.
Co-presented with Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, at MASS MoCA DanceBrazil will perform "Canavial" ("Sugar Cane Fields") and "A Jornada" ("The Path"). Vieira explains that the first piece was inspired by memories of the sugar cane factory his father once managed. In the later, the dancers rise out of darkness into the light of day (and by implication freedom) with tumbling and acrobatic movements.
In addition to stunning dance, DanceBrazil's performance features original music performed live. For "A Jornada" Marcelo Zarvos's score contrasts melodies for strings with chiming and rattling percussion. "Canavial's" percussive score is by Toté Gira.
Vieira left Brazil, a country marked by poverty and political instability, in 1975 searching for a better life in the United States. Two years later he founded DanceBrazil and catapulted capoeira into American culture.
Capoeira is thought to have developed as a means of self-defense four centuries ago by Brazilian slaves. Forbidden to practice, the slaves disguised capoeira as a dance. Some say the moves - in which only head, hands, and feet touch the ground - were developed to avoid dirtying the white religious clothes worn by the slaves. Vieira says, "Capoeira is a game. It's a fight like a dance, a dance like a fight. Its not about winning or losing but who plays smarter."
DanceBrazil is sponsored by The Porches Inn.
Tickets for DanceBrazil are $34 orchestra and $29 mezzanine. In addition to regular adult tickets, there are special discounted tickets available for Sunday's family matinee. Special pricing of $22 is available for seniors and students and tickets for children under 16 are just $10. MASS MoCA members and Jacob's Pillow members and subscribers receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. daily. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
MASS MoCA 1040 MASS MoCA Way North Adams, MA 01247 413.MOCA.111 www.massmoca.org MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on a 13- acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA focuses on the work of visual and performing artists charting new territory.
For Immediate Release