DanceBrazil New York City Season at The Joyce Theater
DanceBrazil New York City Season
The Joyce Theater
June 23 – July 3, 2015
DanceBrazil, under the direction of Jelon Vieira, presents its 38th Anniversary New York City Season at The Joyce Theater, June 23 – July 3, 2015. At each performance, DanceBrazil’s electrifying company will present the Joyce premiere of Malungos (2015) both featuring the company’s signature fusion of Capoeira, Afro-Brazilian Dance in a contemporary form and live music.
Tickets for DanceBrazil at The Joyce start at $10 and may be purchased on-line at joyce.org, by calling JoyceCharge at 212.242.0800 or purchased in person at the Joyce Theater’s Box Office, 175 8th Ave, Monday through Sunday, 12:00 noon to 6:00pm.
Choreography: Guilherme Duarte
Music: Leo Jesus & Mauricio Lourenço
Lighting: Gerard Laffuste
Costumes: Luciano Santana
The jogo de búzios, (throwing of cowrie shells), is an enigmatic and mystical game of divination that Brazilians inherited from their African ancestors. Today, many people who want to connect with their own spirituality have the cowrie shells thrown and read for them. In this work Duarte delves into the tension and curiosity inherent in this game and the role that it plays in everyday life in Brazil.
Choreography: Jelon Vieira
Music: Marquinho Carvalho
Lighting: Burke Wilmore based on original design by Gerard Laffuste
Costumes: Luciano Santana
Gueto is Jelon Vieira's testimony to the abiding vitality and humanity that sustain the people living in the many marginalized, disenfranchised communities in Brazil and around the world.
Malungos (Premiere 2015)
Choreography: Jelon Vieira
Choreographic Assistants: Guilherme Duarte & Janildo Alencar
Music: Luciano Salvador Bahia
Lighting: Burke Wilmore
Costumes: Zuarte Junior
Almost five million Africans were enslaved in Brazil, all of whom were part of the Atlantic Slave Trade. These individuals who were imprisoned in the galleys of the slave ships developed strong bonds with each other on their long and arduous journey. On the ships, fellow prisoners referred to each other as “meu (my) malungo” which connoted being a companion in the same condition, that is, of being enslaved. The malungos often formed small groups and with communal strength, would go to great lengths to protect each other and even die for each other. Although after abolition, the term disappeared from use, in this piece, Vieira explores the strength through unity and friendship that exists within Capoeira communities today and the undeniable influence the enslaved Africans had on Brazilian culture.
About the Company
In 1977, DanceBrazil was founded by Jelon Vieira after evolving from grass-roots workshops at the Clark Center for the Arts in NYC. Alvin Ailey joined the board of directors in 1980 and helped focus the objectives of DanceBrazil, emphasizing the company’s ability to speak to a broad North American community. Within a few years, DanceBrazil premiered at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. In 1985, DanceBrazil premiered Orfeo Negro at the Riverside Dance Festival to critical and popular acclaim. DanceBrazil has enjoyed annual New York City Seasons at The Joyce Theater followed by touring globally. For thirty eight years, DanceBrazil has thrilled audiences across the Unites States and throughout the world with its dazzling artistry, which is inspired by the cultural tapestry of Brazil. Whether in the streets or on stage in the most prestigious theaters, the dancers and musicians of DanceBrazil never fail to enthrall audiences with the company’s unique fusion of Afro-Brazilian movement, contemporary dance and Capoeira, the traditional dance/martial arts form that had its origins in Africa and evolved in colonial Brazil as a means of fighting enslavement.
Jelon Vieira, Artistic Director/Choreographer
In 2008, Jelon Vieira was awarded one of eleven National Heritage Fellowships, the country's highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. As founder and artistic director of The Capoeira Foundation and DanceBrazil, he and the late Loremil Machado were the first artists to bring traditional Afro-Brazilian dance and Capoeira to the United States over thirty years ago. He has devoted his life to sharing Afro-Brazilian culture with American audiences since 1977 when, together with Machado, he formed The Capoeiras of Bahia. That same year the late Alvin Ailey suggested he change the name of the company to DanceBrazil. It now makes over thirty years that Vieira has guided the company through breathtaking performances of Capoeira and Afro-Brazilian dance before audiences in Europe, Asia, and Brazil, as well as in the United States.
Mr. Vieira teaches Capoeira to people of all ages and from all walks of life in both Brazil and the United States. He has taught the soccer great Pele and American movie stars Wesley Snipes and Eddie Murphy. Although he resides in New York, Mr. Vieira spends several months a year in Brazil. One of his long term goals is to open a center for underprivileged children, using capoeira to build self-esteem and self-discipline and to begin moving these children off the streets and into the educational system and mainstream society.
In the United States, Mr. Vieira has taught in many residency workshops and has been a guest instructor at Yale University's African-American Studies Department and has also taught at many other universities and colleges including Oberlin College, Columbia University, Stanford University, Duke University and currently at NYU. He has worked with several American dance companies including Dance Theater of Harlem and Alvin Ailey. He has also worked closely with other cultural institutes in the United States such as the Caribbean Cultural Center in New York and the Carver Community Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas. In 1993, after a decade of collaboration between DanceBrazil and the Carver Cultural Community Center, Mr. Vieira and Carver Center Director Jo Long decided to create Ilê Bahia de San Antonio, the House of African-Brazilian Arts. The organization was incorporated in 1993 to establish a professional level instruction and training center in the African-Brazilian performing arts. Special emphasis is placed on training at-risk, minority youth in a positive and culturally affirming activity.
The Capoeira Foundation/DanceBrazil would like to acknowledge the generous support it receives from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, the Consulate General of Brazil, New York and in Brazil, the Instituto de Arte Urbana da Bahia (IABUA).
[Photo by Sharen Bradford]
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