The Capoeira style performance of DanceBrazil at NYU’s Skirball Center was truly beautiful and invigorating.

The first piece, Ritmos, was very energetic and rhythmic, nearly voltaic. The dance was spiritual and adrenalizing. This first piece seemed very martial-arts based and was bold and captivating. Each dancer was always in harmony with their partner, and this pattern continued when there were two specific groups. There were amorous dances between a man and a woman then later playful competitions between the men for applause. Ritmos was filled with very impressive, fast steps which included flipping and punching that were always pleasing to the audience. Beautiful, strong lines added backbone to the dancing and made it seem all the more masculine. At times the dancing had animalistic, feral undertones that brought even more life to the piece.

The second piece was the world premiere of Inura. It was quite the opposite of the first piece, opening with a darker, strong tribal feeling that created a sense of mystery. The music along with the hypnotic, spiritual dancing made a jungle-like atmosphere. This piece seemed to focus more on human emotions that were mirrored perfectly throughout the body of each dancer. The playfulness of the first piece was gone and it was replaced with a feeling of lust and inner passion. Audacious costumes were also introduced, which you might think would have been distracting, but the opposite occurred. The dramatic, yet moveable costumes created characters in the dance and vivified the specific relationships between them. A specific character, dressed not in a physical costume but one made of light (a mirror beneath him that reflected the light shining down on him) brought more mystery and introduced a beautiful erotic tone. This second piece also had a decrease in martial arts influence and an increase in technique-driven dance. It worked because this piece had more elongated lines and a stronger romantic feel.

The costumes in both pieces, aside from the dramatic, character driven ones, were very open and bright. Most costumes were minimal and physique revealing. All the colors were loud and brilliant and electrified the dancing.

This performance of DanceBrazil was enlivening and stimulating. Each dancer had vehement passion behind every step; they pushed to fall even further into love with these two pieces. This performance was a true work of art and left me spellbound. Hours after the performance I was still replaying specific movements in my head: it was that wonderful. Once you see DanceBrazil, you are sure to not forget it.