Review: Dancing the night away with Brazilian Cia Suave

For her part, Ripoll created ‘Suave’ and focused on passinho, or ‘small step’, which involves brisk, seamless footwork; to dance derives from it. “cria”, Although uneven, it is worth seeing simply for the extended opening in which the dancers occupy the horizontal plane of the stage. Under the direction of DJ Pop Andrade, they cross the room with flying feet to pounding, percussive music. Heels barely glide across the floor. One performer flicked from foot to foot so quickly — and twisted his hips at searing speed — that it seemed his legs were knitted as one.

Amidst these snappy entrances and exits lies an utter devotion to form: a wild, full-bodied harmony in which the rhythm has no choice but to be ignited from the inside out. May Eassy – who, we learn later in the evening, also sings – whips her hair back and forth until it resembles a flame. As the performers etch their moves onto the stage, it’s clear that everyone has something to offer. Certain moments feel lifted out of underground parties or funk balls in Rio. But after the dazzling opening, it’s not always easy for this piece to regain its momentum and vigor.

The tone of the dancers can flip like a switch. When the music stops, as it does from time to time, the silence becomes a frame for their bodies in space. Hiltinho Fantástico, shirtless in green leggings, breaks off his footwork, balancing on one foot and then the other with a rippled torso. (Raquel Theo’s merry going-out costumes are meant to show skin.) He circles around the waist at breakneck speed; He later leans forward and rotates his shoulders while his head appears to be floating, like an alien trying to escape from a body.

As the music ebbs and flows, the dance transforms the stage from a heat — her embrace of eroticism has a cheeky sensuality — into something icier, with jerky, haunting rhythms and a darker atmosphere. The dancers celebrate their lithe, free bodies, but they also live with a different reality in Rio. Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro has encouraged police raids on favelas, where many black Brazilians live – and dance.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/31/arts/dance/review-dancing-the-night-away-with-brazils-cia-suave.html Review: Dancing the night away with Brazilian Cia Suave

Isaiah Colbert

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