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DanceBrazil's artistry a delight

DANCEBRAZIL, Kingsbury Hall, Feb. 26

The audience was treated to a bit of beautiful Brazilian movement when DanceBrazil took the Kingsbury Hall stage on Friday.

The 12-dancer company premiered two strenuous works, choreographed by artistic director Jelon Vieira, that clocked in at about 35 minutes a piece.

What amazed the audience was the fact that the well-toned dancers never lost their energy. In fact, it seemed they could have easily danced another 30-minute work without losing their collective breaths.

While keeping elements of DanceBrazil's trademark martial-artistic capoeira fighting style, the works were inspired by contemporary dance.

The first work to hit the stage was a progressive number called "Banguela."

A real banguela is a special rhythm that helps calm down capoeira participants when the sparring gets too heated and serves as an interlude within the matches.

The slow deliberate movements in Vieira's "Banguela" — which were juxtaposed to the quick, high leaps and aggressive animalistic stances — only intensified the presentation Friday night.

The work shifted from ritualistic to celebratory to menacing to meditative in a few short minutes, thanks to smooth transitions.

In fact, those transitions kept the audience members' attention throughout the run and had everyone watching to see what movement or stance would come next.

After an intermission, the company presented "Memoria," which pays tribute to the African roots that are so much a part of Brazilian culture.

The piece combined dreamy, surreal steps with more lively leaps of faith and shuffles.

When the dancers jumped, it was as if they were trying to break the ties of gravity.

The effortless lifts and solos, duets and trios captured the Afro-Brazilian rhythms of northern Brazil.

This work, in particular, relied on lighting and abstract shadows to get its mood set right.

Instead of being totally focused on which step would come next, the dancers charmed the audience by flashing a quick smile or menacing stare.

For the audience, the two works ended much too soon, and by the sound of the hearty applause and cheers, it was evident that the audience wanted more.

So, there's a good chance DanceBrazil will be back. Let's hope so.