The Union Project Dance Company finds inspiration in great art. Since debuting in Miami last year, the company has performed pieces such as Demoiselles d’Avignon, drawing from the famous Picasso painting, and Dancing with Tom, set to the music of bossa nova great, Tom Jobim.
This weekend, choreographer Mariana Oliveira and her group takes another direction with a new work, Malemolência. This work is inspired Oliveira’s childhood experiences in the backlands of Northeast Brazil, called the sertão. The name of the piece comes from the local slang, and could be translated, according to Oliveira, as “swagger.”
So six dancers swagger as they embody the stories of life in the sertão. Keeping them going is a live six-piece orchestra playing forró, Brazil’s answer to country music, which comes from the same region. The music is conducted by Oliveira’s husband, Michael O. Hurwitz, the company’s musical director, composer, and songwriter.
But this is fun with a message. In Malemolência, Oliveira is trying to show part of her native country in a wide context. “Brazil’s Northeast is one of the poorest regions of my country, but also has amazing beauty,” says Oliveira. “I want to show the contrast and not just one side.”
Get your swagger on this Saturday, April 14, at 8 p.m. at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212-260 N.E. 59th Terrace, Miami. Tickets cost $20. theunionproject.webs.com