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An International Passport Presentation
Sunday, March 10, 7:30pm    

Strength – Flexibility – Speed. Prepare to be amazed with the company’s unique fusion of Afro-Brazilian movement, traditional and contemporary dance, Capoeira, and traditional martial arts based upon the music and dance of Brazilian culture. (*San Diego Symphony does not appear.)


  • Performance by Brazilian ensemble Nos de Chita

DanceBrazil patrons! Symphony Restaurant Partner La Gran Tapa is making a special offer just for you, CLICK HERE for all of the details!






Choreography: Jelon Vieira

Music: Tote Gira

Lighting: Marcelo Moacyr

Costumes: Jorge Alberto

Rehearsal Director and Choreographic Assistant: Jamildo Alencar




Jamildo Alencar, Junior Costa (aka Frajola), Nara Couto, Willians Ferreira, Jorlan Gama,

Jadson Nascimento (aka Sorriso), Luiz Alberto Santana (aka Vagalume), Joely Silva,

Alisson Augusto Silveira (aka Pião), Arismar Souza Junior, Kamilah Shownté Turner (aka Bambi)


The spiritual preparation that capoeiristas undertake before a roda is daunting; the game itself, intricate and dangerous. The resulting camaraderie is tremendously rewarding, but also very intense. Thus the Banguela, a special rhythm played to calm down the capoeiristas when their play in the roda gets too heated. It is an interlude within the game. Both the Banguela rhythm and the players' actions are technical and strategic. This interlude also offers capoeiristas an opportunity to bring mandinga into play. The word means "magic" or "spell," but in Capoeira it also conveys sneakiness and the ability to trick an opponent. The action is usually low to the ground and includes fakes, balances, speed and acrobatic movements. For both capoeiristas and audience: mesmerizing. This is Banguela.






FÉ DO SERTÃO (Premiere)


Choreography: Jelon Vieira

Music: Marquinho Carvalho

Lighting: Michael Korsch                                         

 Costumes: Jelon Vieira

Rehearsal Director and Choreographic Assistant: Jamildo Alencar



Jamildo Alencar, Junior Costa (aka Frajola), Nara Couto, Willians Ferreira, Jorlan Gama,

Jadson Nascimento (aka Sorriso), Luiz Alberto Santana (aka Vagalume), Joely Silva,

Alisson Augusto Silveira (aka Pião), Arismar Souza Junior, Kamilah Shownté Turner (aka Bambi)


Sertão is a largely rural area of Northeastern Brazil with an extremely arid climate punctuated by a very brief growing season, but the strong faith and close-knit families and communities see the people through the many lean months. Fé do Sertão offers a glimpse into this often difficult but rich way of life and also a centuries-old related celebration. On June 24th, everyone gives thanks to the end of the rain, the precious corn harvest and the beginning of "winter" near the equator with the Festival of São João (St. John). Originally introduced by the Portuguese during the colonial period, the namesake festival is still a major event of the year.


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, a state agency, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Instituto de Arte Urbana da Bahia (IABUA).





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. For the last 36 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.



In 2008 Jelon Vieira was awarded one of 11 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 30 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 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 and Duke University. 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.



JAMILDO ALENCAR (Dancer) was born in 1983 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, where he began his dance career with the study of Capoeira. In 1996 he worked with the Projeto Axé; in 1999 he joined the Gicá Young Dance Company directed by Marcelo Moacyr ; in 2001 he joined the Balé Teatro Castro Alves. He has been with DanceBrazil since 2008.


JUNIOR COSTA (Capoeirista – aka Frajola) was born in São Paulo, SP, Brazil, and began his Capoeira training in 1996 with a neighborhood group where he eventually became an assistant instructor. He later studied with Contra Mestre Guerreiro, Mestre Apache and most recently with Mestre Jelon. He has much experience teaching children Capoeira, has participated in many Capoeira competitions, winning the championship of the Goias Cup in 2007 and 2008.


Nara Couto (Dancer) was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, but grew up in Switzerland. At 17, she joined Bale Foclórico da Bahia where she trained with José Carlos Arandiba (Zebrinha), the director of Balé Folclórico da Bahia and joined the company in 1999. She has also worked with many of the popular Brazilian singers including Gilberto Gil, Margarete Menezes, Matthew Hallelujah, Lazzo Matumbi, Araketu, Ivete Sangalo and Daniela Mercury. She is a Pilates teacher and also sings with the Orquestra Afro Sinfônica. For Nara, art is knowledge in search of a better life condition.


Willians Ferreira (Dancer) began studying dance in public school where he learned the basics of jazz and ballet. He then was accepted into FUNDAC (High School for Performing Arts) where he studied Afro-dance and contemporary dance for four years, while continuing his ballet training. While he was at FUNDAC, he had the opportunity to travel to the U.S. His dancing has also taken him to Turkey, Greece and Austria.


JORLAN GAMA (Dancer) was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, and began his study of dance at Project Living with the Arts Foundation Cultural Institute (ICEIA). He continued his dance training at the FUNCEB, a high school for the performing arts. In 2011 he danced with Sarau do Brown (Carlinhos Brown) and also participated in the selective Grand Prix in Santos, São Paulo and the American Grand Prix in New York with Lúmina Dance Company.


JADSON NASCIMENTO (Capoeirista –aka Sorriso) is 26 years old and started studying Capoeira when he was ten. He joined Balé Folclórico da Bahia in 2007 and performed with the company until 2010. This is his second year with DanceBrazil. 


LUÍZ ALBERTO SANTANA (Capoeirista – aka Vagalumewas born in Encarnaçào de Salinas, Bahia, Brazil, where he studied Capoeira with Mestre Jelon in a special program created by the Instituto de Artes Urbana da Bahia and DanceBrazil. Mr. Santana holds the rank of Instructor, and today he is the leader of Instituto de Artes Urbana da Bahia under the supervision of Mestre Jelon. In 2005 he began working with DanceBrazil as an understudy and participated in a conference for young people organized by UNICEF in Trinidad. He has been a special guest at Project Exchange in Bahamas, danced with Balé Folclórico da Bahia and also performed in the closing ceremonies at the 2012 Olympics in London. This makes Mr. Santana's eighth year with DanceBrazil.


Joely Silva’s (Dancer) dancing career started in 2004 with her studies at the Liceu de Artes e Ofícios da Bahia and the Escola de Dança da Fundação Cultural. She has danced with Folkloric Show Coliseum, Ballet Folclórico of Bahia, Jorge Silva Dance Company, Ballet of the Teatro Castro Alves, Robson Correia Dance Company and Interart. She toured with Brazilian music star Ivete Sangalo for two years and also appears on one of her CDs. This is her first year with DanceBrazil.


ALISSON AUGUSTO SILVEIRA (Capoeirista – aka Piãowas born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, where he started his Capoeira training at the age of four with Mestre Jelon. As well as performing with DanceBrazil, Mr. Silveira has toured internationally throughout Europe and Africa with popular performing group Magic Life as a Capoeira solo performer. He has been a special guest at Project Exchange in Bahamas and has appeared on the Miami TV program, South Beach Towing. This is Mr. Silveira’s third year with DanceBrazil.


ARISMAR SOUZA JUNIOR (Dancer) is from Salvador, Bahia. His dance training includes four years of study with Bale Folclórico da Bahia in Salvador. He has also toured internationally with the company for two years. For the last three years, he has toured with pop singer Daniela Mercury. This is his second year with DanceBrazil.


Kamilah Shawnté Turner (Dancer) was born in Oxford, England but grew up in Virginia where she began her dance training at Diggs School of Dance. She attended college at the North Carolina School of the Arts but received her BFA from Alvin Ailey/Fordham University. She apprenticed with Urban Bush Women and performed with the national tour of Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida. She danced with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble for five years.  She has also studied Capoeira for five years with Capoeira Luanda, instructed by Gaviao and Graduado Vampiro.


TOTE GIRA (Composer) is from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, where he started his career as a musician at the age of 15 playing percussion in his neighborhood. He gained a reputation as a composer through his group Ilê Aiyê. Popular Brazilian singer Daniela Mercury recorded one of his songs, “Canto da Cidade” which was a commercial success in Brazil. His first album, Pivete, was a result of his first collaboration with Jelon Vieira for an hour-long dance work of the same name. Through his work with DanceBrazil, he has received commissions from Meet the Composer, The Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust Live Music for Dance program, as well as a commission from the American Music Center Live Music for Dance program for Retratos da Bahia. Mr. Gira was also invited to be an artist-in-residence at the University of Florida in Gainesville.


MARQUINHO CALVALHO (Composer) was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. In the early 90s he began his career as musical director conducting Choir Devir, a vocal group that made a remarkable impression in the cultural scene of Bahia with the performance-show Coro de Palhaços (The Clowns Choir). During that same period he directed Os Cafajestes (The Trade Daddies). He composed the original soundtrack for the documentary Vento Leste (Eastern Wind), the 2011 prize winner for best documentary at the 38th International Cinema Journey of Bahia. In 2011 he also was the musical producer for Prêmio Brasken. Marquinho Carvalho has won the following prizes: 1992 Troféu Caymmi for best Musical Direction for Coro de Plhaços; 1992 prêmio Sharp for best Brazilian Musical for Os Cafajestes; and in 1998 was nominee for the Prêmios Shell and Troféu Mambembe for best dance performance original soundtracks. Since 2004 he has been partner-director and main musical producer of Bompracaramba, a firm specializing in sound design and production of soundtracks for Cinema, Theatre and Advertising. 


MICHAEL KORSCH (Lighting Designer) is a lighting and scenic designer based in Philadelphia, PA, where he graduated from Temple University with a BA in Theatre. Michael has worked with numerous directors and choreographers, creating visual designs for dance and theatre throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. In addition to his continuing work as a freelance designer, he has been the resident lighting/scenic designer and technical director for Complexions Contemporary Ballet since 1998 and the resident lighting designer for Ballet Arizona since 2001. Other companies for whom Michael has designed include the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Disney Creative Entertainment, English National Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Staatsballett Berlin and Washington Ballet among many others.


Joe Doran (Lighting Supervisor/Technical Director) recently worked as assistant lighting designer on Broadway tours of Anything Goes, West Side Story and In the Heights. He also designs with Sean Curran Company, Stephen Petronio Company, Armitage Gone! Dance, Elisa Monte Dance, HT Chen and Dancers, among others. He is the producing artistic director and resident designer of Equilateral Theatre Company, a nonprofit organization he founded in 2004. He recently designed an adaptation of The Tempest starring Olympia Dukakis. Regionally, Joe has designed for Historic Swift Creek Mill Theatre and Virginia Repertory Theatre. He is the 2008, 2009 and 2011 recipient of the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Lighting Designer. He is an artistic member of Resonance Ensemble in NYC, graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts and a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829.


MARCELO MOACYR (Lighting Designer) was born in Bahia, Brazil. Through his studies in dance, he has also lived in London while studying at the London School of Contemporary Dance and the Laban Center for Movement and Dance, and he has lived in New York as a Fulbright Scholar. He has had his own dance company as well as dancing for Juilliard Dance Ensemble, Andrew Jenetti and Dancers USA, Cia de Dança do Palácio das Artes (MG), Primeiro Ato (MG), Compasso Cia de Dança (MG) and CorpoVivo Cia de Dança (RN). As a lighting designer, Mr. Moacyr has designed for several companies, his own dance company, Brazilian Choreographers Festival and for DanceBrazil. He is currently a teacher and dance coordinator at the Dance School of Cultural Foundation in Brazil. 


JORGE ALBERTO (Costume Designer) has worked with the Jorge Silva Dance Company, choreographers Paco Gomes (Brazil/USA), Jussara Setenta , Tânia Bispo, Marcelo Moacyr (Brazil) and Zaida Cassamo (Mozambique), as well as DanceBrazil. He also designed costumes and props for the Carnival. Mr. Alberto has worked for many years as a set designer in Brazil and internationally, and he has created costumes and scenery for the Cultural Foundation of Bahia and the singer Daniela Mercury.


PATTY BRYAN (Executive Director) was the Executive Director of Dance Brazil from 1995-2005 and was asked to rejoin the company in 2009. She has served as Executive Director for Shen Wei Dance Arts, the Director for the New York State Dance Force and directed special projects for Gina Gibney Dance and Armitage Gone! Dance. She is also on the board of Pentacle DanceWorks.  


Jelon Vieira would to give special thanks to Marcelo Moacyr, Katia Costa and Espaço Xisto, Jorge Vieira and to the entire company for all their hard work.


Artistic Director: Jelon Vieira

Executive Director: Patty Bryan

Graphics/Media: Tiba Vieira

Production Staff: Joe Doran & Nick Kolin  



Watch & Listen,
March 10, 2013

Online sales for this performance have now been discontinued. Please call the Ticket Office at 619.235.0804.

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