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Artists Series presents Viver Brasil dance company April 18

April 11, 2012
 Vivir Brasil
EAU CLAIRE — The Viver Brasil dance company will take its Artists Series audience on an inspiring cultural journey through Brazil April 18 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The performance, titled "Feet on the Ground," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena.

Founded in Los Angeles in 1997, Viver Brasil is an award-winning dance company rooted in the traditional and contemporary forms and techniques of Salvador, Bahia and Brazil. The company specializes in bringing to life the beautiful and complex stories of the orixa, African sacred energies that are the engine of Afro-Brazilian culture, in addition to presenting jubilant samba, contemporary Afro-Brazilian dance and carnival.

"Feet on the Ground" evokes the energy of the Earth and its power to propel the performers into flight with a performance that showcases exhilarating Afro-Brazilian traditional and contemporary movement, stunning costumes, and nonstop percussion and voice. The program includes "Avanhia," a ceremonial meditation on the forces of nature; "The Three Wives of Xangô," a popular Yoruba tale of love and betrayal; "Orixás," retelling an ancient tale of the deities who brought the elements to populate the world; "Identity," an expression of the explosive and joyous nature of Brazilian contemporary dance; "In Motion," incorporating the Brazilian martial arts/dance form of Capoeira and the sassy Samba de Roda; a vocal duet called "Samba Celebration"; and the rousing finale, "Carnaval," a parade of Bahian movements with a contagious samba reggae beat.

Viver Brasil's innovative stage presentations explore Brazil's racial, social, political and artistic history and are living extensions of the development of Afro-Brazilian dance on stage, Candomblé mythology and Bahian Carnival. The company's repertory reflects artistic excellence, rigorous research and continuous dialogue with living masters in Bahia and younger virtuoso musicians and choreographers.

In 2010 Viver Brasil received the Lester Horton Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in World Dance from the Dance Resource Center of Greater Los Angeles. The company has performed for eight seasons at the Ford Amphitheatre and at venues including the Hollywood Bowl, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Lensic Performing Arts Center, Herbst Theatre, Bergen Performing Arts Center, National Hispanic Cultural Center and Taos Center for the Performing Arts. The current season began with the company's debut in Canada, followed by performances on the East Coast and in the Midwest.

Tickets are $17 for the public, $15 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff, or $7 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Tickets for students are half-price, $3.50, until the day of the event. On the day of the event, students must pay the full student-ticket price.

Tickets are available at the Service Center counter in the east lobby of Davies Center and also will be sold at the door.

Patrons also may charge their tickets to Discover, MasterCard or Visa when they purchase online or order by phone. Call 715-836-3727 or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free 800-949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all online and telephone charge orders.

Funded by the students of UW-Eau Claire, the Artists Series is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the state of Wisconsin. The Artists Series also is funded in part by Visit Eau Claire ... The Unexpected Wisconsin. Wisconsin Public Radio, WHYS Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support.

The Artists Series is administered by the Activities, Involvement, and Leadership office of the University Centers.

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JS/DW

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