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Brazilian dance group headed to Clayton Center for the Arts

urbana de danca
The Brazilian group Companhia Urbana de Danca will be in Knoxville and Maryville for a week, holding workshops and classes for local school groups. Image courtesy of Clayton Center for the Arts.


MARYVILLE, TN — The Clayton Center for the Arts General Manager, Blake Smith, announced a newly formed partnership with The Carpetbag Theatre of Knoxville to bring the dance group Companhia Urbana de Dança from Brazil. Smith was introduced to Linda Parris-Bailey, founder and resident playwright for CBT at the Performing Arts Exchange held in Nashville in September 2013. After meeting Parris-Bailey and hearing about the mission of CBT and that they had secured the dance group but needed a venue, the partnership was formed. Smith and Parris-Bailey hope to collaborate on other performances for the Clayton Centers 2014-2015 Season.

​The Carpetbag Theatre is a community based, non-profit, professional theatre company dedicated to the production of new works. They also present notable workshops and residency projects such as Urbana de Dança. Smith confirmed that the partnership is perfect fit to fulfill part of the Clayton Center’s mission to provide opportunities for the lifelong expression and appreciation of the arts. The Center will be working in the next seasons to bring more opportunities for interaction with the arts and outreach into the community with diverse programming.

Companhia Urbana de Dança was formed by Artistic Director Sonia Destri Lie in Brazil in 2004 and is an ensemble of street performers working to foster the human experience through dance. During her travels through Europe, Destri began to integrate the hip-hop and b-boy techniques she saw into her contemporary dance. She has seemingly generated a new genre, while her choreography has earned rave reviews. She takes the histories of her dancers, many of whom come from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, highlighting their talents and showcasing their eclectic skills, which increases the international appeal her group has found.

​The Company will be in Knoxville and Maryville for a week, holding workshops and classes for local school groups. Two public performances will take place at the Clayton Center for the Arts April 12 at 8pm and April 13 at 4 pm. Tickets are $15 & $25. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Clayton Center Box Office at 865-981-8590, or at

This tour of Companhia Urbana de Danca is made possible through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.

Also made possible by The Performing Americas Program is a partnership between the National Performance Network (NPN) and the Network of Cultural Promoters of Latin America and the Caribbean (La RED) designed to increase artistic exchange in the Western Hemisphere. The Performing Americas Program is supported by the NPN with funding provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation. For Further information, visit the NPN website at

The Clayton Center for the Arts, located on the Maryville College campus and constructed through a unique partnership between the College and the cities of Maryville and Alcoa, is East Tennessee’s newest venue for arts and entertainment. The 1,200-seat Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre features dance, theatre, concerts, lectures and other events. The 250-seat Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall hosts a wide variety of musicians and performers. The 200-seat Haslam Family Flexible Theatre is capable of supporting theatrical performances from amateur and professional companies. Three art galleries display collections and works of art from Appalachia and beyond.

Published March 2, 2014

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