Recently The Dance Migration company hosted Rosangela Silvestre, creator of the Silvestre Technique and a dance and movement artist who is well-versed in the traditional dances from her native Bahia as she is in modern forms. The four days of dance classes set to live percussion brought out some of the best dancers and dance students from Toronto’s eclectic, fertile scene. The final show on Sunday evening at Lula Lounge was, as many people have said, brilliant and heartfelt, with one drummer remarking that many were in tears of joy and ecstasy.
The dancer who made this workshop series happen — and who has been one of the key people for growing the scene in Brazilian dance among the many diverse tribes of Toronto — is Adrianna Yanuziello, the founder and director of The Dance Migration. Although there are many dancers who teach and perform Brazilian dance in Toronto, mostly samba, forró and similar forms, Adrianna has created her own current. She herself comes from a strong background in dance and has welcomed multiple forms of dance and performance into her heart and her style.
She is a graduate in Fine Arts in Dance at Ryerson. Like so many of us, Adrianna started her Brazilian connection with Capoeira, but later became enchanted by the worlds of dance within Brazil.
It wasn’t long before she was going to Brazil every year, and somewhere in there she started TDance Migration company. Rosangela Silvestre is her mentor and top Brazilian teacher, and after a few years of visiting Bahia to train with her, Adrianna started bringing her teacher up every year for a weekend of Orixa and Silvestre technique workshops, culminating in a big presentation. She continues to this day to build on her training, gaining knowledge of the specific feel and subtleties of different dances from Brazil.
She has allied with Capoeira Camara and with them has created and put on several original and professional shows. In her show Faces of Samba last year, Adrianna and a core group of Dance Migration veterans and professional dancers performed Brazilian percussion as part of one of the performance numbers — a samba-reggae groove that led into an ’80s Olodum dance number. In fact, Dance Migration has collaborated with many Toronto companies including Samba Squad, Batucada Carioca, Baque de Bamba and Maracatu Mar Aberto.
Adrianna has built up her company and school aspects into a full-time business, teaching classes and performing on the regular. In recent years has added costume production to her skill set, including full passista outfits as well as more rootsy Afro-Bahian grass skirts, armbands and headbands. In all of this she has travelled internationally teaching classes and performing. Check out her website for classes and performance options.
Through it all, it is undeniable that she remains committed to her art and continues to teach and perform and usually has something going every day of the week. Let’s give it up for Dance Migration.
UPDATE, Oct. 2014: The Dance Migration is doing it again! The company presents Terra Brasil, a captivating theatrical dance piece performed to live music by local and visiting Brazilian aces, on Friday, October 17 at the Fleck Theatre in Toronto as part of the Uma Nota Festival. See (and hear!) the dancers and musicians of Dance Migration Company perform before they take this show on a tour of the Netherlands in November. A one night only experience. Tickets and more info here.