Brazz Dance Theater
Founded in 1998, Augusto Soledade Brazzdance, formerly known as Brazz Dance Theater, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Augusto Soledade and dance partner Rachelle Zambito started the company in Rochester, New York. As a team, they spent some time considering different names for the company, starting with Inside Out and ending up with Brazz Dance Theater.
The mission of Brazzdance is "to promote the production of dance as a form of art by bringing cultural and artistic awareness to the community through dance concerts, classes and workshops", through "a fusion of Afro-Brazilian and Contemporary dance."
Brazzdance offers master classes and workshops in Afro-Brazilian dance, modern dance with a contemporary fusion style, creative dance and drumming.
Augusto Soledade a native of Bahia, Brazil, is a performer, choreographer and currently serves as a full-time dance teacher at Nova Southeastern University (NSU). In 1998, Soledade served as the Guest Artist in Dance at Smith College, Massachusetts, Guest Artist Instructor at Wells College, NY and adjunct instructor at University of Rochester. That is when he started the process of creating his own company, Brazz Dance Theater, with business partner Rachelle Zambito.
In 1999, Soledade became a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Dance Department at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor 1999-2000. He received his M.F.A in Dance from SUNY Brockport, where he was a teaching assistant for three years.
Soledade was a member of SANKOFA African Dance and Drum Ensemble and the assistant to the director and choreographer Clyde Alafiju Morgan, as well as a member of DANSCORE – Modern Dance touring company. He taught in Rochester City School District’s Artist-in-Residence program. He was an adjunct instructor at Monroe Community College as well as SUNY Morrisville.
Soledade received the 1998 Pylyshenko-Strasser Graduate Dance Award and was the finalist in the dance category for the 1998 Thayer Fellowship. His dance training started at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil in a program with strong modern dance emphasis and has trained with Garth Fagan, Susannah Newman and James Payton. Fagan has said that Augusto "has a clear vision about dance relative to his views about the human experience. His inventive choreography reflects these views and visions with confidence."
At the Federal University of Bahia, Soledade worked as an African-Brazilian dance teaching assistant and has won awards performing modern dance. He was invited to perform as a contestant for the First International Ballet and Modern Dance Competition in Japan, in 1992. He has performed extensively in Brazil. He has performed in Trinidad and Tobago and throughout New York State. He holds a degree in journalism from the Federal University of Bahia.
- 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship
- 2007 Dade Community Foundation Grant
- 2007 City of Homestead Grant
- 2007 Community Grant
- 2007 State of Florida Quarterly Assistance Grant
- 2007 State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship
- 2006 State of Florida Artist Enhancement Grant
- 2006 Target Grant
- 2006 State of Florida ICE Grant
- 2005 Creative Capital Grant
- 2005 Community Grant
- 2005 Miami Dade Cultural Affairs Choreographer's Fellowship
- 2004 Northampton Arts Council Grant
- 2002 Northampton Arts Council Grant
The Miami Dance Festival and Augusto Soledade Brazzdance open the 2009 performance season with the premiere of an exciting and vibrant work Dreaming Amazonia presented at the Colony Theater in Miami Beach, April 10 and 11, 2009. In this work, choreographer Augusto Soledade looks at the current state of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil in order to understand it as a natural living environment for indigenous communities, and to juxtapose it to the natural living environment for city dwellers creating choreography that is moving and contemporary. The work's main objective is to represent, through dance, complex and universal realities such as the urban versus rural dichotomy and the potential for transformation as we interact with each other, the world, and various living environments.
Dreaming Amazonia gathers artists of various art forms and backgrounds. Soledade is a native of Bahia, Brazil; in Music, Cuban-American composer Orlando Garcia created the original score to accompany the choreography; and Jacek Kolasinski the video artist from Poland contributed to the work through an installation at the performance site that echoes the strong transformation element present in the choreography.
Past events include:
- Divertimento is a series of company repertory works that are light and fun in character and attitude, echoing the Afro-Brazilian personality.
- Two Worlds is a concert by Miami-based choreographers Letty Bassart and Augusto Soledade.
- A Foot for Samba
- In Light of Rhythm
- The Diaries of An Outlaw