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Compagnie Käfig, a dance company that combines hip hop moves and martial arts, will perform two shows this month at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The performances, presented by Carolina Performing Arts, will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 and Feb. 26.

Käfig’s double bill, Correria and Agwa, derives from an encounter between Artistic Director Mourad Merzouki and 11 young male dancers from Rio de Janeiro. Their stories about life in the favelas — Brazilian shanty towns — and their determination to make something of themselves struck a profound chord with Merzouki and inspired him to create two heart-stopping works that showcase the young Brazilians’ dazzling virtuosity. The company’s thrilling combination of hip-hop, capoeira, samba, electronic music and bossa nova culminates in a dance performance with astonishing acrobatic skills filled with energy and invention.

Correria, Portuguese for “running,” exposes audiences to a race just like the one that governs many people’s daily lives. The often-frenetic pace of the choreography accentuates the movement of legs — on the stage and through the air. Agwa uses water, a vital natural resource and a symbol of renewal, as its point of departure, but the dance is really a celebration of vitality.

For tickets and more information, please contact Carolina Performing Arts.

Published February 21, 2014.