The first Sergio Mendes LP bears few of the soft pop hallmarks of his subsequent Brasil '66 classics. Instead, Dance Moderno is a focused and straight-ahead collection of bossa nova grooves firmly in debt to the acknowledged master of the form, Antonio Carlos Jobim. Paired with a small, tight supporting unit, Mendes proves himself an inventive and intense pianist, shaped by both traditional Latin music and American jazz.
In Rio de Janeiro of the 80's, Maria Cecilia, the virgin seventeen years old daughter of the wealthy and powerful Dr. Werneck, is raped by five black men when her car has an engine problem nearby an isolated junkyard. Her upper class family decides that Maria Cecilia needs to get married, and Werneck assigns his manager Peixoto to find a fiancee among the employees of the family's company.