Stories Told on the Tip of Toes
Ballet Hispánico wows audience at Luckman Theatre
February 20, 2017
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From arabesque, to croisé, to tour en l’air, the Ballet Hispánico wowed audiences at the Luckman Theatre on last Thursday night. Having performed in 11 countries, across three continents, and a total audience number of three million, there is no doubt as to why this company has been around since the 70s.
The New York city-based group performed three times, each more spectacular and whimsical than the next. The production was made possible by 24 highly skilled performers and technicians. The first phase of the night was an act titled, ‘FLABBERGAST’, choreographed by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, whose resume speaks for itself. He directed proyecto ‘TITOYAYA’ in Valencia, Spain for four years, first place at the Ricard Morages competition in Barcelona, and most recently, was on Dance Magazine’s ‘25 to Watch’ list 2012.
‘FLABBERGAST’, is inspired by Sansano’s experience while traveling to America for the first time. Their 1930s inspired dresses and bulky faded luggage set the tone. The performance touches on war and violence. He does this masterfully, by integrating majestic hand guns and body spasms that gracefully counteract. Nothing short of art. Each performer manipulated their body to flow with the rhythm of the music while telling a story.
The second performance was the most striking. Choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. The Belgium-Colombian started freelancing in 2003. She has several awards under her belt, including, third Prize in 2002 at the Hannover’s Choreographers competition for “Clair/Obscur.” A year later she won first place and public’s prize with “Replay” at the International Choreographer’s Competition of Bornem. Her latest achievement is “Best new production” by the South Bank Sky Arts Awards, and has been nominated for an Olivier Award 2012.
Through Flamenco cogency, ‘LíNEA RECTA’, proves to me a breathtaking piece. Flamenco dancing is a passionate dance form with hand clapping, percussive footwork, intricate hand and body movements. Red and white filled the stage, as the audience straightened their backs to fully emerge themselves in the performance; the definition of allure.
The final performance of the night, ‘DANZÓN’. Choreographed by Eduardo Vilaro. This cuban infused piece was nothing short of chévere. As described in the program, “Danzón is used throughout Latin America as a term of celebration, a coming together of community and a way of maintaining identity. Fusing Afro-Cuban social dance movements with contemporary and classical dance forms, Vilaro… reinvented it as a joyous celebration of music and movement.”
Each of these performances tell a different story. A different slice of our Latin American history. Through music, costume, and tone, Ballet Hispánico accomplishes it’s purpose of art as it captivates audiences and leaves a sense of wonderment.