Performing Arts: Dance
January 17, 2019
A Cuba-NYC bond was created a few years ago courtesy of The Joyce Theater. As a result, modern dance companies from Cuba are invited to showcase their dancers and repertory over the space of three-weeks at the Joyce Theater in Manhattan. The mini-festival opened with one of Cuba’s best-known modern dance troupes Malpaso.

A newer company that incorporated vernacular and street dance, Los Hijos Del Director directed by George Cespedes was the second company to jump into action. Dressed in black overalls cuffed at the knee (by Paula Fernandez), the very committed and attractive company exhibited their full-throttle energy.

Initially seated in three chairs on either side of the stage panes of white light (Guido Galie) invited the dancers to center stage. A combination of signature street dance moves, including the “heart beat,” one handed upside down -holds topped by legs scissoring in the air were joined to Capoeira style spinning leg flips and martial arts arm pumps.

Solos butted against synchronized movement sections to a taped, upbeat and at times cinematic music score. However, Cespedes’ choreography rarely altered the performance dynamics. Intense, angst ridden faces and repetivite choreography showed off the committed company but not their range.

It’s a pleasure to see companies from other countries and cultures, but it was as if a 20-minute dance was stretched into a thin 90-minute work. There’s promise, but perhaps some stringent mentorship would be useful.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis

©2001 Eye and Dance and the Arts | All Rights Reserved