BALLET HISPANICO AT THE APOLLO
November 20, 2016
Ballet Hispanico's program Reshape/Reverse/Replay delighted the Apollo Theatre’s audience in a blend of
contagious rhythms, swirling images, grounded passion, and boundless joy.
The show opened with Flabbergast by Spanish choreographer Gustavo Ramírez
Sansano, originally created for Luna Negra Dance Theatre in 2001.
Inspired by his first experience in
America, Ramírez Sansano’s theatrical contemporary dance humorously addressed
contrasting stereotypes, extrapolated by Juan García
Esquivel's infectious music by and comic voiceover recordings knitted into the choreographic narrative.
Lively vernacular movement resonated through sharp whirls and bound-driven motifs
highlighted by the flair with which the dancers connected with the audience.
After the first intermission, the house was enthralled as the stage illuminated the
silhouette of a bailaora in a ravishing red flamenco-like train dress against the
pearl cyclorama, introducing the world premiere of Línea Recta.
Commissioned in part by
the Apollo Theatre and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, this piece by Belgo-Colombian
choreographer Annabelle López Ochoa enraptured guests with a visceral flow of
contemporary dance connectivity indulging in the dynamic flow of the red train’s fabric.
a crescendo of duets, pas de trois, quartets, and a final ensemble, López Ochoa
defiantly approached the exploration of contact generally absent in traditional
flamenco, sealing her statement with stylistic floreo hand gestures, an artistic signature of
Ballet Hispánico’s recurrent choreographer. The company, immersed in the rhythmic
expressiveness of Bulerías with the live performance of flamenco guitarist Eric Vaarzon
Morel, percussionist Peter Bagdanos, and the cantaora voice of Aurora Reyes, brought the
audience to its feet.
The evening mellowed down to an elegant closing with Danzón, a repertoire icon from
Ballet Hispánico’s Artistic Director and CEO, Eduardo Vilaro.
The blend of Caribbean
compositional references with a display of Latin Son instruments resonated through
contemporary and classical dance elements within the refined bouquet residing in
traditional Danzón social dance contexts. Through Reshape/Reverse/Replay, the company
honored founder Tina Ramirez’s legacy, giving voice to Latin and Hispanic artists whose
work amalgamated cultural roots with versatile choreography, embracing traditional
theatrical dance elements with contemporary dance.
EYE ON THE ARTS< NY -- Gabriela Estrada