Performing Arts: Dance
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.

In 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

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