The three works explored a huge celebration of cuban culture, talent and the collision of contemporary and cuban techniques. Each of the pieces ask so differently of the dancers we see the power of their embodiment transform throughout the evening.
Reversible by Anna Lopez Ochoa immediately introduces us to the intimacy of the work to come, two statues framing the stage. Man and Woman dressed only in underwear both bare chested, raised high by a circle of supporting dancers. The hugely talented 25 strong cast weave through duets designed to break force and stretch intention in combined forces meeting their equal intensity, the engagements explore provoking couples who resists and draw out and detach, playing with attraction and sensuality the choreography finds new ways to move without losing contact, with fluidity the cast fall through the space. With moments of outstanding dancing from bodies moving in totality the company dance as one body of movement one voice heard in 25 tones, Ochoa is looking at the essence of humanity when caught in the broils of love and attraction. The bare chested men and women is unquestionably identifying strength and sensuality within humanity. Costumes by Vladimir Cuenca style men in skirts and women in trousers suggesting gender equality.
The Listening Room by Theo Clinkard, sets the stage for a thoughtful performance sending a blanket of silence across the audience he opens with a line of dancers quietly engaging with the soundscape they are hearing through their own set of headphones, each are set up with an mp3 player. We’re witness to their interpretation. The authenticity in the concepts that were being delivered brings a new light to the stage, a humanness which is celebrated through the choreographer, later in the after show talk Theo Clinkard talks about his focus to see instinctive choices. This is apparent and resonates with moments of authenticity and humility. The cast find it a pleasure to play in this arena, which is also deeply crafted in movement and phrases of choreography. We can see that they have enjoyed this creative process. Really stunning lighting accompanying the piece is designed by Fernando Alonso.
Matria Etnocentra by George Cespades is an ultimate delivery of cuban rhythms beaten together with an army soldiers solidarity and so fierce and passionate. They dance from their hearts with rhythms so complex and with furious speeds but with a dignified cool. Army boots, khakis and tanks, sometimes underwear, sometimes work wear.The cast move easily in the complexity of the formations, they thrive as the layers get more intense – a build of endurance fighting within the formations and the rhythms. Choreography that we would normally see as celebration is reversing its position and driving this work as a protest. George Cespedes is prehaps staging his protest. Matched by electronic duo nacional Electronica and Hermanos Exposito.
A really brilliant triple bill, with outstanding talent, it was a pleasure to hear the director talk about his interest in Contemporary Dance and Cuban Dance ‘colliding’ to make progressive world class dance Miguel Iglesias which is certainly what he is delivering. They will take Europe by storm wishing them the very best with their tour.
Guest reviewer – Kate Jackson