The Cuban Contemporary Dance Company (DCC in Spanish) recently shared the 57th anniversary of its foundation with special guest, the North American dancer Rasta Thomas and the company‘s own characteristic energy and versatility.
Their recent shows from the September 24-27 at Havana’s Mella Theater started with a premiere of “Otros Caprichos”, choreographed by Angels Margarit Viñals from Catalonia and based on works by Italian virtuoso violinist, Niccolo Paganini.
The creator explained that she “aimed to reinterpret every musical caprice with corresponding choreography in order to visualize music in space through movement”. “Otros Caprichos” invited the audience into a type of game in which the dancers made difficult seem easy.
Angels, winner of Spain‘s National Dance Prize and other awards in France and Switzerland, added that “the work contains very little unison, I was interested in free-form and encountering a degree of chorality based more on diversity than equality”.
She praised the natural talent and love of dance that is predominant in the DCC, a company she described as being fantastic.
In addition to the world premiere of “Otros Caprichos”, the Miguel Iglesias directed group performed works such as “ El Cristal”, an ironic deconstruction of a cynical, aggressive, highly manipulative late 20th century society with enmeshed gender boundaries that eliminates the individual in favor of the many, by the Cuban, Julio César Iglesias.
The dancers assimilated the concepts of the choreography into stellar histrionics, participants and accomplices with a cultural industry of stereotypical tendencies, in order to be seen and accepted in keeping with the norm.
“Reversible”, By Belgian-Colombian Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa, lent a note of lyricism to the program. This work touches on sensuality and explores and debates femininity and masculinity on the basis of the choreographer´s belief that the soul is not gender specific.
The ebullient and stylistically tribal opening and finale are an invitation to celebrate– rather than deny – the primitive instinct.
The audience is left breathless by a closing focused on the sun set surrounded by the poetry of stage.
This year “Matria Etnocentra” by another Cuban choreographer, Georges Céspedes, completed a trilogy inspired by Cuban music. This birth was defined by what had gone before; “Mambo 3XXI” and “Identidad a la Menos Uno”, three intense pieces that demand a great degree of coordination.
On September 26 and 26, U.S. dancer, Rasta Thomas participated in the premiere of “Gimme All Your Love”, a work based on a recent North American band, Alabama Shakes, and created by dancer, master, and the Harlem Dance Theater and Bad Boys of Dance choreographer, Brandon Russel.
Rasta’s stylistic dancing to the sound of pop was a marked contrast. By the time he left the stage after his “El Crystal” performance, the audience had been impressed by more than just his technical abilities.
One might say he had set the stage alight. The grace of this experienced dancer complimented a solid classical base, flawless delivery and a dance virtuosity that encompassed more than a hint of the martial arts and urban break-dance like movements from his homeland.
Thomas also performed an interpretation of “Bumble Bee”; a Milton Myres choreographed work about renowned Russian composer, Nikolai Rimsky- Korsakov.
This work confirmed the dancer´s maturity and potent physical presence. Both works might have been somewhat short therefore many in the audience were left longing for more from the celebrated dancer.
Mexican audiences will have that wish fulfilled, because Rasta traveled to Cuba, attracted by the version of “Carmina Burana” created by GeorgesnCespedes for the DCC and he plans to dance onmOctober 7 and 8 at the Mexican National Auditorium.Share on FB Share on TT