April 27, 2012
On the heels of an enormously successful gala honoring Jody Gottfried Arnhold, Ballet Hispanico stepped into the Joyce Theater for their Spring Season.
In Program A, two premieres marched ahead of Eduardo Vilaro’s 2011 “Asuka.” Newly installed as the artistic director (replacing the organization’s founder Tina Ramirez) Vilaro’s Cuban background seasons the rhythms in “Asuka.”
Couples swing easily between same sex couplings and traditional partnering—in the same way men dance with men and women with women in dance clubs throughout Latin America. The unmistakable voice of Celia Cruz “Queen of Salsa” brightens up the congenial piece anchored by a soulful Jessica Alejandra Wyatt adorned in a pure white dress.
A choreographer-about-town, Ronald K. Brown created “Espiritu Vivo,” that featured the loose limbed Jamal Rashann Callender. Soft, bent knees, easy arms and a casual carriage draw dancers onto the stage in the first couple of sequences. Calm gives way to jubilation in the final Spring section that releases West African inflected modern dance patterns popping against club dance sequences and communal conversations.
Opening the program, Cherry red shoes gleam underneath crisp white over-the-knee full skirts. Women line-up across from the men in Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s smartly crafted piece “Nube Blanco.” A modern dance/flamenco remix, there are plenty of visual puns including men and women hobbling around with one spiked heel on and one off, as well as a dancer in a big white powder puff swirling through the corps. Lighting by Josh Preston adds to the stylized humor and urban dance glam scene.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis