Danza Contemporanea de Cuba en Reino Unido

Danza Contemporanea was invited to participate with notable pieces including Matria Etnocentra, cherography by George Céspedes.

Danza Contemporanea was invited to participate with notable pieces including Matria Etnocentra, cherography by George Céspedes.

Ya comenzó la gira de Danza Contemporánea de Cuba por 10 países europeos. Las presentaciones en el Reino Unido según la pluma de destacado critico Donald Hutera gozan de una gran disciplina, versatilidad y la vivaz energía que transmiten la docena de bailarines que integran dicha agrupación.

Destaca la pieza Matria Etnocentra, del coreografo cubano Jorge Céspedes, donde los bailarines con botas,  pantalones de color caqui y las camisetas marcadas por delante con una estrella haciendo referencia a la bandera cubana, marchan y ondulan a través de formaciones en una fuerte e irresistiblemente danza.

Los elogios hacia esta agrupación cubana desde los medios de prensa más prestigiosos no se hicieron esperar. El diario The Time otorga  cuatro estrellas, de cinco establecidas, al espectáculo que se está presentando. The Telegraph hace referencia a las magnificas coreografías, el sincronismo y la sensualidad que acaparan la vista del espectador. The Guardian destaca la exótica relación de estilos contemporáneos, clásicos y caribeños.

By Donald Hutera

This is the third time the long-established, Havana-based Danza Contemporanea de Cuba has visited the UK under the auspices of the Dance Consortium, a group of large-scale theatres interested in importing international dance to this country. The triple bill has been well chosen as a display of the discipline, versatility and vivacious energy of two dozen dancers, the majority of whom are fresh from the company’s own school.
The evening builds nicely, starting with the Colombian-Belgian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Reversible, a somewhat ambiguous group mating ritual, and climaxing with a big, edgy and politically charged panorama of the Cuban people by the company’s house choreographer, George Céspedes. In between comes warm, quirky charm from the British dancemaker Theo Clinkard, whose likeable work allows the dancers to show unexpected sides of their collective personality.
Bold physicality is the strong suit of Ochoa’s dance. Set to an eclectic and often electronic score, it begins with the metaphorical birth of a man and a woman, each lifted up high from the centre of separate clusters of attendants. What ensues is an ever-shifting series of duets and ensemble dances for nine men in grey skirts and eight women in grey trousers. One couple unsuccessfully swap clothing, eventually leading to the female cast members cupping their bared breasts and everyone stripped down to black knickers. Although the gender issues that Ochoa is hinting at are unclear and even stereotypical, there’s no denying the impact of the dancers’ fleet, full-bodied sensuality.
Music is the starting point of Clinkard’s deceptively casual The Listening Room. Attractively clad in pastel shorts and shirts, each of the 20 dancers is listening to his or her own iPod. The audience, meanwhile, hears Steve Reich’s Variations for vibes, pianos and strings. The movement might appear playfully scatty and windblown, yet it effectively rides the layered, percolating rhythms of Reich’s music.
Céspedes’ Mambo 3XX1 was the highlight of the company’s previous UK tours; Matria Etnocentra is a striking companion piece. Here dancers in boots, khaki trousers and T-shirts marked back and front by a star (a reference to the Cuban flag) march and undulate through intricately patterned drill formations set to a loud, irresistibly percussive score. They make militarism seem sexy. By the close, Céspedes at least partly liberates this small army from its manoeuvres via duets, trios and quartets that merge acrobatics with Latin social dance. Exciting.
Lowry, Salford, February 17 and 18; touring to March 18; danceconsortium.com


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