Danza Contemporánea de Cuba Debuts in Philadelphia at The Merriam Theater as Part of First U.S. East Coast Tour, May 24-25APRIL 21, 2011
Co-presented by the
Due to the
In addition to the two public performances, Danza Contemporánea de Cuba will conduct outreach activities including a master class at University of the Arts, Tuesday, May 24 at 1pm; a free student matinee on Wednesday, May 25 at 11am at The Merriam Theater, as well as visits to local schools and dance studios. For more information contact
“A half-century later, Danza Contemporánea de
Tickets to Danza Contemporánea de Cuba are available for $16 - $51, and can be purchased online at www.kimmelcenter.org, in person at the
Dance has been an essential component of Cuban life since the first West African slaves were brought there in the 16th century. In 1959, Ramiro Guerra, who trained with Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey and José Limón founded the Conjunto Nacional de Danza Moderna (National Modern Dance Group). He shaped Conjunto's repertoire into a blend of modern American theatre, Afro-Caribbean dance styles and classical European ballet. The name changed to Danza Contemporánea de Cuba (DCC), but the premise remained. The troupe consists of 60 dancers drawn from the Escuela Nacional de Arte,
Demo-N Crazy, a 35-minute high-energy dance, explores human relations - love, challenges and loneliness. It is set to an eclectic score of music by the Razones, Julia Wolfe (of which her music Arsenal of Democracy is a play on the title) and Estrella Morente. Choreographed by Spaniard Rafael Bonachela (winner of the distinctive Place Prize Award and artistic director of Bonachela Dance Company), the work “makes for an exciting, even thrilling piece of dance, made more so by the unexpected movement language.” (The British Theater Guide) Bonachela built this work around duets that are simultaneously tender and violent interspersed with complex patterns performed by large ensembles that fearlessly fly and flail through the space with great skill and abandon.
Horizonte features Pedro Ruiz’s vibrant and passionate choreography. Ruiz was Ballet Hispanico’s principal dancer for 21 years and is the first American-Cuban choreographer to set a work on Danza in its 62-year history. Inspired by the music of Aaron Jaffee and Rodrigo y Gabriela, and the movement, shapes and expressiveness of the dancers, Horizonte is “a mural that changes every day moved by storms color.” (Alfonso Gumucio Dagron) The choreography is filled with stunning lifts, sensual embraces, ecstatic jumps, and large ensemble sections with dancers connected and enwrapped with one another. Eduardo Arrocha’s colorful costumes (dresses, shorts, unitards) in rich hues of purple, blue, and pink complement Ruiz’s choreographic vision to transport you to a tropical paradise.
The program closes with Mambo 3XXI (2009), an explosion of music and dance choreographed by Cuban born and trained George Enrique Cespédes. The 35-minute piece has the feel of being in downtown
About Dance Affiliates
Founded in 1983 by artistic director
In addition to its original production of Thank You Gregory: A Tribute to the Legends of Tap, in 2005, which was revised for a national tour in 2009-2010, Dance Affiliates also conceived and produced The Music That Made Us Dance: From Lindy to Hip Hop in 2006, its first-ever commission for the series featuring Philadelphia’s most inventive choreographers and dancers. Dance Affiliates has also commissioned a dozen world-premieres by prominent choreographers-- Paul Taylor, David Parsons, Frank Chaves, Danny Ezralow, Bill T. Jones, David Gordon, Eliot Feld and Bella Lewitzky.
Major funding for this presentation has been provided by the William Penn Foundation.
Kimmel Center, Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit organization, owns, manages, supports and maintains The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which includes Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, Innovation Studio and the