Dance Evaluation: Ballet Hispanico Performs at Apollo Theater

November 26th, 2013

It usually brings about a stab of stress — that instant when you’re observing a display, and a cellphone goes off. Could it be yours? During an in any other case silent moment in the Ballet Hispanico performance at the Apollo Theater on Saturday, a phone in the viewers held ringing, and Mario Ismael Espinoza, his face painted like a cranium from the Mexican Day of the Lifeless, stopped dancing to hiss in its direction. How uncomfortable.

Paula Lobo

Ballet Hispanico “Sombrer?simo” was element of the troupe’s software at the Apollo Theater.

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As the ringing ongoing, and other dancers joined Mr. Espinoza in rhythmic hissing, it turned clear that the mobile phone was a plant. What this experienced to do with the rest of the operate was one of a number of not-really-intriguing concerns elevated by “Umbral,” a premiere by the Mexican-born choreographer Edgar Zendejas.

The paint on Mr. Espinoza’s experience was the only distinct use of the marvelous scenic opportunities in a Working day of the Dead dance. Dressed in crimson, he played an androgynous loss of life figure, inserting himself in various overheated duets and orgies of stretching limbs. He joined the girls when they danced topless (with their backs to the audience, covering their breasts when they turned) and was carried overhead by the men. Everyone circled all around him as he arched his wonderfully pliant back again.

Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s “Sombrer?simo,” which had its premiere at Slide for Dance in Oct, enhanced upon a second viewing. It is a trendy and spirited dance for six guys and their hats, and if its misterioso passages express a lot more mood than meaning, there’s brisk creation in its use of haberdashery. With partial success, the function sets up a distinction in between the males dancing for them selves — their arms in ballroom place with no partners — and their demonstrating off sexily for us. They don’t have to remove their button-down shirts to search wonderful. The Apollo audience roared.

It is the fifth piece by Ms. Ochoa, and by much the greatest, that Ballet Hispanico has introduced during the 4-calendar year tenure of Eduardo Vilaro as creative director. It displays how skilled a organization, particularly in the male ranks, he has assembled. These times, there is small complex distinction between this troupe and any of the ideal modern day repertory ensembles.

That absence of distinction is a potential dilemma. Regardless of its Mexican topic, “Umbral” is generic in its ribbony choreography and histrionic numbness. Mr. Vilaro’s premiere, “Hogar,” skirted the issue more effectively, ringing modifications on the conventions of the tough-adore duet and the woman retained aloft by numerous gentlemen.

Significantly support arrived from the tunes by Lev Zhurbin (better recognized as Ljova), played dwell by five string instrumentalists, such as Mr. Zhurbin with two fingers of his still left hand in a solid. Occasionally suggesting a hoedown that the tango composer Astor Piazzolla might have written, the score was evocative and danceable, and Mr. Vilaro’s choreography responded to it fluently.

“Hogar” implies “home,” but the operate was significantly less compelling in its ostensible topic of immigration than in oddities like a Tweedledee and Tweedledum duet for two girls. Jamal Rashann Callender, as a Moses figure, was particularly placing. This was Ballet Hispanico’s third year executing at the Apollo, and even with the different high quality of the performs, the company appeared incredibly at house.

Ballet Hispanico performs on Dec. five and 6 at the Kennedy Middle in Washington ballethispanico.org.

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