Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ballet Revolucion

ATA Allstar Artists Pty Ltd, The Woodland Production Company, Michael Brenner and the BB Group GmbH present BALLET REVOLUCION at the State Theatre Sydney.

BALLET REVOLUCION, a collection of young, robust, excitable and exciting dancers from Cuba were here in 2011, and now burst, once again, onto the State Theatre stage. The company brings to us a collection of dances and dancers showing us the heritage of dance 'contagion' from Cuba that stems from a fusion of classical ballet, modern and folkloric dance. The main facility for training in the arts in Cuba, according to the program notes, is the Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA), founded in 1961 - and their graduates populate the country's leading dance companies. (The first ballet company, the Ballet Alicia Alonso was only founded in 1948).

 One of the dancers, Lianett Rodriguez Gonzalez, says in interview: "I relate the show to a big tropical smoothie where every fruit (i.e. dancer) is vital for the final result". The night feels like an highly organised episode of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. Each of these amazing young dancers have honed a unique style of their own as an expression of their own personalities, their skills and training. Individually they are very impressive. Jesus Elias Almenares, Juan Carlos Hernandez Osma, Moises Leon Noriega, Lianett Rodriguez Gonzalez Jenny Sosa Martinez and Odeymis Torres Perez, pop out for me, in memory. In unison the company are a dynamic explosion of individual energies with only a vague sense of a corps de ballet discipline - infectious, cheeky and inviting. It has the feel of an exuberant street carnival, festival and crazy nightclub scene.

The dance, is accompanied by a driving and 'thrilling' live band led by Osmar Salazar Hernandez. Trumpet, electric guitars, piano and keyboard with drums, supported further with congas and percussion, play arrangements of popular and folkloric music: Cuban, modern Latin American and number one RnB hits (Purple Rain, She Bangs etc.), even a quotation from Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto De Aranjuez (1939). Kristin Hosein and Weston Foster are the vocalists, to top up the effect of the sound.

Choreography is by Aaron Cash and Roclan Gonzalez Chavez, the costume design by Jorge Gonzalez. The audience was pumped and gave rapt applause and were eager for more at the end of the two hour show. The dancers are generous in their energies, charm and skillful physicalities and deserve all the reward that the noise from the audience gave.

This is dance that is movement and personality, and a night that leaves you a little high and wanting to dance oneself. Fun, sexy, infectious. Even on a wet, winter night.

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