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Ballet Hispanico’s Program A an Entertaining Evening at the Joyce

by Taylor Gordon
April 11, 2016
The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue (at the corner of 19th Street)
New York, NY 10011
212-242-0800

Featured Dance Company:

Ballet Hispanico
Ballet Hispanico (office)
167 West 89th Street
New York, NY 10024
212-362-6710
www.ballethispanico.org

Ballet Hispanico’s Program A at The Joyce on April 7 showcased the high energy, natural theatricality, and lively music that make Hispanic culture thrive. All three works of the evening demanded stamina and power from this company of beautiful dancers.

The evening started with the New York premiere of “Flabbergast,” choreographed by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano. The piece moved through episodes with various mini stories between characters. The curtain rose with the full cast standing in individual spotlights, marking their separation within the ensemble. One memorable scene was a playful duet with tangled partnering. The dancers leaned in for a humorous, over-exaggerated kiss and finished running towards each other for a passionate embrace. Black out. As the lights come up, we saw the same girl was in the same embrace – but now with her suitcase. This humor continued throughout.

As in the first piece, “Bury Me Standing” features clean, well-rehearsed ensemble dancing. Flamenco music by Lole y Manuel accompanied rhythmic, athletic movement. Stomping and clapping was used to draw the dancers together with a more contemporary feel than the sharpness of traditional flamenco.

This long piece was full of strong choreographic ideas by Ramon Oller. Most accessible was the section for six women shuffling across the stage only on their knees. They entered whining and yapping to each other (as girls do?) and suddenly stopped. Adding on to that, they hissed like angry cats. The sequence progressed, each time repeating the yapping, hissing, and other pedestrian gestures that became predictable to the viewer.

Pedro Ruiz’s “Club Havana” was the grande finale of the evening complete with flying confetti and energetic lights and music. Five couples moved through ballroom-esque dances, and though the women wore heels, this was the most balletic piece on the program. The lifts and smooth partnering showed off the technique of these dancers while clearly aiming for flash and pizazz. It was an entertaining end to a strong program.
Ballet Hispanico in Gustavo Ramirez Sansano's 'Flabbergast.'

Ballet Hispanico in Gustavo Ramirez Sansano's "Flabbergast."

Photo © & courtesy of Paula Lobo


Ballet Hispanico in Gustavo Ramirez Sansano's 'Flabbergast.'

Ballet Hispanico in Gustavo Ramirez Sansano's "Flabbergast."

Photo © & courtesy of Paula Lobo


Ballet Hispanico in Ramon Oller's 'Bury Me Standing.'

Ballet Hispanico in Ramon Oller's "Bury Me Standing."

Photo © & courtesy of Paula Lobo


Ballet Hispanico in Ramon Oller's 'Bury Me Standing.'

Ballet Hispanico in Ramon Oller's "Bury Me Standing."

Photo © & courtesy of Paula Lobo


Ballet Hispanico dancers in Pedro Ruiz’s “Club Havana.”

Ballet Hispanico dancers in Pedro Ruiz’s “Club Havana.”

Photo © & courtesy of Paula Lobo


Ballet Hispanico dancers in Pedro Ruiz’s “Club Havana.”

Ballet Hispanico dancers in Pedro Ruiz’s “Club Havana.”

Photo © & courtesy of Paula Lobo

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