By Monique Salez
Monday Magazine contributor
Dance Victoria is eagerly anticipating the premiere of contemporary dance company, Ballet Hispanico, for two shows this weekend at the Royal Theatre.
The performances, set for Friday and Saturday (April 6 and 7), feature works by three leading female choreographers. There’s lots of talk in the dance world about a lack of female choreographers, but this program proves the opposite.
As William S. Gooch states in Fashion Reverie, “When it comes to celebrating strong women through movement, no dance company has more capacity and generosity than Ballet Hispanico … their female dancers have never looked more magnificent and fully realized than in works by the female choreographers in question – Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Michelle Manzanales and Tania Perez-Salas.”
Perez-Salas, a much sought-after choreographer and award winner with a bold voice in today’s world of dance, is unafraid to take on challenging topics. Macho Man XXI, performed in 2016 at the esteemed Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, dealt with gender violence. Using the language of dance, Perez-Salas expressed a complaint regarding the intrinsic cultural behavior she witnesses being upheld by both the male and female mentality.
In this weekend’s performance she presents 3.Catorce Dieciséis (3.1416), which draws inspiration from the number Pi (3.1416) to reflect on the circularity of the human condition.
Manzanales, director of Ballet Hispanico’s School of Dance, explores her experiences of grappling with her Mexican-American identity growing up in Texas, with Con Brazos Abiertos (With Open Arms).
Línea Recta (Straight Line) by Belgian-Colombian Lopez Ochoa, pairs flamenco with highly inventive and intricate contemporary dance, performed to an original score by flamenco guitarist Eric Vaarzon Morel.
Take three unique works by internationally celebrated female choreographers – add in red skirts, torero red pants and the unabashed emotional flavor and theatricality of these women – and you have one extremely excited previewer/flamenco artist.
Join Ballet Hispanico CEO/artistic director Eduardo Vilaro for a pre-show chat at 6:50 p.m. in the Royal Theatre lobby (Blanshard St. side).
Tickets start at $29. There are also Pay Your Age (for ages 12 to 29) and Night Moves (ages 30 to 45) tickets available.
Monique Salez is artistic director and owner Raino Dance in Victoria.