Magazine article Dance Magazine

Ballet Cristina Hoyos, City Center, New York, New York, October 14-26, 1997

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Ballet Cristina Hoyos, City Center, New York, New York, October 14-26, 1997

Article excerpt

Cristina Hoyos is a legendary flamenco star, known throughout the world for the precise vigor of her dancing in the films of Carlos Saura. Under the watchful eye of master choreographer Antonio Gades, Hoyos brought exceptional clarity, tight and precise zapateado (footwork), and fluid balletic line to such Films as Carmen, El Amor Brujo, and Blood Wedding. Moreover, she held the viewer captive with her focused intent and physical mastery of character. Hoyos's precision and seriousness set her apart. She embodied the complex mix of utter femininity and bone-crushing machismo that empowers the women of flamenco.

Comparing Hoyos's extraordinary work on film with that onstage at City Center, I can only conclude that not all great dancers make great choreographers. For this engagement the star's ability and appeal were subsumed by craftless dancemaking, an oddly unsuccessful mix of choreography by Hoyos and another flamenco legend, Manolo Marin. The combination of modern dance sensibilities with flamenco music and footwork has been successfully explored on other stages. But on Hoyos's program, this mixed aesthetic dissipated the strength of the flamenco form.

Transforming the traditional, intimate tablao setting to the proscenium stage requires a reconception of the flamenco experience. In the two evening-length programs offered at City Center, "Arsa y Toma" and "Caminos Andaluces," much was lost in the translation. In "Arsa y Toma," Hoyos's solo work failed to evoke the edgy beauty of the dancer who once was. …

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