Magazine article Dance Magazine

Ballet Hispanico

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Ballet Hispanico

Article excerpt

BALLET HISPANICO JOYCE THEATER NOVEMBER 30--DECEMBER 12, 1999

Although Ballet Hispanico presented a trio of premieres, it was Ramon Oller's Bury Me Standing, first seen in 1998, that epitomized the duende of this spunky little company. While the new works drew, to a fault, on the dancers' wanton energy, Bury Me Standing went far deeper, and it impelled the dancers to do the same.

Everything was on target in this by turns fierce, passionate and stoic gypsy lament. Eugene Lee's gaunt decor suddenly sparkled with hopeful lights. Willa Kim's patchwork costumes gradually took on the tones of jewels. And the participants, even when stalking about on their knees, seemed

Bury Me Standing is Oller's second work for Ballet Hispanico. His first, Good Night Paradise, is also strangely moving, although it lacks the structural tautness of its successor. Both are fortunate artistic choices, for they impart an emotional layer to the repertory that it might otherwise not have.

Of the three new offerings, Guajira, by company member Pedro Ruiz, was the most affecting. Although it is a first work, he avoids the complexity that often traps novice choreographers. Instead, with an ingratiating directness, he allows the audience to share a hardworking, yet playful, day in the lives of a group of Cuban peasants. Throughout their dance, one can almost smell the warm earth. The nature tones of Ann Hould-Ward's costumes underscore the atmosphere, as does Jeff Segal's dawn-to-dusk lighting. …

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