Malpaso Dance Company at the Wallis Annenberg

BEVERLY HILLS, CA. Mar. 28, 2019. Malpaso Dance, Cuba’s hottest contemporary dance company in a program of movement and music featuring works by Artistic Director Osnel Delgado, as well as international choreographers Merce Cunningham, Beatriz Garcia, and Ohad Naharin in the BRAM GOLDSMITH THEATER at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo Credit: Lawrence K. Ho)

On Friday, March 29th, I attended the performance of the Malpaso Dance Company at the Wallis Annenberg in Beverly Hills. One of Cuba’s hottest dance companies, this is the second time the dance company has appeared in Los Angeles, following its debut in 2017. I expected the Cuban musical sounds we Americans have come to love and adore – Salsa, Bolero, Nueva Trova – but was enthralled, although not a single Rumba was heard.  I enjoyed the fluid and interesting modern choreography.  Dance is very hard work and it is a good dance company that makes it look effortless.

Led by Artistic Director and Choreographer Osnel Delgado, the program begins with Fielding Sixes  created by the legendary choreographer and dancer Merce Cunningham. Cunningham describes the piece as, “a country dance in which the formal shapes open out in unexpected ways, the dancers appearing and disappearing and exchanging groups and partners in a fluid manner.” Tonight’s performance is re-staged by Jamie Scot. Music: “Improvisation IV” by John Cage. Dancers: Dunia Acosta, Maria Karla Araujo, Daileidys Carrazana, Osnel Delgado, Beatriz Garcia, Armando Gomez, Abel Rojo, Lisbeth Saad.

Next, my favorite segment was a sensual piece danced by Osnel Delgado and Daile Carrazana,  choreographed by Ocaso . Music used was “Parallel Suns” by Autechre, “White Man Sleeps,” by Kronos Quartet and “Sunlight” by Max Richter.

Then, Malpaso company member Beatriz Garcia embarked on her first choreographic project with “(Ser) Bein.” In Spanish ser means “to be.” Music was “lo non ho paura” (Danza), “Delle paura” (Danza 4), and “Smiles for Y” by Ezio Bosso. Dancers were Dunia Acosta, Fernando Benet, Beatriz Garcia.

The final dance piece performed was Tabula Rasa, choreographed by Ohad Naharin. It was first performed by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre on February 6, 1986 and the company performed it well. Music was Tabula Rasa by Avro Part. Dancers were Dunia Acosta, Esteban Aguilar, Maria Karla Araujo, Fernando Benet, Daileidys Carrazana, Osnel Delgado, Manuel Duran, Beatriz Garcia, Armando Gomez, Lisbeth Saad.

In the six short years since Malpaso Dance Company was established it has become one of the most sought after Cuban dance companies with a growing international profile.

It is a tremendous joy that we can bring Cuban Artists to America and it was an honor to have them in Los Angeles.

Visit the Wallis Annenberg Website.

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