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Preview: Danza Contemporánea de Cuba at Newcastle Theatre Royal

   Dance Consortium PRESENTS ITS 40th UK TOUR

Three UK PREMIERES by three leading choreographers:
Reversible by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa;
The Listening Room by Theo Clinkard;
and Matria Etnocentra by George Céspedes

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba in
Matria Etnocentra – photo Johan Persson

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd February 2017.

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba’s
Andrés Ascanio and Heriberto Meneses
 in Reversible – photo Johan Persson
Dance Consortium, a group of 17 large scale venues located across the UK, has announced full details of its 40th tour, Danza Contemporánea de Cuba’s UK Tour 2017. Last seen in the UK in 2012, Cuba’s vibrant flagship contemporary dance company will present an exciting programme choreographed by some of today’s most sought-after choreographic names. The 2017 UKtour arrives at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd February 2017.

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba in Reversible.
Foreground Jennifer Tejeda and Iosmaly Ordoñez
photo Johan Persson
For more than five decades, since the company was founded by Ramiro Guerra in 1959, Danza Contemporánea de Cuba’s (DCC) hybrid and hothouse dance blend of African-Caribbean rhythms, jazzy American modernism and influences from classical European ballet has been evoking the sensual heart of the Cuban spirit through vigorous and highly physical contemporary dance.

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba’s
Maikel Pons and Anabel Pomar in Matria Etnocentra
photo Johan Persson
Now under the directorship of Miguel Iglesias, the company will present three UKpremieres during its UK Tour- a mixed bill of recently created work by three top choreographers: Belgian-Colombian Annabelle Lopez Ochoa; the UK’s Theo Clinkard; and the company’s very own Cuban wunderkind George Céspedes.

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba’s
Laura Ríos and José A. Elias in Reversible
photo Johan Persson
Hot Cuban passions, sass and wit all meet in Reversible by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. It delves deep into the path of gender matters, sudden changes in relationships, the games, rivalry and pleasure of being opponents and dissidents. To an eclectic soundtrack including music by Jean-Claude Kerinec & Staff Elmeddah, Kroke, Scanner and Eric Vaarzon Morel, Reversible is a captivating comment on gender, spoken in Lopez Ochoa’s trademark quirky style, this time with a Cuban accent. Lighting is by Fernando Alonso and costumes by Vladimir Cuenca.

Reversibleis performed by seventeen company dancers and premiered in Cuba in 2015. The original production was sponsored by the Netherlands Embassy in Cuba.

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba
in Reversible
photo Johan Persson
Lopez Ochoa has created work for over forty dance companies across the world, including English National Ballet and New York City Ballet, and is currently one of the female choreographers most in demand on the international scene. In 2012 she created her first full-length ballet, A Streetcar Named Desire for Scottish Ballet. The production received a South Bank Sky Arts Award for ‘Best New Production’ and a Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for ‘Best Classical Choreography’. Earlier this year Lopez Ochoa received further critical acclaim for Broken Wings, a new work for English National Ballet’s She Said programme.

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba
in Matria Etnocentra
photo Johan Persson

The Listening Room, an exuberant and experimental piece by Theo Clinkard, was created for twenty DCC dancers and premiered in Cuba in May 2016. It was originally funded by British Council as part of ‘Islas Creativas’ (Creative Islands) initiative between British Council and DCC to support the development of new choreography.

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba
in Matria Etnocentra
photo Johan Persson
Set to Steve Reich’s driving score, ‘Variations for Vibes, Pianos and Strings’, The Listening Room is a celebration of expressive and instinctive dancing. As the performers in headphones respond to an alternate soundtrack of wildly diverse music and text, the piece invites the audience to create their own relationships between what they hear and what they see. Lighting is by Fernando Alonso and costumes are made by Vladimir Cuenca. 

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba’s
Thais Suárez and Niosbel Gonzáles in Reversible
Photo Johan Persson
Following twenty years performing in work by many of the UK’s celebrated dance makers, Brighton based choreographer, performer and stage designer, Clinkard has swiftly built an international reputation for creating compelling and visually arresting dance. Clinkard launched his own company in 2012 to develop work that explores the communicative potential of the body and the empathetic nature of dance in performance. In 2015, he was one of three choreographers selected to create a work for the renowned Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch as part of their very first evening of new work after the passing of its founder, the visionary Pina Bausch.

Matria Etnocentra by the company’s resident choreographer and dancer George Céspedes sees 23 dancers moving to a drill-like rhythm in this award-winning work: following its world premiere in Havana in 2015, Céspedeswas awarded the Critique Villanueva Award 2015 by the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba for ‘Best Choreography’.

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba
in Matria Etnocentra
photo Johan Persson
To music by Nacional Electrónica and Hermanos Expósito including interpretations of the music of Ignacio Villa (Bola de Nieve), costume design by George Céspedes and lighting by Ariel Capote Granado, it is an exciting group work that portrays the tension between the fluidity of music and dance and the regimented nature of daily life in Cuba.

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba’s
José A. Elias and Stephanie Hardy in
Matria Etnocentra – photo Johan Persson
Following DCC’s last UK tour, Céspedes’ Mambo 3XX1was nominated for Olivier and TMAawards for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Dance’. Born in Holguin in Cuba in 1979 Céspedes studied at National School of Dance in Havanaand joined DCC as a dancer in 1998. As a principal dancer he has performed in more than 19 works in DCC’s repertoire. He has created works for many companies including DCC, Ballet Nacional de Cuba and National School of Dance.

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba’s
Andrés Ascanio and Heriberto Meneses
in Matria Etnocentra – photo Johan Persson
Miguel Iglesias, Director of Danza Contemporánea de Cuba, said: “With thanks to an ongoing relationship with Dance Consortium and the kind welcome of the UK audiences, we are extremely pleased to return to England, Scotland and Wales with three UK premieres. It is with great pleasure we will present works by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Theo Clinkard who worked in collaboration with the British Council during the Creative Islands project and our very own George Céspedes whose work Mambo 3XX1 was so greatly received by audiences and critics in 2012. We hope the 2017 tour helps to build on the exciting and ever-growing relationship between Cuba and the UK.”

Ros Robins, Dance Consortium’s Executive Director, said: “Marking Dance Consortium’s 40thtour, we are looking forward to welcoming Danza Contemporánea de Cuba back to the UK, hot on the heels of the fantastic success of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater tour. Over a seven week period Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater visited ten Dance Consortium theatres, with 34 performances to over 40,000 theatregoers. In addition, 5879 people enjoyed 37 educational sessions led by Ailey dancers and rehearsal director Matthew Rushing inspired 45 of the UK’s most talented young dancers in a week-long Intensive in collaboration with DanceEast. We are currently talking to visiting companies about how we continue to build these unique opportunities and eagerly await the arrival of Danza Contemporánea de Cuba, yet another internationally renowned company to the UK.”

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @danceconsortium #DanzaCuba2017

Dance Consortium presents Danza Contemporánea de Cuba UKTour 2017

Tue 14 & Wed 15 February at 7.30pm  
Royal Concert Hall NOTTINGHAM
Tickets: 0115 989 5555

Fri 17 & Sat 18 February at 7.30pm
Tickets: 0843 208 6000

Tue 21 & Wed 22 February at 7.30pm
Theatre Royal NEWCASTLE
Tickets: 08448 11 21 21

Thu 23 February at 8pm
Barbican Hall LONDON
Tickets: 020 7638 8891

Tue 28 February & Wed 1 March at 7.30pm
WalesMillennium Centre CARDIFF
Tickets: 029 2063 6464

Fri 3 & Sat 4 March at 7.30pm
Theatre Royal
Tickets: 01752 267222

Tue 7 & Wed 8 March at 7.30pm
BrightonDome BRIGHTON
Tickets: 01273 709709

Fri 10 March at 7.30pm
Tickets: 01463 234234

Tue 14 & Wed 15 March at 7.30pm
Festival Theatre
Tickets: 0131 529 6000

Fri 17 & Sat 18 March at 7.30pm
Marlowe Theatre CANTERBURY
Tickets: 01227 787787


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