Havana-based Malpaso Dance Company steps out at The Clarice

Havana-based Malpaso Dance Company steps out at The Clarice

It’s been a minor much more than a decade given that Osnel Delgado and Daileidys

It’s been a minor much more than a decade given that Osnel Delgado and Daileidys Carrazana walked absent from Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, where they were enterprise associates, to produce their possess unbiased troupe. With Fernando Saez, who brought company management and fundraising to the combine, jointly in 2012, they fashioned Malpaso Dance Firm. In the decade due to the fact, the Havana-centered enterprise has developed into a person of the foremost modern-day repertory organizations in the earth. Under the auspices of New York’s Joyce Theater Productions, Malpaso has developed much more than a foothold in the international modern day dance scene by obtaining operates from the likes of modernist iconoclast the late Merce Cunningham Swedish choreographer Mats Ek previous household choreographer and artistic director of Batsheva Dance Firm Ohad Naharin and commissions from Rennie Harris, Aszure Barton, Trey McIntyre, and Sonya Taya to title a number of. And at the same time, both Delgado and Carranzana have been crafting functions with an plain Cuban aptitude for the firm.

Malpaso. Picture by Nir Arieli.

In Washington, the troupe has danced at each Dance Area and the Kennedy Centre. Wednesday, April 27, soon after a two-calendar year-furthermore delay, Malpaso produced its debut at the University of Maryland’s Kay Theatre in The Clarice. 4 parts showcased the ten dancers’ push, indomitable spirit, and unassailable specialized skills. From my have swift pay a visit to to Havana in 2015, I figured out that Cubans frequently are a artistic and musical people today. And, wow, all people can dance. Saturday afternoons, music wafts from dance halls and neighborhood facilities where by couples collect to salsa and socialize.

Barton’s hypnotic “Stillness in Bloom,” choreographed in 2021, is a pandemic piece in the subtlest of means. It does not really feel constrained — like a great-several “living room”-sized and -formed dances that have been made past yr for video and tiny levels. Avant-garde California-centered jazz trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire designed a score that sets the dancers off into currents of motion then pauses for periods of repose. Clad in a assortment of training dress in in vivid swatches of color, two gentlemen skitter backward meeting at centre as successive dancers sign up for and fill the house with effortless swift currents of backward motion images of whirlpools and eddies transform the blank canvas of the phase with an at any time-shifting colour palette. As the team simply maps invisible channels in the house, the dancers exit leaving a quartet who together bloom into balances, a pirouette here or there, higher human body tilts and arcs, as a moody cello accompanies. A couple continues to be, the lady dragging her companion, he pushing her in effort-stuffed counterbalances. As the up-tempo Mingus-esque jazz riffs return, the dancers fill the phase once far more. “Stillness in Bloom” coils and unwinds like a Fibonacci spiraling sequence, and the dancers navigate the simple scoots and advanced pattern shifts with aplomb.

The application opened with a stunning solo, “Lullaby for Insomnia” by Carrazana, danced by the incomparable Heriberto Maneses. Channeling all the fidgets and fussing we go by means of on sleepless evenings, Maneses, bare-chested wore black shorts, stretched and twisted his physique, 1 leg lifting head large, as his torso tilted off-kilter. The piano composition by Jordi Sabates was mood-filled accompaniment with a contact of Latin taste. Stabbing moments contrast with gentle rocking and cradling. Reveries gave way to frustrations, and in the course of Maneses’s at the same time daring and comfortable attack, his ability to condition and mould the empty space was riveting.

Mats Ek’s “woman with water” from 2021 resembles an abstract Bauhaus painting occur to everyday living. Vivid shades from a lime eco-friendly desk and dancer Dunia Acosta’s lively tangerine shift costume distinction with Osnel Delgado’s darkish match and the bare phase. And there’s a splash of refreshment: a crystal clear pitcher and glass of water. Danced to a rating by Fleshquartet, Acosta’s lanky adaptability as she lifts her leg sky large or curves her again from the desk edge continues the linearity of the stark inexperienced desk. She carries the pitcher and glass, pours some h2o, and drinks. And repeats. Delgado appears as the interloper in the stop, Acosta has collapsed and is practically swept off by Delgado, force broom in hand.

The evening closed with Naharin’s 1986 “Tabula Rasa.” The choreographer created the piece for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre additional than 30 a long time ago and put in time in Havana in 2018 instructing Malpaso’s dancers the perform. There have been improvements, as Naharin’s solution has transformed as have the dancers. As properly, the much more formal costumes — slip attire and slacks and puffy-sleeved tops for the males — have now develop into common practice wear, t-shirts, leggings, or shorts for Malpaso’s dancers.

Malpaso. Picture by Todd Rosenberg.

The mesmerizing opening, an accumulation of dancers executing a straightforward side-to-side sway and move sideways, feels both of those calming and fascinating. Naharin favors basic ground styles — dancers in straight strains, diagonals, or circles — on which he overlays a movement language he named gaga. Gaga demands deep concentration and awareness from the dancers and complete attentiveness to how their bodies transfer from the inside of out, asking them to achieve internally for commitment. The final result is an normally visceral, earthy perception of assault.

In “Tabula Rasa,” which was developed comparatively early in Naharin’s choreographic occupation, we can see him thoughtfully breaking down the standard and anticipated motion motifs of dance’s program to explore a extra reliable driver for his individual dances. Atop that original sideways sway stage, one particular dancer stops, interrupting the sample, the sway. There are unison huge team moments alongside with pairings and solos. Occasionally the repetitive new music by Arvo Component crescendos and then it softens. Afterwards, one couple is remaining by yourself on phase for a sensual physical duet. They contort and agreement, just one drags the other like a sack of potatoes, right before the team returns in a flinging sequence of arms and operates circling the stage. The piece finishes as just as it started — a dancer on your own curled into a fetal situation. This “Tabula Rasa” implies that we are all blank slates at birth.

Running Time: Around 100 minutes.

Malpaso Dance Firm, an affiliate corporation of Joyce Theater Productions, performed April 27, 2022, at The Clarice, Kay Theatre, College of Maryland, Faculty Park, Md.