Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Dance Review : Danza Troupe's Promise Unfulfilled

October 08, 1994|JENNIFER FISHER

COSTA MESA — It all started so well. Brooding in amber light on a dark stage, Emilio Hernandez, the tall, dark and virtuosic force of Teatro de Danza Espanola, erupted in a fit of elegantly forceful moods, stopping and starting as if electrically charged.

In silence, his feet became a racing heart, then fluttering birds, or a sudden, fierce rain falling on a plain made of putty. Heels only, toes only, the tip of one toe delicately drumming its own solo--how could anyone create such rapture in heavy boots?

That was early on in Thursday night's program at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Soon enough, the question was: How could the Madrid-based company--with such well-trained dancers, two driving guitars (Vicente Cortes and Enrique Bermudez) and singers (Tony Maya and Francisco (Morito) Suero)--become, well, not so exciting?

The idea of boredom sneaking into episodes of percussive flamenco feet and super-charged postures of desire seems particularly oxymoronic. But not impossible, when the narrative of the company's "Romeo and Juliet"-style dance-drama, "Luna de Sangre" ("Blood Moon") unfolded slowly, went on forever and depended too much on well-lit frozen vignettes, dramatic as they were.

Choreographer and company founder Luis (Luisillo) Davila rarely departed from repeated, familiar steps and symmetrical line patterns to tell his story, failing to create the kind of movement language that could elaborate the lead characters (Hernandez and Maria Vivo).

With all the potential of fiery flamenco pairings, Vivo and Hernandez did not ignite a spark. Although each has a style that organizes opposing tensions well in their own bodies, the thread of tense desire that should connect them was missing. Endless passing in the night and introspective soliloquies do not a balcony scene make.

Concluding the evening was "Cafe del Puerto" (the Harbor Cafe), consisting of the familiar format of seated performers clapping and taking turns in the spotlight. In general, Davila has given the most dynamic choreography to the men, although the women got a chance to shine briefly in a gestural standoff as opposing factions in "Luna."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|