Y ‘ole

This is a title of a show choreographed by the amazing choreographer Jose Montalvo.

He is a choreographer who was borne in France but is of Spanish decent. He sets the stage on fire with a hybrid of skilled artsists who dance flamenco, ballet, modern, breakdancing, African and they sing too!

For or the first half of his work he makes his own interpretation of.The Rite of Spring ((the original ritualistic sacrifice dance is choreographed by Vaslov Nijinsky and the music created by Igor Stravinisky( whose music stresses strange stress, tonality, rhythm and dissonance), caused the audience members to leave during the show and a riot ensued outside the theater after)).

It opened with a powerhouse of seven woman alternating movements of four flamenco dancers and three ballet dancers on flat. The flamenco dancers would create heart pumping beats in their heeled black shoes as their upper body and hips flared in fierce curves. The ballet danced combined their flight flexibility, and grace as they leaped turned and kicked through space. It was as if the ballerinas were the wind and the the flamenco dancers were the breeze.

Tumbling out of stage left are the B Boyz. They display gravity defying acrobatics as they roll on and off the floor. They execute the moves so cleanly and without sound that you think they should have broken something. Up down, up down. They also shift into isolation movement,  letting their joints and limbs have a domino effect his through the rest of their body. The transition is sometimes made edgy  smooth.

An older flamenco couple created a strong and playful relationship between themselves. They were very skilled in style and speed. Later on they both had gorgeous singing solos that simply captivated me.

Meanwhile all the dancing is occurring,  the entire  backdrop is a screen displaying the image of the sediments of the earth and a tree growing upside down inside of it. The graphics are simple but effective in grabbing your attention without distracting too much from the dancers.

Up the middle up stage, a female modern dancer and male African dancer meet. They shift and take turns moving and a shadow of them is on the top level of the screen and dancing as they dance. Neither of them where shoes which are traditions in each dance form. Later on in the act they have a fierce partnering screen before the modern dancer strips off her skirt and shirt. Her shirt she offers to the other dancers as it is reflecting the Rite of Spring. She eventually dancing into exhaustion.

In the second half Montalvo explores his own desires of having the dancers interact more with each other like theB Boy partnering with the ballerina, the flamenco dancers creating beats for the B Boys and one ballerina shifting quickly in duets with every single style that existed on stage.

The backdrop changed to ocean waves and an image of a boat. There would be images of the dancers (still with poor graphics but recognizable to see the correlation) one by one on the shift little brown boat. I believe that the choice of using poor graphics was intentional. There would be random images crossing the screen like horse or an old lady walking a barking dog. I’m not quite sure what that part means.

Stage hands brought in a similar boat stage left. Some would play or sing on it, but eventually as it came to a close everyone was in the boat. Like we are all in the same boat of trying to belong together without losing ourselves.

During the entire time the music would shift from instrumental to them singing traditional Spanish songs lives and then shifting to a western song in English or just allowing the stomps of the flamenco dancers feet hold the sound(At one point they brought put castanets!). Talented sings and movers.

It was chaotic, entertaining, wonderful and sometimes a bit overwhelming because there was so much to look at. I feel like I need to see it a couple times to pick up all the nuances and dynamics inside his work.

Everyone kept to their specific art form and honored the beauty of purity of form. Each style was easily recognized and proud to be seen, clean and sure through movement and transition.  All of the forms respected each other and coexisted together, like how many people wish we could coesist in the outside world. It is possible to live peacefully and happily together. I hope one day everyone can be celebrated in the way these dancers experienced It tonight.


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