Instituto Coreografico: Thoughts from Eduardo

On the first day of Ballet Hispanico’s Instituto Coreografico there was a moment when choreographer George Céspedes posed a question to the Ballet Hispanico dancers. The room stood still. The question, rather personal, was not used to break the ice but rather to totally unhinge the dancers expectations as well as challenge their “dancer” mindset.

Mr. Céspedes, who has just finished his first American tour with Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, is a Cuban dancer and choreographer who described himself to me as an accidental dancer but a born choreographer. And move he does! He is constantly on the move and so full of energy that it feels like we may have discovered a new powerful strain of ADD in his being. He is non-stop, whimsical and bold with a natural Cuban touch of arrogance.

Four days after his bold opening statement, George has taken the dancers through a series of Laban exercises: improvisation and “honest” movement exploration that challenges the dancer’s every move and intention. These exercises have allowed the dancers to move towards George’s philosophy of movement flow. To me it a looks like a free association of muscle and bone that naturally takes a dancer from point A to B without strong-arming the movement. This does not mean that the movement has no intention or power. These dancers are being invited to harness their power in a very natural and personal way.

It is clear that George is guiding our dancers towards his preferred form of movement poetry, more “dance slam” than haiku.

More to come,
Eduardo

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