Clowes Hall, Oct. 10
Fast-paced, fluid, physicality dramatizing every move places dancers' passion at the forefront of interpretation. It is immediately apparent every dancer is invested in the story unfolding in the moment. We happen upon this situation at this place and time, observing "players" assessing, acting, reacting; driving action even when seemingly disengaged. We have come into the midst of a scene where blood is hot, calculations are cool, humor is sharp, endings are surprising. It's double-take choreography and dancing covering genres from classical to modern, from stiletto heels to ballet slippers to bare feet. Costumes and lighting are on the mark. Company founder Tina Ramirez intended dancers and audience to confront each other on emotional, intellectual and aesthetic levels. This may well be heightened under new artistic director Eduardo Vilaro, a former Ballet Hispanico dancer who founded Luna Negra Dance Theatre in Chicago. The bill at Clowes showed the "rich diversity within Latino cultures," dashing any stereotypes brought in by a ticket holder. Choreographer Pedro Ruiz's "Club Havana" showcases six rhythms growing from different circumstances; Andrea Miller's premiere of "Naci" plumbed Spanish, Jewish, Arabic cultures from 15th century roots branching into modern time; Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's "Locked up Laura" is eye-brow lifting voyeurism; and Vincente Nebrada's "Batucada Fantastica" is an unabashed showcase of one-up-man-ship. Ballet Hispanico, in the tradition of all fine companies, bases its program upon the triad of education [dance school], performance and public outreach. BH member Jeffrey Hover is a Butler dance graduate and former Dance Kaleidoscope member.