Cuban Dance Co. Stages Three Unforgettable Pieces

Photo feature by Maité Fernández

HAVANA TIMES — This past February 14th, Cuba’s Danza Contemporanea (DCC) dance company treated the audience to a marvelous Saint Valentine’s gift.

On this occasion, they performed two premieres and restaged a popular piece: English choreographer Billy Cowie’s Tangos Cubanos (“Cuban Tangos”), Cuban choreographer and former DCC dancer Alexis Zanetti’s Retorno (“Return”) and Belgian-Colombian choreographer Anabelle Lopez Ochoa’s “Reversible”, which opened on January 9th in the same theater.

Tangos Cubanos enjoyed the support of the British Council in Cuba. In it, Cowie explores the universe of silence, showing us uniform bodies that move in sync to music and whispered texts. Miguel Iglesias, who has been the director of DCC for 28 years, has said that “Billy Cowie is a poet of dance.”

In the words of the author, Retorno “presents us with abstractions of time disguised as timeless memories. It portrays the act of returning as a demand, as a perpetual need.”

The choreography was accompanied by music by the DCC Percussion Group, which performed Afro-Cuban music, seducing the audience with rhythmic cadences synched to the clean thumping of the dancers, imbuing these with tremendous vitality with every beating of the drums. The performance was a celebration of tradition, a nostalgic invocation of the joy that reuniting with the city and its people involves.

With Reversible, Anabelle Lopez Ochoa sought to address gender issues – its confrontations and pleasures.

As Jorge Brooks expressed, Danza Contemporanea is one of the most eclectic companies in the world dance panorama, proving its ability to take on different styles time and time again, keeping the idiosyncracies of our culture alive and masterfully using “bodies and the dance techniques of black and mulatto Cuban performers” conceived by Ramiro Guerra.

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