Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company Brings a Multicultural Program and Two World Premieres to SF on March 21, 2020
One of the rising stars of contemporary dance, Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company will stage two world premieres in a multicultural program of four dances at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21, 2020, in the Fine Arts Hall at the Northwest Campus of Santa Fe College, 3000 NW 83 Street, Gainesville. Premiering are “Duo de la Escoba – Revisited (Broom Duet),” choreographed by Daileidys Carrazana after Alberto Alonso’s “El Solar,” and “woman with water,” a revisiting of “Wet Woman”—originally performed by the world-famous ballerina Sylvie Guillem—with choreography by Mats Ek.
Tickets are $15 for adults; $9 for University of Florida students with a UF identification card, seniors over 60, and children 12 and under; $5 for Santa Fe College (SF) students with an SF identification card; and free for Santa Fe College faculty, staff and retirees with a valid SF identification card. For information or tickets, call 352-395-4181 or visit:
“Malpaso is a contemporary company that collaborates with the world’s top choreographers and they are bringing to Gainesville the kind of global show that you don’t see very often,” explained SF Fine Arts Department Chairperson Alora Haynes. “Dances by American, Cuban, Israeli and Swiss choreographers are on the program. The renowned Swiss choreographer Mats Ek is coming out of retirement to be here for a week to create a new version of one of his world-famous works, ‘Wet Woman,’ one of his masterpieces. He’ll be spending time with our students, plus invited students from the University of Florida and Florida State University, while he’s here.”
In addition to collaborating with internationally known choreographers, Malpaso is actively committed to nurturing new Cuban choreographers. With a growing reputation and an increasing international profile, Malpaso tours with 11 dancers and is an Associate Company of Joyce Theater Productions.
“The Spanish word ‘malpaso’ means ‘misstep’ and refers to what some people in the dance world think of people who are trained in classical ballet who then choose to move into contemporary dance,” Haynes explained. “That choice isn’t a misstep, though, because classical ballet training enables your body to do anything and that brings a whole new dimension of movement to contemporary dance.” Dancers in the Malpaso troupe chose that “misstep” when they broke away from the National Ballet of Cuba to perform contemporary dance.
The directors of Malpaso are Osnel Delgado, Fernando Sáez and Daileidys Carrazana. Before founding Malpaso in 2012, Delgado danced with Danza Contemporanea de Cuba. He graduated from the National Dance School of Havana, where he is now a professor of dance studies. Sáez graduated from the School of Performing Arts at the Superior Institute of Arts (ISA) in Havana and is also a founder and actor of Estudio Teatral de Santa Clara. Carrazana graduated from the National Ballet School in Havana and, like Delgado, danced with Danza Contemporanea de Cuba before founding Malpaso. Delgado and Carrazana also dance with Malpaso.
Press reports about Malpaso are full of generous praise. Laura Bleiberg of the Los Angeles Times described a performance by Malpaso as “…a pinch-me moment, one of those times when you catch an artistic dawning…Malpaso’s dancers were exceptional.” Adrienne Totino of the Pittsburgh Examiner wrote, “Malpaso’s aim is to bring ‘Cuban contemporary dance into the 21st century.’ Clearly, they have already arrived.”
“Malpaso’s directors credit the Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso, who taught at SF for many years, with creating an opening in the dance world for new choreography—an opening that enabled them to form their company,” Haynes said. The revisited version of “Broom Duet” that Malpaso will premiere pays tribute to Alonso and his wife, Sonia Calero-Alonso, who originally performed that piece about daily life in Cuba in Alberto’s dance “El Solar.”
In addition to the premieres of “Broom Duet” and “woman with water,” the other dances on the program are “Elemental,” choreographed by Robyn Mineko Williams of the USA, and “Tabula Rasa,” choreographed by Ohad Naharin of Israel. “‘Tabula Rasa’ is a 30-year-old piece that’s spellbinding!” Haynes exclaimed.
“In a time when so many people are divided, it’s important to realize what we can do when we work together,” Haynes concluded. “I cannot think of a better experience for a young dance student than to be deeply immersed in an effort like this. And I can’t think of anything more inspiring for our community than to see the results of these multicultural collaborations.”
The performance of Malpaso Dance Company is sponsored in part by Joyce Theater Productions; by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and by the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Department.
For more information about Malpaso, see https://www.malpasodance.com/ or call Alora Haynes at 352-395-5296.
For more information about tickets, call the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall Box Office at 352-395-4181.