DanceDramaReviewSouth West

Acosta Danza: 100% Cuban – Theatre Royal, Plymouth

Reviewer: Marina Spark

Choreographers: Raúl Reinoso, Norge Cedeno, Thais Suarez, Pontus Lidberg, Maria Rovira, Alexis Fernandez, Yaday Ponce

Theatre Royal, Plymouth plays host to Dance Consortium’s latest dance bonanza, Acosta Danza: 100% Cuban. The dance company, Acosta Danza, was created by the legendary, visionary choreographer Carlos Acosta in 2015; its primary vision being to harness and develop young, creative, Cuban dance talent. When the talented young dancers’ skills are combined with choreographers Raúl Reinoso, Norge Cedeno, Thais Suarez, Pontus Lidberg, Maria Rovira, Alexis Fernandez, and Yaday Ponce’s captivating pieces, the audience is in for a visual treat.

Acosta Danza: 100% Cuban is a medley of 5 stimulating pieces combining classical and contemporary dance genres, drawing upon Cuba’s rich musical and dance influences.

The first piece is Liberto, which features themes of slavery and freedom, mythology and reality to create a fascinating visual journey for the audience. Raúl Reinoso’s choreography draws richly on Afro-Cuban culture, mixing elements of folk, modern and contemporary dances to create a heart pounding piece. The music by Pepe Gavilondo is rhythmic yet discordant at times, creating an earthy, aural backdrop to the stimulating dance.

The second piece is Hybrid. Choreographed by Norge Cedeno and Thais Suarez, Hybrid uses the myth of Sisyphus to transport the audience into an unsettling, dramatic, groundhog day. The repetitive action and powerful choreography give a sense of reality and unreality being blurred as the dancers strive and battle to reach imaginary futures. The ensemble work in this piece is particularly strong.

Paysage, Soudain, la nuit, choreographed by Pontus Lidberg, is a welcome break to the intensity of Hybrid. This hopeful and organic third piece uses rumba, a genre of traditional Cuban music with African roots to create a celebration of youth between twilights and dawns. The lighting and set design by Yaron Abulafia sets Paysage, Soudain, la nuit in a dreamy, whimsical, yet hedonistic world, seamlessly incorporating Cuban Elizabet Cervino’s artistic installation Viento (2017) into the wistful world.

Impronta features the outstanding Zeleidy Crespo in a piece bringing together Afro-Cuban folk elements to an otherwise modern and contemporary dance. The visually stunning choreography by Maria Rovira combined with the captivating dance talents of Crespo makes for an exhilarating piece.

The final piece showcased is De Punta a Cabo. Choreographed by Alexis Fernandez and Yaday Ponce, De Punta a Cabo features a large screen revealing the contemporary Cuban coast at twilight. The mix between contemporary and classical dance is at its most pronounced in this piece and provides the audience with the feeling that a fantastically exotic party has come to an end before it makes its journey home on a cold winters’ night.

All in all, Acosta Danza: 100% Cuban is an exciting, stimulating and captivating showcase, featuring first class dancers and world renowned choreography.

Runs until 5 March 2022

The reviews Hub Score

Exhilarating and captivating

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The Southwest team is under the editorship of Holly Spanner. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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