Friday, June 26, 2015

Washington Ballet Launches Season with Latin Heat

Miguel Anaya & Maki Onuki (r) stars in Latin Heat (Photo: Dean Alexander )

From our friends at The Washington Ballet...

The Washington Ballet (TWB) is pleased to announce the launch of PROJECT GLOBAL, a multi-year initiative to explore and celebrate cultures of different regions around the world. In its upcoming 2015-16 season, TWB presents Latin Heat, an October festival celebrating Latin culture with live music and dance. The mainstage performance of Latin Heat at The Kennedy Center, Eisenhower Theater is an installment of five works featuring swirling salsa, flamenco guitars and a haunting Day of the Dead celebration. The performances include world and company premieres and three of the most sought-after names in contemporary choreography: Mauro de Candia, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Edwaard Liang.

“We’re kicking off our most adventuresome season yet by collaborating with innovative choreographers from around the world,” says TWB Artistic Director, Septime Webre. “We’re an American ballet company with an international perspective so it seems fitting that we’re launching the season with PROJECT GLOBAL and a focus on Latin America culture and art. The culture has such a significant influence on all sectors - with arts being one of the most visible and palpable.”

Latin Heat includes five works: Bitter Sugar, Sombrerísimo!, La Ofrenda (The Offering), Don Quixote, Act III, Pas de Deux and 5 Tangos.


Bitter Sugar
World Premiere

Salsa takes center stage in this complex work combining dominant physicality with an astonishing flare for sexiness and humor. The work of the Italian choreographer Mauro de Candia is marked by a completely individual style. His choreographies often contain dynamic group sections and complex partner work, but these are almost always alternated by serene and poetic fragments. His choices of music are often startling but are logical in his work. This is an unforgettable world premiere and TWB’s first presentation of work by this ascendant international choreographer.

Music: La Lupe
Choreography: Mauro de Candia

Company Premiere

An athletic tour de force of six men, this work features a hat as the centerpiece of the choreography. Set to the music of swirling flamenco guitar and raucous Spanish rap, Sombrerísimo makes references to the surrealist world of the Belgian painter René Magritte, famous for his paintings of men in bowler hats. This work was commissioned by New York City Center for the 10th anniversary of the Fall for Dance Festival in 2013 and was first performed by Ballet Hispanico. The work made Dance Magazine’s “Best of 2013” list. Belgian-Colombian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa infuses technique from modern dance, ballet, flamenco and lyrical jazz, with rhythmic agility and stylistic flair. She works regularly within the dance field but also creates for theatre, opera and musical theatre.

Music: Banda Ionica, Titi Robin
Choreography: Annabelle Lopez Ochoa

La Ofrenda (The Offering)

A tribute to Mexico’s Day of the Dead, a celebration of remembrance and prayer for the deceased, Edwaard Liang draws from classical ballet works to choreograph this spirited mingling of dead souls with a set that includes several hundred fiberglass sculptures depicting flowers, doves and skulls, the iconic symbols of the holiday. Highlights include a passionate pas de deux with the strength and vitality of ballet and Latin dance moves. Liang has built an international reputation as a choreographer, and is known for drawing much of his inspiration from music. La Ofrenda premiered in 2012, performed by The Washington Ballet.

Music: Lila Downs
Choreography: Edwaard Liang

Don Quixote, Act III, Pas de Deux

This grand pas de deux from the iconic classical ballet repertoire has a dizzying display of virtuosic technique as coquette Kitri asserts herself as both fiery and majestic to the rakish barber Basilio. Don Quixote is based on the epic masterpiece by Miguel de Cervantes. This work was originally choreographed by Marius Petipa in 1869.

Music: Leon Minkus (Petipa did libretto)
Choreography: Marius Petipa

5 Tangos

This sizzling work combines ballet with the passion, sensuality and drama of the tango. 5 Tangos premiered at the Het Nationale Ballet (Amsterdam) in 1977 and was first performed by The Washington Ballet in 2014 as part of its fall program, Petite Mort. World-renowned choreographer Hans van Manen helped formulate the now commonly accepted synthesis of academic and other dance techniques. Trademarks of his style include clarity, simplicity and the extremely balanced, almost mathematical structure of his dance compositions.

Music: Astor Piazzolla
Choreography: Hans van Manen

LATIN HEAT Main Stage Performances

Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater
Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 7:30 PM (Preview)
Thursday, October 15, 2015, 7:30 PM (Opening Night)
Friday, October 16, 2015, 7:30 PM
Saturday, October 17, 2015, 1:30 PM Family Series matinee performance: Latin Heat: Kids!
Saturday, October 17, 2015, 7:30 PM
Sunday, October 18, 2015, 1:30 PM; 7:30 PM

Latin Heat: Kids!

A matinee performance of Latin Heat that features interactive elements geared toward young audiences.

Eisenhower Theater, Saturday, October 17, 1:30 PM

Additional Festival Events

theNEWmovement: iFiesta Latina!

This exploration of south-of-the-border rhythms includes excerpts from Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Sueño de Mármol and Septime Webre’s Carmen Suite and Juanita y Alicia. theNEWmovement series features The Washington Ballet’s Studio Company, a group of dancers who receive vigorous training and are poised to become the dance stars of the future.

The England Studio at The Washington Ballet, 3515 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Friday, September 25, 7 PM
Saturday, September 26, 7 PM

THEARC Theater at 1901 Mississippi Avenue, SE
Sunday, September 27, 3 PM Performance; 4 PM Post Performance Reception

inthewings: The Latin Invasion

A unique, insightful opportunity as Artistic Director Septime Webre delves into the contributions that Latin artists are making to artistic sensibilities. This inthewings event is one in a series of intimate evenings that provide an insider’s view of each performance.

The England Studio at The Washington Ballet, 3515 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Monday, October 5, 6:30 PM

As part of the Latin Heat festival, DCPS students of TWB’s DanceDC program will be able to attend a free dress rehearsal of Latin Heat at Eisenhower Theater.

PROJECT GLOBAL is slated to return in the 2016-17 season with an Asian Dream festival. Future TWB PROJECT GLOBAL programs will include focuses on Africa and Israel among other regions.

ABOUT PROJECT GLOBAL: TWB’s Multi-Year International Initiative:
Embedded in the international cultural fabric of Washington, DC, TWB has attracted dancers, students and teachers from around the world and it is their common passion for dance and classical ballet that unifies them. This season, we are pleased to formalize our interest in global cultural expression with a multi-year initiative that will explore different regions of the world in a festival format that will annually celebrate a region with 7 presentation elements:

• A mainstage subscription-series festival production by TWB

• Focus on choreographers, themes and the artistic progress from the region

• Focus on music and choreography from the region for a TWB Studio Company
theNEWmovement performance

• The study of the history and culture of the region by DC Public School Students that
participate in TWB’s DanceDC Program

• Opportunities for young professionals to be engaged through our beerballet&bubbly
program with special access to performances

• Diplomatic Dance: A series of programs that engage the ambassadorial and embassy
community to excite and inform the DC metropolitan area about the beauty and complexity of their respective cultures

• A cultural trip to the region for TWB patrons

The Washington Ballet (TWB) was originally founded as The Washington School of Ballet in 1944 by legendary ballet pioneer Mary Day and incorporated as a professional company in 1976. The Washington Ballet is one of the pre-eminent ballet organizations in the United States. TWB built an international reputation presenting bold works by choreographers from around the world, including Choo San Goh, Christopher Wheeldon, Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp, Hans van Manen and Jiří Kylián, as well as neoclassical masterworks and fresh staging of 19th century classics. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Septime Webre and Managing Director Arthur Espinoza, Jr., TWB has embraced a three-part mission: ensuring excellence in its professional performance company; growing the next generation of dancers through its Washington School of Ballet; and serving the community in which it resides through robust community engagement programs.