A contemporary-dance masterclass

Danza Contemporanea De Cuba. Picture by Johan Persson

REVIEW: Danza Contemporánea de Cuba, Theatre Royal, Newcastle, Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Electric, moving and powerful – this was Dance Contemporánea de Cuba’s performance at the Theatre Royal last night.

Danza Contemporanea De Cuba. Picture by Johan Persson

This talented troupe dazzled the audience with three eye-catching and show-stopping routines, serving up a masterclass in contemporary dance.

The first dance, Reversible, was choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. This almost dreamlike performance was mystical, oozing passion and warmth. There were also some impressive lifts in the routine.

The second performance, The Listening Room, choreographed by Theo Clinkard, had more of an abstract and urban feel about it. Based on a silent disco, it was packed with colour and humour.

The first two performances were very strong indeed, but the group left the best until last.

The highlight of the evening was the final dance, Matria Etnocentra, choreographed by George Cespedes.

This impressive routine, with a military theme, was incredibly powerful. The bulk of the performance featured the entire ensemble moving in unison. It was mesmerising and the perfect way to round off a truly memorable evening.

All three performances showed just how versatile the dancers are.

The routines were completely stripped back too. With no staging – other than a light in The Listening Room – the troupe simply let their dancing do the talking.

The show is on again at the Theatre Royal this evening, starting at 7.30pm. For tickets, visit the Theatre Royal website.

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba was founded in 1959 and has since become the nation’s flagship contemporary dance troupe with a hybrid, hothouse style that is a pungent blend of African-Caribbean rhythms, jazzy American modernism and inflections from European ballet.

Danza Contemporánea de Cuba have for 50 years produced dancers of the highest level with a style evoking the sensual, mystical and raw heart of Cuban spirit. Collaborations with international leaders in dance have combined with the Afro Caribbean and Spanish fusions to produce an electrifying, evocative and distinctly unique expression of all that is Cuban.

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