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The Rise and Fall of Eva Peron in Ballet

The Rise and Fall of Eva Peron in Ballet

Hispanic ballet founded in 1970 Two years celebrating its 50th anniversary, At the City Center’s Inaugural Dance Festival on Friday, April 1, the company presented donna peronThe latest show in the long-running festival, which started off with a bang with shows canceled in April 2020.

Anniversary events are often empty fanfare, but this one is a milestone: The company’s first full-length productionAnd a truly wonderful show.

donna peron75 minutes long and choreographed by prolific Belgian-Colombian dancer Annabelle López Ochoa, is A vivid picture in ten episodes of the life of Eva Perón -Evita-, the legendary and controversial Argentine actress who became the first populist out of poverty, before the age of 33, when she died of cervical cancer.

Hear whoever wants to hear.  The Life of Eva Perón by Hispanic Ballet.  Photo: BallethiSpanico / Paula Lobo

Hear whoever wants to hear. The Life of Eva Perón by Hispanic Ballet. Photo: BallethiSpanico / Paula Lobo

Portrait Without Judgment

In an interview about the work, López Ochoa said: “We wanted to paint a portrait of a woman without passing judgment,” an approach she reiterated in a talk Friday after the show with Eduardo Villaro, the artistic director of the Hispanic Ballet. . ,

Still it’s hard to get out donna peron without praising its protagonist, partly because of narrative decisions—which Emphasize the personal over the political—and partly because of the talent of the lead dancer of the opening night cast, captivating dandara vega,

One of the main strengths of the production is the careful integration of movement – ​​López Ochoa’s high-gloss, athletic style in contemporary ballet, brilliantly executed by the entire corps de ballet – with compelling design elements.

This harmony is different from the early image of the saint: Vega alone in the center of the stage.raised on a pedestal in a huge white dress, as if he were on a full climb. (Mark Erik designed the costumes, many of which come and go through fluid changes on stage; the short, functional set design and projections are by Christopher Ashe.)

Lady Peron.  The Life of Evita in a Version of Hispanic Ballet.  Photo: BallethiSpanico / Paula Lobo

Lady Peron. The Life of Evita in a Version of Hispanic Ballet. Photo: BallethiSpanico / Paula Lobo

Veiga soon joined a group of dancers representing supporters of the working class Evita, shirtless, waving white clothes in the wind.

His uniform phrases counteract the calmness of Eva’s authoritarian posture: her arms raised at right angles that frame her face, a recurring gesture that sometimes breaks into a frantic movement, which is echoed by the group. .

Recorded sounds of speech and cheer are woven into the dramatic score Original by Peter Salem (live performance) for bandoneon, piano, percussion, cello and violin.

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Hispanic ballet poster announcing "Donna Perón".

Hispanic ballet poster announcing “Donna Perón”.

López Ochoa, who collaborated with director Nancy Meckler, makes it clear from the start that something isn’t right: Viga cramps and trembles; His followers support him.

In the second episode, we meet the girl Evita (the brave Neena Basu) and the witness how her father turned her down, who had another wealthy family. The young Evita reappears throughout the ballet, sometimes exiled and sometimes embraced by her adult self.

The action moves on after Evita moves into town, showing his flirtation with men – Demonstrate skillful combinations with his teammates with a hint of tango – and his continued rise to fame and power.

Although very different from the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, this description of Evita’s story takes on some themes from her narrative arc. Chris Bloom as Juan Perón is a competent technician, but is increasingly shaded by intense light Why Vega? Their chemistry as a life partner and political partner never fizzled out.

A dreamlike scene from "Donna Perón", with the Hispanic Ballet celebrating its 50th anniversary.  Photo: BallethiSpanico / Paula Lobo

A dreamlike scene from “Donna Perón”, with the Hispanic Ballet celebrating its 50th anniversary. Photo: BallethiSpanico / Paula Lobo

From a theatrical point of view, donna peron suffering from something recharged moments and others that lack perfection,

spectrum of disease imposes itself in a dramatic way: From time to time, the veiga staggers and grabs its abdomen, while the projections of the roots or veins that are visible in the background indicate an internal collapse of the body. When his character dies and Bloom tries to revive him, the dialogue is almost cartoon-like.

But these weak routes are opposed by other very dynamic people.

Finally, Vega (on stage for almost the entire play) Finds himself alone after being turned down by the upper classes, who dance a waltz. Quietly (the music ends), she throws her heels and diamond necklace backstage and begins stamping her feet, shouting with seductive rawness, “Che! Che!”

Dandara Vega composes a captivating avita in "Donna Perón" by Hispanic Ballet.  Photo: BallethiSpanico / Paula Lobo

Dandara Vega composes a captivating avita in “Donna Perón” by Hispanic Ballet. Photo: BallethiSpanico / Paula Lobo

Dancers join him, multiplying his rhythm with their own a cappella singing and body beats. In this union, you see not only a fascinating history, but a company that has reached a new horizon.

Source: The New York Times

Translation: Alyssa Cornelli

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