Review: Danza Contemporanea De Cuba: UK Tour 2012. Snape Maltings, Friday May 11 2012.

Contemporary dance whilst technically excellent can be difficult or indecipherable at times making it a difficult art form to adopt from certain performances. At it’s liveliest however Contemporary dance can literally energize an audience lighting all up as the residual infant joy in all our souls is released and we are reminded of the naivety of childhood again. Danza Contemporanea De Cuba’s latest tour brings a trio of works that do just that - they are accessible, witty and intelligent; energizing the audience whilst hinting ever so lightly at tensions within the works.

The first piece, ‘Sombrisa’, gave the 18 dancers chance to show their athleticism against the use of strong lighting.

‘Carmen’ was an hilarious and camp joy as seven male dancers performed against various well known excerpts from the Opera. The sudden blood red lighting at the start of The ‘March of The Toreadors’ betrayed that this was not just a comic dance but one full of imagery and heavily redolent of Spain.

The third piece Mambo 3XXI was an unashamed crowd-pleaser using Mambo dance styles against the modern big beat music of Perez Prado. A very touching part of this ensemble piece was a series of same-sex couples dancing to the old Cuban standard ‘Mucho Corazon’. Utterly charming and linking this revolutionary Mambo back to pre-revolution days.

All in all this tour is impressing dance fans and will bring new fans to Contemporary Dance. More importantly it was shear joy. It’s effect at Snape on one of the most beautiful of evenings was breathless.

Andrew Cann

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