Luna Negra Dance Theater, Chicago's only contemporary dance company devoted to the Latino choreographic voice, presents "Made in Spain," its 2013 spring program featuring work by two contemporary Spanish choreographers: guest artist Fernando Hernando Magadan and Luna Negra company member Mónica Cervantes. Luna Negra presents "Made in Spain" in one performance only at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive, Saturday, March 9 at 8 pm.
Inspired by the power of music over both emotion and physiology, Magadan presents Royal Road, a World Premiere created with and performed to live music by jazz legends Turtle Island Quartet. Set to two pieces composed by the Quartet's David Balakrishna, "Variations on My Father's Footsteps" and "Ashwattha," Magadan draws from two ends of the music spectrum - the improvisational characteristics of jazz, and forms of notating music and dance, including written notes on a page and Labanotation, a way of recording dances on paper. The resulting work for eight dancers, framed under a cascading "chandelier" of sheets of music and Labanotation pages (set design by Magadan), celebrates the purity of dance as an authentic response to transformative music.
Cervantes presents a World Premiere work for six dancers, Presenté, set to Max Richter's recomposed variation on Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Inspired by her grandfather and the concept of time and "the present" - in both senses of the word, as in "present moment" and a synonym for "gift" - Cervantes' work uses a set design of white floor panels leading to a hovering hourglass that slowly drains onto the stage.
The "Made in Spain" program also reprises Magadan's Naked Ape, a piece which Luna Negra presented the North American Premiere of in 2011. A work for five dancers created in collaboration with multi-media artist Harmen Straatman, set to music by Erik Truffaz Murcof, J.S. Bach and Jónsi & Alex, Naked Ape explores the opposing human capacity for invention and technology with the need for physical interaction and intimacy.
"This season at Luna Negra, we're deepening the relationships we began in earlier seasons with up-and-coming Latino choreographers," said Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, Luna Negra Artistic Director. "Last fall we brought back Fernando Melo for a World Premiere. This spring, we do the same with Fernando Hernando Magadan, whom we introduced to Chicago two years ago. And of course we continue to nurture talent from within, presenting new work by our own Mónica Cervantes. These artists, plus others you'll see later this season, represent the next generation of Latino creativity and artistry."
In related news, longtime company dancer and rehearsal director Veronica Guadalupe has recently been named Associate Artistic Director of Luna Negra Dance Theater.
Tickets for "Made in Spain" range from $25 to $65 and are available at the Harris Theater Box Office, by phone at 312-334-7777 or online at www.harristheaterchicago.org.