Gaga and Hispanico!

We are now more than halfway through the festival at Jacob’s Pillow, with four action packed weeks left.

One of the great things about being here is being exposed to styles of dance that I might not normally have seen.

Ballet Hispánico

Last week New York based Ballet Hispánico took up residence in the Ted Shawn Theatre.

This wonderfully refreshing company had not performed at the Pillow since 2009, just after Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro was appointed.

In the intervening eight years Vilaro has developed the company and is a huge advocate of cultural diversity and dance education.

The company performed a mixed bill of three works including: El Beso with choreography by Gustavo Ramírez Sansano and sculptural costumes by Venezuelan fashion designer Angel Sanchez.

The second piece Línea Recta was choreographed by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and explores flamenco dance. The costumes for this piece are truly spectacular and an integral part of the choreography.

The last piece, Danzón, was choreographed by Vilaro himself and culminates in a bright and joyful celebration of music and movement.

I love this company – they are so different to anything I have seen  before – they are technically brilliant, but even better they appear to be having fun onstage and share this with the audience.

Here is a sneak peek into the life of the company backstage at the Pillow:

Post-show talk – watch here:

Gaga with AteNine

Just down the path in the Doris Duke Theatre we had AteNine from LA. This company, founded in 2012 by former Batsheva dancer and rehearsal director Danielle Agami, is based on the fascinating vocabulary of Gaga movement.

Until last week I knew next to nothing about Gaga. I watched the newly released documentary on Batsheva director and creator of the Gaga movement, Ohad Naharin – Mr Gaga.

This film gave me a great insight into his career but I was still hard-pressed to verbalise the style. The film is available on Netflix.

On Friday night I went to see AteNine and sitting right at the front I was able to watch – really closeup – this fascinating style. I still don’t think I can really describe Gaga but the intensity and detail is truly incredible – every movement is thought through and choreographed to the last detail. The programme included; Exhibit B and excerpts from vickie both choreographed by Agami. This is certainly an exciting young company and if you want to see something very different you shouldn’t miss them!

You can see the post-show talk with Agami here: