CARMEN.maquia & Club Havana / Ballet Hispanico

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Ballet Hispánico, a “strong ambassador of not just Latino culture but of dance itself” (Broadway World), brings its bold and eclectic brand of contemporary dance to the screen with two audience favorites: CARMEN.maquia, an electrifying modern take on Bizet’s passionate opera choreographed by Spaniard Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, and Cuban-born Pedro Ruiz’s Club Havana, a virtuosic re-imagining of a sizzling nightclub filled with the exhilarating rhythms and colors of Havana’s golden era. 

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Reviews:

Ballet Hispanico celebrates almost 50 years of existence with its first DVD. As with some other modern dance companies, there is a strong ethnic component with a significant focus on Hispanic tradition in this case. Most of the music used for CARMEN.maquia comes from the opera, with additional selections from L’Arlésienne plus the slow movement from Bizet’s symphony. Why maquia—a Spanish word translated from French, meaning scrub or underbrush—is part of the title is unclear. The choreography by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano combines many of the clichés of contemporary choreography, a sort of flailing angularity, with much repetition of tortured arm movements. Kimberly Van Woesik and Christopher Bloom overcome these limitations in their intense portrayals of Carmen and Don José. This is yet another Carmen ballet that joins its cousins (Roland Petit, Alberto Alonso) in the limbo of works that need the glamour of a prima donna to make sense of revival. Striking sets by Luis Crespo (black and white) are imposing but are undermined by David Delfin’s less striking costumes for the men (they wear something like jodphurs that give them large posteriors). Club Havana is a typical program closer, arousing audience enthusiasm while resembling a ballroom dancing competition. One can occasionally see that these are dancers with a solid foundation, but in this instance the material is wanting in substance.

© 2018 Fanfare



Product Description:


  • Release Date: March 10, 2017


  • Catalog Number: 738808


  • UPC: 814337013882


  • Label: C Major


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Ballet Hispanico