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Ballet Hispanico Opens with New Dance

December 4, 1992

NEW YORK (AP) _ Ballet Hispanico opened its two-week season with three dances choreographed for the company by Graciela Daniele. One was new; one is among the sexiest dances on the stage.

″El Nuevo Mundo″ (″The New World″) received its premiere at the Joyce Theater on Tuesday night. The characters in this flamenco dance have names such as Cristobal, Isabel, Maria, La Nina and La Pinta.

Pedro Ruiz, wearing a leather jacket and sunglasses, danced Cristobal. Nancy Turano, with a jeweled cross, was Isabel. Lynne Morrissey and Eduardo Vilaro also dance.

Flamenco is the basis of this dance. Daniele, who primarily is known for choreographing Broadway shows, uses a dance style to build her own work, often far from the tradition of that style. Here, the final image is a prologue to the rest of the dance, the nine dancers in the work becoming the procession to the sea which will start Columbus on his voyage.

″Cada Noche...Tango″ (″Tango Every Night″) from 1988, is a very hot number. It’s set in a house of prostitution. Five couples dance, with darkened red lighting. Anger and menace can be sensed, boiling emotions not far under the skin.

Two men fight, holding big knives. Because it isn’t predictable what they’ll do, they snap a scarf at one another, offer to shake hands, tease, lunge murderously with a knife. It is a frightening sequence.

Much of this dance, based on the tango, is voluptuous; much is torrid. It is amazing to see sensuality presented at such length in a dance, without repeating or becoming silly or losing audience interest. Jose Costas was outstanding.

The evening began with ″Stages″ from 1990, in which Melissa Soto, Nancy Turano and Tina Ramirez, company artistic director, portray a dancer from beginner to veteran.

In April and May, Ballet Hispanico will tour to Johnstown and University Park, Pa.; Greenville, S.C.; Washington D.C.; Logan, Utah; Cerritos and Fresno, Calif.; Stamford, Conn.; New Brunswick, N.J.; San Antonio, Texas; and New York. In many cities, there will be Primeros Pasos (First Steps) programs, in schools, including classes and workshops.

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