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Nuevo Ballet Español Returns to Flamenco's Traditional Roots

The dancers of Nuevo Ballet Español.
The dancers of Nuevo Ballet Español.

Miami's cultural landscape is beginning to wake up from the summer daze. Miami-Dade College's 2012-13 MDC Live Arts performance series opens soon with the first of many stellar bookings. On October 5 and 6, they present the U.S. premiere of acclaimed Nuevo Ballet Español's Cambio de Tercio.

Based in Spain, Nuevo Ballet Español has maintained a solid affection for flamenco and Spanish folklore, while embracing the full potential of contemporary dance. Now, after 15 years, the company's founders Angel Rojas and Carlos Rodriguez have pared down to the basics with a strictly flamenco project.

We spoke with Rojas about the merits of keeping it simple.

Nuevo Ballet Español Returns to Flamenco's Traditional Roots

New Times: Tell us about your upcoming show.
Rojas: Cambio de Tercio is the most flamenco show we have made. We have done a lot of things... funky, jazz, contemporary dance, street dance. We are in the new generation and we study different kinds of dance, like contemporary, et cetera, and we need to include our knowledge in our shows. But after 15 years, we decided to close the circle with a return to the roots -- flamenco. To close the circle and start something new.

Do you bring the more contemporary styles into your movement?
In this case we didn't include anything new. We tried to do the real original movements of flamenco. But we included new concepts for the audience. For example, we created choreography for the musicians, parallel to the dance choreography. They move around the stage. The violinist dances with one of the dancers, playing violin at the same time. And the guitarist and the singers dance with Rodriguez during his solo. This is the concept for Cambio de Tercio. It's a mix of classical movement with new possibilities for the show and the stage.

Nuevo Ballet Español Returns to Flamenco's Traditional Roots

You seem to be really clear that you want pure flamenco.
Yes, because we need to clean everything. We need to clean our minds and our bodies to continue with other things. When you clean your house, you have a lot of different kinds of things in your room, then you clean everything, you paint the wall totally white, and you start again. You put new things in your house. It's something like that. I think it's very healthy for the mind and the heart, and for creating something new.

How did you reconnect with flamenco for this show?
Normally Rodriguez and I create every piece in the show. But for Cambio de Tercio, we invited three different choreographers: Rocia Molina, Manuel Liñan, and Rafael Campayo. And of course our choreography is in the show. We have many influences for flamenco. For example, Antonio Gades is the most theatrical flamenco influence for us. When he created Bodas de Sangre or Carmen, it was a big success and it was a shock for our generation. And of course Antonio Canales and Eva Yerbabuena. Now we have a new generation in Spain, like the three choreographers we invited to participate in Cambio de Tercio. And now we have a real revolution of all the new creators in our art.

MDC Live Arts presents Nuevo Ballet Español in Cambio de Tercio, Friday and Saturday, October 5 to 6 at 8 p.m.; Miami-Dade County Auditorium. For tickets and more information, call 305-237-3010, or go to mdclivearts.org.

--Catherine Hollingsworth, artburstmiami.com

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Miami-Dade County Auditorium

2901 W. Flagler St.
Miami, FL 33135

305-547-5414

www.miamidade.gov


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