A single dancer commands the stage, her arms and legs lithely carving the space as the words of Gloria Anzaldúa’s poem “To Live In The Borderlands Means You,” simultaneously sculpt the air. A ballerina’s nimble fingertips etch lines in the sky as she dances with her partner in an ethereal, heart-wrenching pas de deux. Men in intricately embroidered jackets tap out a percussive and precise zapateado. Women in brightly colored skirts move together with force, muskets in hand. Ballet Nepantla’s “Valentina,” which was presented in an abridged version on July 13 at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival’s Henry J. Leir Outdoor Stage, is composed of these vignettes, each centering around the stories of the women of Revolutionary Mexico: their pain, their joy, their loves, and their losses.
Andrea Guajardo and Jorge Naranjo in “Valentina.” Photograph by Christopher Duggan
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading