Theatre Review: Dreaming of Lions Is An Hour of Rigor

Of course, there was a natural excitement to see the contemporary dance stylings of Malpaso Dance Company in association with Joyce Theater. One of the leading dance troupes of Cuba, the nation has an aura of mystery and curiosity amongst Americans, especially now that the doors between our countries are more open. Hence, the night was filled with eager eyes wondering how Malpaso would froth and flesh the dance culture of Cuba through their one hour show: Dreaming of Lions.

Rigor is not enough to explain the dastardly dancing of this troupe. For a straight hour, there were no breaks or beats left untouched by a physical or spiritual movement. While most dance shows have instances of rest between acts, it seemed as if Malpaso had arranged a ribbon of dance uncut before the eyes of the audience. Each seeming “scene” flowed into the other with what seemed to be an unwavering time of both dance and humanity filling the stage. The choreography blended lyrical/ethereal nature with abrupt, abrasive contortions of the body. One minute, the dancers appeared to float in each others arms and fluidly surpass each other while, in the next, they formed lines and shapes that made them appear like pressed figures. The crowd was both impressed and happily bombarded by the feeling of constant energy and entertainment. It was as if to close our eyes for a second was to close our eyes to a world. People love a sensory experience, and always having a detail to catch, a move made, and person present on the stage gave the audience a full sensory show.

It is hard to pinpoint my favorite dancers because each had  moments to shine. I guess my kudos must be given for associate artistic director/ dancer Daile Carrazana and fellow dancer Maria Karla Araujo.  The young women were vibrant on stage and, definitely, felt like a leader in presence, precision, and perseverance. Each move she made, for however delicate, had the force of a towering punch. They along with Manuel Duran and Beatriz Garcia captivated with their techniques but also personal flare. Yet, I must be fair and add that each dancer managed to draw a creative essence that helped them stand out even when doing the same choreography from Osnel Delgado. The choreographer was excellent in building a vivid world/ statement on not only Cuban culture but also contemporary dance as social/spiritual style. For a rather plain set and not too much focus on exuberant costuming, Delgado and director Fernando Saez assured that it was the human body that gained the attention and applause as a soulful vessel. Overall, Dreaming of Lions was a show that exemplifies how beautiful it is to move. For More Information On BAM Click Here. 

Playing From March 1- March 5

Location: BAM Harvey Theater
651 Fulton St.
Brooklyn, NY 11217