!Aqui se habla Espanol! (Attitudes).
A FEW YEARS AGO, JULY 1998 TO BE PRECISE, I WAS IN THE MADRID BALLET SCHOOL OF AN OLD FRIEND, VICTOR ULLATE. I REMEMBERED ULLATE AS A MOST ENGAGING DANCER WITH MAURICE BEJART, AND NOTING that he was that rarity, a Spanish classic ballet dancer. Yet here I was at a class full to overcapacity with Spanish classic ballet dancers. I had heard that Ullate had become a major teacher--and indeed, on the walls were photographs of some of his famous former pupils: Angel Corella, Lucia Lacarra, Tamara Rojo, Joaquin De Luz. Right there and then I had what fancy writers call an epiphany, but what I think of as "a kick-in-the-pants moment."
Spanish dancers were not rare anymore; actually, they were busy taking over the dance world. Well, not exactly always Spanish, but Hispanic, Latino, whatever--those fantastic Spanish-speaking dancers from Spain, Cuba, Argentina, Brazil (well, they speak Portuguese, but don't let's be too fussy), Puerto Rico, and, of course, the United States. Were Hispanic dancers destined des·tine
tr.v. des·tined, des·tin·ing, des·tines
1. To determine beforehand; preordain: a foolish scheme destined to fail; a film destined to become a classic.
2. to be the new Russians--the terpsichorean crowd leaders in crowd pleasers? Would ballet aspirants called Jane or John Smith, who years ago might have considered Russianizing their names to Yolanda Smithova or Jascha Smithakoysky, instead contemplate some Hispanic transmogrification?
Classic ballet dancers from Spain were not just once uncommon, but extraordinarily uncommon. Through Spanish classic court dancing, developing such dances as the bolero, cachucha ca·chu·cha
An Andalusian solo dance in 3/4 time.
[Spanish, small boat, cachucha, possibly from diminutive of cacho, shard, saucepan, probably from Vulgar Latin *cacculus , and the later gypsy flamenco tradition, there existed a vast culture of what can be called theatrical-style dance. During the twentieth century, what we can call ethnic Spanish swept the world. La Argentina, La Argentinita, Vicente Escudero, Pilar Pilar
strong-minded female leader of a group of guerrillas in the Spanish Civil War. [Am. Lit.: Hemingway For Whom the Bell Tolls]
See : Female Power
Pilar Lopez, Carmen Amaya, Teresa and Luisillo, Rosario and Antonio, Jose Greco, Roberto Ximenez, Manolo Vargas, and Antonio Gades became household names in world dance.
But classic dance, no. Some of the Spanish opera houses employed a few odd ballet dancers, and some ethnic Spanish dancers cultivated a modified ballet technique. But apart from Pirmin Trecu (a Basque refugee trained exclusively at Britain's Royal Ballet School The Royal Ballet School is a specialist, co-educational school located in premises at White Lodge, Richmond Park, in the London Borough of Richmond; and an upper school at premises in Covent Garden. It combines a mainstream academic education with an intensive dance training. ) and Ullate himself, the only Spanish classical ballet dancer I can recall was the lovely young ballerina Trinidad Sevillano, brought into the English National Ballet English National Ballet, founded in 1950 as the "Festival Ballet" inspired by the then imminent Festival of Britain, is one of the leading ballet companies in the United Kingdom founded by Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin, with the financial backing of Polish impresario Julian by Peter Schaufuss in the mid-'80s. It was Sevillano, little more than a teenager, who first made me think that something new must be happening in mainland Spain.
In the United States, of course, we have for more than six decades observed with pleasure the growing input of Hispanic dancers. Slowly and surely they made their presence felt--first and foremost with the great Cuban prima ballerina, Alicia Alonso. Alonso, with American Ballet Theatre American Ballet Theatre, one of the foremost international dance companies of the 20th cent. It was founded in 1937 as the Mordkin Ballet and reorganized as the Ballet Theatre in 1940 under the direction of Lucia Chase and Rich Pleasant. and later with her National Ballet of Cuba, was one of the leading dancers of the past century. She had been married to ABT ABT About
ABT Abteilung (German: Department)
ABT Abbott Laboratories (stock symbol)
ABT American Ballet Theatre
ABT Associação Brasileira de Telemarketing
ABT Availability Based Tariff dancer and former director of the NBC NBC
in full National Broadcasting Co.
Major U.S. commercial broadcasting company. It was formed in 1926 by RCA Corp., General Electric Co. (GE), and Westinghouse and was the first U.S. company to operate a broadcast network. Fernando Alonso; her brother-in-law was choreographer Alberto Alonso.
Other Hispanic dancers soon made their presence felt: Nicholas Magallanes from Mexico and Francisco Moncion from the Dominican Republic were founding principal dancers with New York City Ballet New York City Ballet, one of the foremost American dance companies of the 20th cent. It was founded by Lincoln Kirstein and George Balanchine as the Ballet Society in 1946. ; the Chilean-born Lupe Serrano was for many years a brilliant ballerina with ABT; from Venezuela came the lovely Zhandra Rodriguez and the choreographer Vicente Nebrada. In American modern dance one could hardly miss the giant presence of the Mexican-born Jose Limon. And, naturally enough, with the formation of the National Ballet of Cuba, we were constantly made aware of such Cuban skills as those of Alonso's partner, Jorge Esquivel, now a principal character dancer and teacher at San Francisco Ballet San Francisco Ballet, or SFB, is a San Francisco, USA based ballet company, founded in 1933 as part of San Francisco Opera Ballet. The company is currently based in the War Memorial Opera House, where it is directed by Helgi Tomasson. .
And it was indirectly from Cuba that perhaps the first indication of the current Hispanic invasion of classic dance really came. Fernando Bujones was born in Florida in 1955 of Cuban parentage, and he briefly went to Cuba for some of his early training. Returning to the United States, he worked with Andre Eglevsky at the School of American Ballet The School of American Ballet is located in New York City, in Lincoln Center. It is considered one of the most prestigious and notable ballet schools in the United States and teaches some of the most talented young dancers in the country. , and in 1970 made his debut alongside Gelsey Kirkland with the Eglevsky Ballet. Two years later he joined ABT, becoming a principal dancer with the company, prior to an international career.
It was Bujones who first told me of the enormous promise of a young Argentinean, Julio Bocca, who joined ABT in 1986, when he was just 19, as a principal dancer. With Bujones and Bocca the new Hispanic onslaught had started--first the men, Cuba's Carlos Acosta and Jose Manuel Carreno, Argentina's Herman Cornejo, Brazil's Marcelo Gomes and Colombia's Carlos Molina, plus Spain's Corella corella
a white Australian cockatoo and De Luz, and then the women, Argentina's Paloma Herrera and Cuba's Xiomara Reyes. And that is just ABT and its principals and soloists. Even the almost all-American City Ballet has the 20-year-old Brazilian Carla Korbes and the perky Spanish Antonio Carmena in its corps de ballet corps de bal·let
The dancers in a ballet troupe who perform as a group.
[French : corps, corps + de, of + ballet, ballet. .
Leave New York and you find more: San Francisco Ballet's ranks of talented dancers include Lorena Feijoo and Joan Boada (Cuba); Moises and Ruben Martin, Gonzalo Garcia, Clara Blanco, Sergei Torrado, and the soon-departing Lucia Lacarra (Spain); and Pablo Piantino (Argentina). Cincinnati Ballet just snagged Feijoo's sister, Lorna, and her husband, Nelson Madrigal, also of Cuba. And at Houston Ballet, there's Carlos Acosta (Cuba), Mauricio Canete and Fernando Moraga (Chile), Randy Herrera (Mexico), Jose Herrera (Colombia), Leticia Oliveira (Brazil), and Sally Rojas (Venezuela).
And consider this--when that sometime pillar of the WASP dance establishment, Britain's Royal Ballet, offered the first performance of its revival of La Bayadere ba·ya·dere
A fabric with contrasting horizontal stripes.
[French bayadère, from Portuguese bailadeira, dancer, from bailar, to dance, from Late Latin , the three leading roles were all taken by Spanish-speaking dancers: Tamara Rojo, Acosta, and Marianela Nunez. My case rests--the Hispanics really have become the new Russians, except perhaps in Russia. But wait ... Argentinean Maximiliano Guerra has even danced with the Kirov in New York! Perhaps ...
Senior Consulting Editor Clive Barnes, who covers dance and theater for the New York Post The New York Post is the 13th-oldest newspaper published in the United States and the oldest to have been published continually as a daily. Since 1976, it has been owned by Australian-born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and is one of the 10 , has contributed to Dance Magazine since 1956.