CHICAGO January 31, 2011 Luna Negra Dance Theater, Chicago's premier Latino contemporary dance company, presents a spring program featuring the North American Premieres of two works by Spanish choreographer Fernando Hernando Magadan and by Venezuelan choreographer Luis Eduardo Sayago Alonso. The program also features the reprise of Director Gustavo Ramírez Sansano's critically acclaimedFlabbergast, originally commissioned by Luna Negra in 2001. The 2011 spring program takes place at the Harris Theater at Millennium Park, 205 E. Randolph Drive, Chicago, in one performance only on Saturday, March 12 at 8 p.m.
"Spring is all about what is fresh and new, so it is a perfect season to bring the work of two young, bright, up-and-coming choreographers to the American stage for the first time," said Ramírez Sansano. "I am excited to be able to share their unique voices with the Chicago audience, further realizing Luna Negra's mission by introducing and supporting works by emerging Latino choreographers from diverse backgrounds."
Luna Negra's 2011 spring program features the North American Premiere ofNaked Ape by Fernando Hernando Magadan. In this work for five dancers created in collaboration with multi-media artist Harmen Straatman, Hernando Magadan explores how the human capacity and need for physical interaction may be challenged by the insensitivity of new media and technology. Naked Ape is set to music by Erik Truffaz Murcof, Johann Sebastian Bach and J�"nsi & Alex, and was originally created in 2009 for Nederlands Dans Theater I as a part of the TODAYSART Festival.
Also a highlight of the spring program will be the North American Premiere ofSolo una Vez ( "Only One Time" ) by Luis Eduardo Sayago Alonso. Originally created in 2004 for Germany's Kevin O'Day Ballett Mannheim, Solo una Vezis a work for six dancers set to Latin-American bolero songs by Antonio Machin, Trio los Panchos and Felix Mendelssohn. Set elements including a chalk board, fresh oranges, a juicer and wheeled carts lend an absurdist air to this romantic and energetic piece about the universal search for one's other half.
Luna Negra Artistic Director Gustavo Ramírez Sansano's Flabbergastcompletes the spring program. Since its commission and premiere by Luna Negra in 2001, Flabbergast has gone on to be included in the repertory of five different companies around the world, including Luna Negra Dance Theater,IT Dansa in Barcelona, Ballet Junior of Geneve, Budapest Dance Theater andproyecto titoyaya. For the tenth anniversary of this work, Ramírez Sansano has expanded it from the original version with additional choreography. Set to music by Juan Garcia Esquivel, Flabbergast depicts in a funny and exuberant way the bewilderment of experiencing a foreign culture for the first time, inspired by Ramírez Sansano's own first visit to America.
Tickets for Luna Negra Dance Theater's 2011 spring program range in price from $25 to $65 and are available by calling the Harris Theater Box Office at 312-334-7777 or online at www.harristheaterchicago.org .
Luna Negra's 2011 spring performance is proudly sponsored by Harris Bank and Exelon. Additional support generously provided by Aon Hewitt Associates and the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation. Luna Negra Dance Theater also receives institutional and program support from The Joyce Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, Polk Bros. Foundation, The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, The Crown Family, and The Northern Trust Company, Allstate, and Azteca Foods.
About the Artists
Luna Negra Dance Theater creates, performs and teaches contemporary dance by Latino choreographers. Now in its 11th season, Luna Negra has established itself as a significant and vital component of Chicago's arts and cultural community. Founded by Eduardo Vilaro in 1999, Luna Negra serves as a springboard for Latino contemporary choreographers to give expression to their stories and bring new life to the cultures of their communities. Steering away from stereotypes and folkloric representations, Luna Negra brings to audiences modern Latino expressions with energy, power and passion, reflecting through dance the immense cultural shift that is shaping America in the 21st century. Luna Negra also collaborates with Latino artists of other disciplines, including visual, media artists, musicians and composers which fosters cross-disciplinary explorations and results in richly textured and highly original, contemporary dance theater. The company currently has works in the repertory by choreographers from Argentina, Columbia, Cuba, Mexico, Spain and Venezuela. In addition to performing, Luna Negra conducts extensive outreach and education programs, serving annually over 10,000 students in the Chicago area. Luna Negra Dance Theater's company includes Renée Adams, Stacey Aung, Nigel Campbell, Moníca Cervantes, Veronica Guadalupe, Zoltán Katona, Hamilton Nieh, Sayiga Eugene Peabody, Kirsten Shelton, Diego Tortelli, and Eduardo Zuñiga.
Luis Eduardo Sayago Alonso ( Choreographer ) , born in Caracas, Venezuela, originally trained in the art of Judo for ten years. His dance studies in ballet began with the Eliot Jazz School and the Fundacion Arte Nuevo. He worked as a dancer in many different Venezuelan companies, including Ballet Juvenil de Venezuela, Ballet Metropolitano de Caracas and Ballet Contemporáneo de Caracas. He then moved to Europe where he worked for several companies including Ballet Clásico de Madrid, IT Dansa in Barcelona and abcdancecompany in St. Pölten, Austria. He has danced the work of a wide variety of choreographers such as William Forsythe, Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin, Itzik Galili, Jo Stromgren, Wayne McGregor, Nils Christe, Jirí Kylián, Kevin O`Day and Dominique Dumais, among others. Since his first choreographic endeavor, a duet in the Deja Waltz program for abcdancecompany in 2003, Sayago Alonso has enjoyed developing himself as a professional choreographer. In 2004 he joined Kevin O'Day Ballett Mannheim where he has had the opportunity to choreograph in the Choreografische Werkstaat held each year.
Fernando Hernando Magadan ( Choreographer ) , born in Zaragoza, Spain, originally trained as a gymnast before switching to dance when he entered the Conservatorio Profesional de Danza Clasica in Madrid. He later went on to study in England at the London Studio Centre and the Central School of Ballet before dancing with the Santamaria Compañía de Danza. In 2001 he joined the Netherlands Dans Theater II, later joining the Nederlands Dans Theater I in 2004. At Nederlands Dan Theater, Hernando Magadan danced in many works of resident choreographers Jiri Kylian and Paul Lightfoot, as well as the works of other renowned choreographers such as William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin, Johan Inger and Crystal Pite. Next to his dancing career, Hernando Magadan also developed himself as a choreographer while making pieces for the workshops of Nederlands Dans Theater. He's been invited to teach Creative Laboratories at the Dance Art Faculty of Rome, as well at Architanz International Centre for Dance in Tokyo. Hernando Magadan has created pieces for the Nederlands Dans Theater I, the Curve Foundation Dance Company in Scotland and the Cross Connection Ballet Company in Copenhagen, among others.
Gustavo Ramírez Sansano ( Luna Negra Artistic Director, Choreographer ) was appointed in 2009 to succeed Eduardo Vilaro as Luna Negra's Artistic Director. Born in San Fulgencio, Spain, Ramírez Sansano started dancing with Josetta Garciasuch and trained with such teachers as Karemia Moreno, Guillermina Coll and Jose Maria Escudero from the Instituto del Teatro of Barcelona. In 1990 he joined the Ballet Joven de Alicante. Following that he danced in Ballet Contemporaneo de Barcelona, Ballet de la Comunidad de Madrid, Nederlands Dans Theater II and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. From 2007 to 2010 he served as the Artistic Director of his own company in Valencia, TITOYAYA Dance Project. He has danced works by Jacopo Godani, Hans Van Manen, Jirí Kylián, Ohad Naharin, Johan Inger, Paul Lightfoot, Victor Ullate and Jim Vincent, among others.
For more information about Luna Negra Dance Theater, please visitwww.lunanegra.org or call 312-337-6882.