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Americas Nows 20120514 Noche’ Latin

05-17-2012 16:54 BJT

By Elaine Reyes

Earlier this week Americas Now visited the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts here in Washington, DC. We got a firsthand look as the dancers of the Washington Ballet Company prepared for their last rehearsal in full costume. It was also the last chance to hit their marks before the opening night’s review performance.

If there is one word that comes to mind about Latino Dance, it is Passion. And passion is what inspires the dancers of the Washington ballet company. It's a celebration of Latin Music, dance and culture combined into 3 movements called, "Noche Latina" or Latin Nights. Dancers use technique from classical ballet, then add Latin flair to tell the stories of love, life and death in South America and Spain.

Septime Webre, Artistic Director of Washington Ballet, said, "There is a Cuban saying, Cubans dance before they can walk. Somehow in Latin America, dancing is in our blood."

Septime Webre is the artistic director of the Washington Ballet , he's also Cuban-American.

"I grew up without seeing my own culture really reflected in the repertoire and I as a director really want to ensure that our repertoire reflects who we are as Americans and one of those thing is that we are also Latin Americans we are also Hispanics and so it is an idea of using this glorious language which is 300 years old the language of ballet in serving of expressing the really glorious and wonderful passion which is in the heart of the Latin American cultures." Septime Webre said.

The Washington Ballet was founded in 1944. It has 18 Company dancers from all over the world...Asia, Europe, the US, and Latin America. Webre believes some of the world's most prominent ballet dancers are from the Americas.

"I think the Latin’s bring a kind of passion, a particular, singular brand of heart and warmth that, I think is present in the company a really part of the culture that I really enjoy..." Septime Webre said.

Luis Torres, Dancer, "Noche Latina to me is a celebration of the Latino culture, which is a rich one full of music and so many hope and inspiration. And absolutely amazing, amazing culture to get inspired to create art. So that’s what Noche Latina means to me."

During this dress rehearsal, Americas Now caught up with Luis Torres, a dancer who's in his 9-th season with the Washington Ballet. He has a highlighted role in Noche Latina...drawing on his past for inspiration.

Luis Torres, Dancer, " I was very fortunate my father was a musician so there was always music in my house. My mom and dad always love to do the social dancing, like the salsa and merengue, so I have that from my childhood and I have that sense of movement in my body."

"Luis has got great technique, and I’ve never seen a stronger partner. He is just the guy who could lift, you know, probably a truck if he were in a 2-2. But he also is about the most charismatic dancer I’ve seen on stage. Because he is so open and warm and in the moment. So he’s like one of those dancers that, you know, some of the dancers dance in an aloof way, and you kind of are attracted to them b/c they are unattainable. He is one of those dancers that he is just the opposite. He just reaches the audiences and grabs them and draws them on the stage with him. You almost feel like you are dancing with him when he is up there." Septime Webre told us.

Aurora Dickie has danced in cities around the globe.

Her favorite part of "Noche Latina" is La Ofrenda or "the offering" where she can show off her South American roots.

Aurora Dickie, dancer, "The third piece of the dance is…it’s just beautiful, it has a lot of meaning behind it. We also have that in Brazil. So I relate a lot. 00554700 It is a funny thing about Brazilians and Latin style, say because we have a mix of a lot of things, we don't have a school that is ours so we just seen a lot of things and we incorporate it to our own passion to dance and to music."

Septime Webre said, "Aurora comes not just from Brazil with a lot of the openness and warmth you might think, which is so wonderful part of the Brazilian culture. She also comes from a patrician ballet family. And she’s got this innate elegance, and length of bone and beautifully arched feet, legs just won’t let quit."

And it would not be Noche Latina without real Latin flavor. Between show movements there's live music from Colombian Diva, Toto La Momposina.

Toto La Momposina , Colombian Singer, "We know that through the dance, people’s traditions, music and identity, we can really find that unity. With need love, justice, balance and Music, because Music don’t have political colors, or social discrimination, Music is for everyone, and can heal and reunite humans"

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: CNTV.CN