Production features strength and fire of Spanish dance

Published: Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

World-renowned choreographer Luis Montero and Paula Frasz, associate professor at Northern Illinois University’s School of Theatre and Dance, will bring audiences a fusion of Spanish and modern dance in the school’s mainstage production “Mosaic of Spanish Dance.”

“Mosaic of Spanish Dance” consists of three dance pieces, each with a unique and modern take on Spanish tradition.

The first piece, choreographed by Montero and Frasz, is “The House of Bernarda Alba.” This dance, based on the play by Frederico Garcia Lorca, portrays a newly-widowed mother of five dealing with scandal, jealousy and betrayal. In the Spanish tradition, she condemns her daughters to confinement for a mourning period of eight years. The dance explores the women’s emotions, including sexual frustrations, as they cope with prolonged solitude.

The second dance, choreographed by Frasz, is “Bailes Mal Criados (Dances of Few Manners).” A fiery ballroom-style dance that combines elements of the tango and waltz, the piece is being remounted from past performances by Frasz and her professional company.

The performance will conclude with “Bolero,” Montero’s modern Spanish ballet. Montero describes it as a fantasy in the form of a dance. The piece includes bullfighters, long batas and traditional Spanish shawls, all imagery that he said will keep audience members on the edge of their seats.

“Bolero” has been performed by professional dance companies in the U.S. and worldwide. The dancers at NIU learned and perfected this memorable finale after only three weeks of work with Montero.

The fall dance performance runs Nov. 15 though 18 in the Stevens Building O’Connell Theatre on the DeKalb campus. Weeknight and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $16 for adults, $13 for seniors and $8 for students.

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