There’s something amazingly unique and soulful about standing amongst a silent public, being witnesses of beautiful art in movement. The Museo de Arte de UPRM (MuSA) was the perfect setting for this dance performance. The MayaWest Dance Project, established about two years ago, developed an utterly sublime choreography that captivated all who were present. The stages chosen for the dance group were not the typical square one, they were the wide hallways with sightful big glass windows on the side of the museum. When I arrived, my breath was taken away by the image of dancing in these bright halls.
The first part of the performance on the upper level of the MuSA was like something out of a movie. The girls were up on cubes doing dance poses with slow transitions, making them seem like statues. The combination of the props, the costumes, and the dance itself rendered the public speechless. The men wore big skirts continuously dancing below the girls; at one point their movements were synchronized until the only two dancers left took their skirts off and danced their pas de deux (duet). These two, David Soler and Alejandra Rodríguez, with whom I have danced alongside, did a beautiful pas. The director, David Soler, later told me that the different stage was quite a challenge for them, especially for the pas de deuxs since the public was going to be so close to the dancers. Nevertheless, the entire performance was astonishing and the different stage actually worked in their favor. This closeness between performer and audience gives the event an intimate feeling, as if someone were telling you a personal secret.
After quickly moving to the inferior level of the museum for the second part of the performance, we took our seats while the dancers changed, and we noticed the musician who was going to play the piano for this section. Every dancer from the project participated in this choreography. The dim lighting with spotlights produced by the overhead lighting made for a very earthy and spirited rendition. This group of very talented dancers have never failed to get through to the public and this was no exception. One of these, Angélica del Mar González, whose spirit and style of dancing is completely admirable, and who is also part of the UPRM Dance Team, performed beautifully. When they finished and took their final bows,”me quedé con las ganas de más.”
There’s something so special about being reunited with past dance colleagues and art admirers, it’s something to have faith in. If there’s any dance activity where even one of the dancers we know is participating in, the rest of us will certainly be there as well, as part of the audience or otherwise. Being in the museum surrounded by the works of Saint Germain, Stahl, Felix Cabrera and many more, made it a night to remember. Afterwards I rushed to the Figueroa Chapel Amphitheater for another emotive performance, but this time it was the Garnati Ensemble that was brought to Colegio from Spain thanks to Presencias.
The brothers Martos-Lozano played amazing renditions of musical compositions on their violin and cello. They introduced who they were sincerely, and would provide the audience with short descriptions of the pieces they were about to play.They were both excited and overwhelmed by the sweet manner through which they were received and expressed that it was like a dream to play their music here. The little history lessons they gave of the composers and pieces they wrote were charming, and thanks to my Humanities class, I was able to nod at what they said, because I knew some of it. The cello player, Alberto, opened the night with Suite No. 1 “en Sol mayor,” by Bach. He then threw the crowd a kiss and left the stage for his brother, Pablo, the violinist. He played “Partita II” en rem by Bach as well, and then “A Take on Sephardic Time” by José Luis Greco. For this last one, I was completely entranced by the violin and at one point I just wanted to take my shoes off and dance to the music. It was a roller coaster of emotions that revealed the violin’s angst that the composition required.
In the final pieces the brothers played together, and the chemistry between them was amazing. It seemed that they were playing a game with their instruments and even smiled at each other. It was evident how much they love to perform and how fun it is to them. The ñapa was a trio with José Antonio López, the Music Appreciation professor at UPRM, and together they played a tango by Astor Piazzola. By the end of the performance, I felt as if I were truly glowing thanks to the artful experiences of the night. As Pablo said upon playing Greco’s piece: “the important thing is to make art and transmit it to others”, and thank goodness that humans have the ability to make beautiful art, or else the world would be lost.
Neftali Cruz Luciano, the artist who painted the brothers whilst playing.