nytheatre.com review by Saviana Stanescu
August 15, 2004
I was very surprised and impressed by M'Oro Flamenco, a company of four dancers (Jenny Bascos, Gregory De Silva, Leslie Roybal, Ricky Santiago) and four musicians/singers (Peter Basil, Sean Kupisz, Jeremiah Lockwood, Cristian Puig) who have created one of the most exciting pieces of dance-performance that I have seen in years. The approach to an apparently fixed dance form such as flamenco is quite imaginative, well-crafted, and refreshing.
The choreographers Jenny Bascos and Gregory De Silva use flamenco’s layered percussive rhythms to articulate a new movement vocabulary that playfully and powerfully combines traditional flamenco with Indian classical and popular dance, Filipino martial arts, Afro-Latino percussion, jazz dance, and hip-hop. The result is a rebellious body language, superbly controlled and articulated by the performers. It’s like New York City poured its eclectic night sounds and movements into this ensemble, bringing the im/pulse of the street onto the small stage of the Players Theater on MacDougal.
M’oro means both “Moor” and outcast and yet contains within it a reference to “oro,” gold, suggesting the company’s aspiration to challenge the traditional rules of the dance as well as a journey into the discovery of new valuable aesthetic forms. A challenge for the sake of provocation of the past wouldn’t mean much. But M’oro Flamenco succeeds in pushing the boundaries of tradition through a very well-executed performance in which the flamenco theme seems to organically accept all the other influences, even the classical American tap dance.
The movement melts the various cultural roots into a fluid of body expressivity which sweeps you inside its own world, taking you on a fascinating roller-coaster ride. A ride not to be missed!