Iliana Lopez and company in But I Never Saw Another Butterfly.
Photo courtesy MagicalPhotos.com/Mitchell Zachs
Ballet Gamonet Maximum Dance
Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, FL
May 12–13, 2006
Reviewed by Guillermo Perez
Choreographer Jimmy Gamonet De Los Heros and dancer Iliana Lopez long shared a privileged relationship at Miami City Ballet. Not so much muse as exquisitely responsive instrument, Lopez embossed his creations there with sparkle and precision. Who better, then, than the artistic director of the year-old Ballet Gamonet/Maximum Dance fusion to lure this superb dancer, now also his ballet mistress, back to the stage after a two-year retirement?
Gamonet has put Lopez at the center of But I Never Saw Another Butterfly, a premiere in greater part to the second movement of Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No. 3. Like the music, this dance meditates on the Holocaust. Yet in portraying the denial of beauty in flight—the shackled spirit—indicated by the title, the choreography took on an austere aura and measured course of its own, dignifying human endurance beyond a specific historical reference. With shaved heads and in long lilac dresses, seven women ran in rivulets of grief around Lopez or closed in for tenacious interlacings. Though maternal with a distinct magnetism, Lopez exerted a subdued energy to lend support, sharing the look and stance of companions bowed to dire circumstance or reaching out to transcend it.
In Gamonet’s My Lady, an assembly of six masked, bare-chested men proved both worshipful and demanding of a female icon in white, played by DeAnn Petruschke with blond amplitude. Enigmatically processional, this piece struck some eye-catching poses to Vivaldi but remained too precious in its mannerisms.
Dwight Rhoden’s Cyclical Hour rolled forth with an acute case of the jitters, a good match for caustic passages from Piazzolla tangos when not detonating in silent segments. The hyperactivity tested three couples who excelled with flying colors—Britt Juleen and Armando Gonzalez in prominence.
Gamonet’s suite, The Big Band SUPERMEGATROID, mixed swing and classicism for period romance and hijinks set in an oceanside pavilion. “When the Saints Go Marching In” had Susan Bello and Paul Thrussell flaunting earthiness on the way to dance heaven; “Moonlight Serenade” let Migdalia Martinez and Simon Sliva get lyrically cozy; and “Stratosphere” showed dynamo Hiroko Sakakibara and Edgar Anido as cool fueled and hot footed. The whole gang hit high notes in the “Sing, Sing, Sing” finale. See www.maximumdancecompany.com.