After working with artists from all over the Latino world, and investigating the myriad of cultural influences that make up Latino culture, artistic director Eduardo Vilaro is returning to his own roots for Luna Negra Dance Theater’s 10th Anniversary season with the creation of a new work entitled Danzón.
The Danzón has been called the official dance of Cuba, and it initially evolved from Haitian contradance. Its current form was created by Miguel Faílde Pérez in 1879, and although the Danzón has evolved in many respects, much of the original structure remains. As traditional Cuban dance music, Danzón has never ceased to influence Cuban musicians, and its influences can be heard in virtually all popular Cuban music genres. It is this continuity that defines Danzón as a truly unique, living art form.
For this new work, Luna Negra Dance Theater will collaborate with the bold and ingenious Turtle Island Quartet, and legendary composer and performer Paquito D’Rivera. Turtle Island and Mr. D’Rivera have collectively won eleven Grammy Awards. Following the world premiere in Chicago at the Harris Theater, Luna Negra Dance Theater and the musicians will embark on a national tour- bringing this fabulous new music and dance experience to audiences across the country.
Danzón is a commission of the Harris Theater in Chicago, the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame, and the Music Center at Strathmore. In partnering with Turtle Island Quartet and Paquito D’Rivera, Vilaro is taking this traditional and quintessentially Cuban dance form and reinventing and reinvigorating it as a modern work of art. In doing so, he is both introducing mainstream American audiences to a thriving Latino tradition, and creating a milestone moment in the continuity of Latino artistic expression.