Barcelona Ballet gives Detroit first look at its ‘Swan Lake’ [DETNEWS]

A breathtaking beauty is cursed by an evil sorcerer to swim a lake by day as a swan and to take human form only at night.


You’d think this would make finding true love rather difficult for a girl, but not when it comes to the ballet “Swan Lake.”


The Barcelona Ballet will perform the bittersweet love story at the Detroit Opera House Friday through Sunday.

For Full Article CLICK HERE The Detroit News

Encanto Espanol

Encanto Español

Encanto Español was celebrated this past Saturday March 31, 2012 at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts Theatre. This event is an all Spanish Dance concert that takes place annually in the spring. In addition to dance performances, this dance concert raises funds that precede a dance scholarship directed towards students in the TAMIU dance program.

Encanto Español is a scholarship fundraiser for dance students, which incorporates those who are studying Flamenco and Spanish dance. Department Chair of Fine and Performing Arts Bede Leyendecker, initiated this annual tradition. The event marked its 10th anniversary of celebrating Encanto Espanol.

Upon arrival, audience members had the opportunity to delight their taste buds on a dinner reception. There were tapas Españolas, a traditional Spanish dish, accompanied by Sangria a traditional  spanish wine punch, to share some of the provided menu. A Spanish theme was set with the appreciation of vivid types of décor, ranging from traditional Spanish fans, hats, and capes.

While conversing with the guest, The Bridge encountered with a historical person from the TAMIU family. Dr. Rafael Lecuona is a fellow TAMIU retired professor of Political Science and one of the early founders of TAMIU, he was accompanied by his wife Mrs. Diana Lecuona. They both willingly shared some words with The Bridge while they enjoyed a Spanish feast.. The food reception was hosted by the Woman’s City Club. They wrote a grant that provided about 2000 dollars that helps to pay for the events food expenses.

The event showcased people reciting poetry in Spanish and music by Dr. Gilberto D. Soto and the TAMIU guitar ensemble. In addition, TAMIU Silver Winds, under the direction of Dr. Susan Berdahl, performed Latin American music. Throughout the course of the program the audience could appreciate Spanish dances ranging from classical, traditional and the new. A variety of dance techniques could be valued from the dancers, ranging from different types of zapateado footwork, the utilization of castanets, large red fans used by female dancers which are called pericones, a variety of props, and colorful and sophisticated costumes that represented the Spanish culture.

The Bridge had the opportunity to speak to some of the performers that danced for Encanto Español, getting some of their inside thoughts, ideas and advice for future dancers who might be part of this show. Griselda Dozal is a graduate student at TAMIU who has had the opportunity to be part of Encanto Español for five consecutive years. Dozal participated in 20 dance pieces of the concert that ranged from, Abanicos, Alegrias, Cotenant, and Rumbas for which she prepared for long hours throughout the week and weekends. Although she had to spend a lot of time practicing in order to prepare for her dance pieces, she eagerly shared how delighted she was with the experience. Dozal stated, “I love it! It’s an all Flamenco show, so we get to share our Flamenco passion.” Dozal is a student who has previously been awarded a dance scholarship. She expressed her gratitude towards programs like Encanto Español that seek funds for scholarships that help students in the dance program.

The Bridge also had the opportunity to meet a first time performer of Encanto Español, Hector M. Perales. Perales a junior at TAMIU expressed his deep excitement when asked about his experience as a dancer for Encanto Español; he stated, “It’s been an honor dancing here and specially for this concert.”  Perales shared how extensive his practices were, and how much dedication a dancer must put into his or her technique in order to give a good performance. He thinks that new performers to this show should learn from dancers who have had previous experience to this dance concert in order to give the best out of them. Perales stated, “My favorite part of Encanto is actually the journey to the concert.” The young dancer performed a variety of Spanish dances such as, traditional Spanish dance, Flamenco, and classical.

Encanto Español will be celebrated next spring of the 2013 semester. For more information, you can contact Bede Leyendecker at or call
956 326-2649.
(You can contact Neguif Angeles at

Review: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre at the Detroit Opera House Mar 29 – Apr 01, 2012

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Detroit: we have a thing.

We know, we know, the Company makes regular tour stops in other cities too. But could any other city possibly feel as right for this Company? Could another city match Detroit – for rich history and struggle and re-invention – in a way that relates as closely as we do to this Company and its repertoire? I don’t think so.

That said, Thursday’s opening night program didn’t exactly click all the way through.

Home, choreographed by Rennie Harris

Opening with ‘Home’, a new-ish commission by Rennie Harris, seems a good bet to kick off the evening. It is described as being “inspired by the stories of people living with or affected by HIV” and set to gospel house music. But it’s not clear how it relates to life with HIV. A dozen-some dancers come and go from the stage, often working together in small groups or pairs on stylish club steps, in club clothes, often just dancing alone in a group the way you do in clubs. Every once in a while there are some “stagey” steps, but mostly it looks like what you would do if you’re professionally trained, out on the town for the night with a bunch of colleagues, and would like to clear the floor. You’d show just enough of your skills that all the non-dancers would slink back to their chairs and enjoy the show.

Linda Celeste Sims in Takademe

‘Takademe’ (1999 / Robert Battle) was next up, and it’s a great piece that feels really fresh. A solo for a man or a woman (Linda Celeste Sims on this night), it uses the exotic sound of Indian Kathak rhythms to good effect, in that its relative unfamiliarity serves to fire up imagination and curiosity, which is then given expression in the dance. It’s lighthearted and captivating despite the fact that it almost never leaves center stage. (Most of it was choreographed in a living room.)

‘The Hunt’, also by Mr. Battle, finally promised

The Hunt

some human interaction, the lack of which looms large in a lot of contemporary choreography. Six bare-chested men in ceremonial-style floor length skirts and the strong, insistent drums (Les Tambours du Bronx) combine to evoke the connection between hunting and warring. The men interact in ways that seem to span lifetimes. They fight, they dominate each other, and they drag each other off the stage as well as they support each other and collaborate at times. There may be no more beautiful backs on earth than the chiseled and supple backs of the Ailey men, conditioned as they are for such a variety of modern and classical techniques, and this work makes beautiful use of these extraordinary bodies.

Renee Robinson, Constance Stamatiou, and Matthew Rushing in Revelations

No Ailey show in Detroit (indeed almost anywhere) would be complete without the masterpiece that is ‘Revelations’, the Company’s signature work. It is eternally young, this dance. Looking at it past the first few ecstatic viewings finally allows for a little more analysis, which reveals its utterly sublime balance as one of the reasons for its enduring success. It’s smooth, never rushed, never overloaded. When there is more than one thing going on, the other things are not competing for attention with the main thing. It focuses the eye and the mind exactly where it wants them, which then gives it full access to the heart. The Company dances it, even the virtuosic sections, with the ease of water flowing from a tap. It’s an astonishing achievement, and every time I’ve seen it, the dancers seem just as surprised and delighted as the audience at the sweeping power of this giant work.