The Annex Theater will resound with the powerful
rhythms of flamenco when La MaMa presents the American premiere of Maria
Elena Anaya's newest dance production, DE PASIONES SIN RETORNO (Passions
with No Return). This nine-part evening is the renowned Spanish Dancer's
first show at La MaMa since 1999.
The first three parts of DE PASIONES SIN RETORNO are set to recorded
music by David Pena Dorantes, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Astor Piazzola.
The remainder of the show is accompanied live by onstage Flamenco guitarists
and singers. Each part of the performance highlights different styles,
rhythms and feelings. It begins with "Tango ardientemente flamenco,"
an experimental intertwining of flamenco, tango and modern dance with
the music of Astor Piazzola, and ends with a traditional Bulerias.
The constantly innovative work of Maria Elena Anaya consists of a blend
of Flamenco and modern dance. She began her dance studies at age three
and has studied in Spain with prominent figures such as Carmen Mora, La
Tati, Mario Maya, Manolete, Cristóbal Reyes, Ciro and Yolanda Heredia,
among others. Her lifetime mentor was the legendary Manolo Vargas. In
1990 she was awarded "The Silver Castanet" from La Casa de Andalucia
de Mexico, which is the greatest prize conferred by the institution. She
has performed in principal theaters throughout Mexico, including Palacio
de Bellas Artes and Teatro de la Danza, and also participated in several
television shows and videos such as the series " Los que Hacen el
Arte (Those Who Make Art)," produced by the National University of
Mexico as a tribute to Manolo Vargas. In January 1995, she appeared in
"Homenaje," a tribute to the masters of Spanish dance, with
Sara de Luis. She has danced with Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre (with
dancer/choreographer Susana Di Palma) in Minneapolis, and at The Joyce
Theatre in New York in 1993. Her La MaMa appearances include, among others,
"De Querer Amores (1994)," inspired by the legend of Petenera,
"Raices de Sangre y fuego (1995)" and "Imagenes (1999),"
a seven-part performance which examined the feelings and passions of the
For those who steadfastly believe that the artist must have an idiopathic
personality (some Americans still cannot accept that poet Wallace Stevens
was an insurance man), it will come as a shock that Maria Elena Anaya
was a dentist for eight years. Her life is now, however, completely dedicated
to dance. Josie Neal (San Antonio Light) wrote about her: "Anaya's
skills are dazzling."
Coinciding with this production, La MaMa E. T. C. will present Indalo
Artists in "Accadde Domani: Butoh, Flamenco and Rituals" from
December 11 to 20 in its First Floor Theater. That production is the latest
of Shigeko Suga's innovative series of Butoh/Flamenco Dance Theater adaptations
of classic plays. It features Suga, Ernest Abuba, an ensemble of eight
in a movement theater version of "Accadde Domani" ("It
happened tomorrow"), a play from the collection "Orgasmo Adulto
Escapes from the Zoo" by Franca Rame and Dario Fo.
DE PASIONES SIN RETORNO has direction, choreography and music direction
are by Maria Elena Anaya. The cast includes dancers Maria Elena Anaya,
Maite Fernandez, Karina Ruvalcaba, Ingrid Trigo, Sandra Sanchez, and guest
dancer Lexa Rosean. Guitarists are Ricardo Joya and Marco Nunez; singers
are Maria Benjumeda and Alfonso Cid. Lighting design is by Ivonne Ortiz;
costume design is by Maria Elena Anaya. Costumes are realized by Arcelia
Castaneda. Production manager is Nora Jacobs.
(The) finale left the audience clamoring for more...When the curtains
closed, the crowd could be nothing more than "Otra! Otra! Otra!"
- Katania Castaneda, The Mexico City Times
"Anaya's skills are dazzling..." - Josie Neal, San Antonio Light
"Perhaps the most amazing, sensual moment comes when Di Palma dances
with Maria Elena Anaya, a visiting master dancer from Mexico City...This
is no small force flowing off the stage...This is the rising, whirling
presence of the divine feminine flooding over the audience." - Jaime
Meyer, Minneapolis Star Tribune.