December 11 - 21, 2003
Thursday - Sunday 7:30pm
Sunday Matinee 2:30pm
The Annex

choreographer: Maria Elena Anaya
dancers: Maite Fernandez, Karina Ruvalcaba, Sandra Sanchez, Ingrid Trigo & Maria Elena Anaya
guest dancer: Lexa Rosean
guitarists: Ricardo Joya & Marco Nunez
cantaores: Maria Benjumeda & Alfonso Cid
production manager: Nora Jacobs

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 art.

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.

2003 page