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Capturing Spanish essence

Cassie Pence

VAIL – Dancing is ingrained in Spanish culture, which is probably why Spain nurtures so many talented dancers.Back by popular demand after a memorable performance in 2000 at the Vail International Dance Festival, Victor Ullate Ballet performs today and Friday at the Ford Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m.”Our culture is very rich. Dance is one of the main activities during celebrations,” said Eduardo Lao, artistic director for the Spanish ensemble.The group was conceived and developed by Victor Ullate, who began his professional career with Ballet of the 20th Century under direction of Maurice Bejart.”We work a lot on technical preparation of the dancers. We push technique and freedom of the movement,” Lao said. “Good dancers have strong technique and good movement.”

Originally only open to Spanish dancers, the company is now comprised of an international array of artists. But their repertoire is infused with Spanish history, dance and music.One two-part piece captures the essence of flamenco roots. Ullate blends neo-classical with this very emotional style of dance to form choreography that is very typical of the Ullate company.”You can smell the perfume from Spain,” Lao said of the piece.The troupe will perform “Solo,” choreographed by Hans van Manen to Bach’s “Suite for Violin.” Because of its quickness and difficulty, three men perform the high-enegy piece. “For one alone, it is almost impossible. It is about three different characters and is very funny,” Lao said.

The company will also perform “Jaleos,” which was created when the troupe was first traveling to New York. The choreography is nonstop and technical.”The public gets drunk from this dance,” Lao said.The Victor Ullate Ballet is known for its high-energy on the stage. The company’s teachers stress the importance of transmitting energy on to the audience.”The pleasure must transmit to the public,” Lao said.For more information or to purchase tickets, contact 845-TIXS.



Snaps and clapsVictor Ullate BalletToday and Friday, 7:30 p.m.Ford Amphitheater


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