Modern Dance: Andanza

Xavier Valcárcel (Diálogo) writes, “At times like these, hope is also the body, its possible communication, its powerful ways of saying.” In this article, he praises the persistence of Puerto Rican contemporary dance company Andanza, which for 12 years, has been “producing a very important artistic, educational, and social activity in order to contribute to the cultural development of Puerto Rico.”

Under the artistic direction of Lolita Villanúa, Andanza is composed by Rebecca Canchani, Norberto Collazo, Vesna Lantigua, Roberto López, Cristina Lugo (apprentice), Eloy Ortiz, Marena Pérez (guest dancer), Steven Rodriguez, Ana Inés de la Rosa, and Maru Toro. The troupe had a recent find-raising show “S.O.S Andanza” in Santurce’s Francisco Arriví Theater.

Valcárcel describes the show as a provocative and sublime exaltation of the qualities and technical possibilities of the troupe. He stresses the creative capacity not only of its artistic director but also “the delicacy, ingenuity, and brilliant obsession of its choreographers for the construction of images and a body language that, natural or unnatural, is beautifully human.”

He writes, “There are not many things in life as beautiful as to witness the way in which artists build everything. Especially the dancers, whose perfectionism has no equal in the world of art. ‘Artists of lightness, inhabitants of the air,’ according to [writer] Luis Rafael Sánchez. And, as Ana Lydia Vega [a writer and the artistic director’s mother] points out in her essay ‘Dancers’ (2005), there are really ‘few professionals of other branches of art that can boast of such intense and prolonged preparation. Any extension of the leg, the more insignificant opening of the arm, the more modest head turn, everything that looks so obvious on the stage, represents infinite session of hard and sustained work.’”

Valcárcel’s beautiful critique of modern dance—and, specifically, this troupe—ends by calling for a more vehement appreciation of the genre on the island. After reading about what the Andanza troupe brings to the boards, I am eager to attend one of their performances.

For full review (in Spanish), see

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