WBEZ | Luna negra http://www.wbez.org/tags/luna-negra Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Latin dance company Luna Negra closes http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-05/latin-dance-company-luna-negra-closes-107192 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/dance.jpg" title="(Chery Mann)" /></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F92365947" width="100%"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr">Chicago lost some of its Latin flavor this week.</p><p dir="ltr">After 14 years, <a href="http://www.lunanegra.org/">Luna Negra</a> is shutting down. The company, launched in 1999, specialized in cutting edge, contemporary Latin dance from around the world. In-house choreographers, like Mónica Cervantes, were considered <a href="http://www.dancemagazine.com/issues/January-2013/2013-25-to-watch">&ldquo;dancers to watch&rdquo;.</a></p><p dir="ltr">But in March the music changed. Luna Negra had just performed Made in Spain at the Harris Theatre, receiving <a href="http://www.stageandcinema.com/2013/03/11/luna-negra-made-in-spain/">rave </a><a href="http://rogueballerina.com/2013/03/12/luna-negras-made-in-spain/">reviews.</a></p><p dir="ltr">Then days later, all the dancers were laid off.</p><p dir="ltr">Veronica Guadalupe was one of them. &ldquo;It was a complete shock,&rdquo; says Guadalupe, &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think anybody, especially the dancers, were aware of the extent to which the company was in dire straits&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Guadalupe joined the company in 2002, first as a dancer then, after retiring last year, as the company&rsquo;s associate artistic director.</p><p dir="ltr">She says under artistic director Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, the company&rsquo;s reputation soared.</p><p dir="ltr">Sansano <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2013/04/29/artistic-director-gustavo-ramirez-sansano-leaves-luna-negra-dance-theater">left the company abruptly</a> in late April.</p><p dir="ltr">And based on Luna Negra&rsquo;s last tax return, their finances were grounded.</p><p dir="ltr">The company&rsquo;s deficit more than doubled in one year, from $48,475 in 2010 to $121,141 by the end of 2011.</p><p dir="ltr">Guadalupe thinks there are other factors at work in the company&rsquo;s closure. She was surprised there wasn&rsquo;t more support from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is a support of Chicago dance, especially after the layoffs in March.</p><p dir="ltr">But Guadalupe also thinks the community didn&rsquo;t show up.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;You know for being a Latin company, for being the only Latin company here in Chicago, we don&rsquo;t get any support from the Latin community.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The company&rsquo;s tax returns indicate gross receipts from admissions and other items (merchandise sold, services performed, facilities furnished) remained relatively flat, until falling off by about $100,000 between 2010 and 2011.</p><p dir="ltr">Luna Negra officials and board members did not respond to requests for comments.</p><p><em>Alison Cuddy is WBEZ&rsquo;s Arts and Culture reporter. Follow her<a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy"> @wbezacuddy</a>, on<a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison?ref=tn_tnmn"> Facebook</a> and on<a href="http://instagram.com/cuddyreport"> Instagram</a></em></p></p> Wed, 15 May 2013 16:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-05/latin-dance-company-luna-negra-closes-107192 Daily Rehearsal: Chicago theater 6/23 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-23/daily-rehearsal-chicago-theater-623-88237 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/archives/images/cityroom/848_20090326h_large.png" alt="" /><p><p> <style type="text/css"> p { font-size:10pt} #s1 {font-size:13pt; color:#494646; font-family:georgia}</style> </p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-23/848_20090326h_large.JPG" style="margin: 10px; width: 400px; height: 230px; float: left;" title=""><span id="s1">1. The "Best of" issue of the Reader is out,</span> and there are a few surprising choices, such as Steppenwolf as runner-up for <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/best-off-loop-theater-company/BestOf?oid=4071089">Best Off-Loop Theater Company</a>&nbsp;(isn't it a little too legitimate to be off-loop?), and Octavarius of Comedy/Sportz Theatre winning <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/best-sketchimprov-troupe/BestOf?oid=4071476&amp;keywords=">Best Sketch/Improv Troupe</a>. But perhaps best category should go to <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/best-dance-trance-space/BestOf?oid=4102459&amp;keywords=">Best Dance Trance Space</a>, which Laura Molzahn describes as an "overlooked spot has housed artists, arts teachers, and arts organizations—some 60 at the moment" that has been around for more than a century. And argue amongst yourselves: does Writers Theatre <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/best-chicago-theater-that-doesnt-yet-have-a-regional-tony/BestOf?oid=4102447&amp;keywords=">deserve a Tony</a>?</p><p><span id="s1">2.<a href="http://www.lunanegra.org/"> Luna Negra</a> has announced their 2011-12 season;</span> on the roster is a new adaptation of <em>Carmen</em> by artistic director&nbsp;Gustavo Ramírez Sansano. They're also introducing a new series for families called&nbsp;<i>Luna Niños</i>, and the first piece is<i>&nbsp;</i><i>Moniquilla y el Ladrón de Risas</i> (Moniquilla and the Thief of Laughter).&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif';"><o:p></o:p></span></p><p><span id="s1">3. Kelly Kleiman recently reported on the developments surrounding Governors State University's <a href="http://www.centertickets.net/">Center for Performing Arts</a>,</span> but they've got some other exciting programs coming up in their 2011-12 season. 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quality="high" src="http://www.improv.com/Template/root/BinaryResource/Flash/flowplayer/3.2.7/flowplayer.commercial-3.2.7.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" height="280" hspace="10" vspace="10" width="490"></object><span id="s1">4. Carlos Mencia is performing at <a href="http://www.improv.com/ComedyClub/Chicago/Event/Carlos-Mencia-%28SPECIAL-EVENT%29/703f6916-fe39-4c40-9f0c-ca3007181e46">Chicago Improv</a></span> this Saturday at 7 and again at 9:30. They're calling this a "special event"; please go and tell me why.</p><p><span id="s1">5. A.V. Club has started Summer Survey,</span> where they interview people going to specific events to see what their demographics are, and why they're there. The <a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/the-crowds-at-seth-meyers-june-18-at-the-vic,57820/">first one</a> was Seth Meyers' performance at the Vic on Saturday, and though I think they need a bigger sample size, there is some valuable information; a bunch of attendees watch&nbsp;<em>Saturday Night Live </em>regularly, which is news to me -- I thought everyone watched the clips the next afternoon, after just waking up, on Hulu.</p><p><strong>Questions? Tips? Email:</strong> <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 23 Jun 2011 14:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-23/daily-rehearsal-chicago-theater-623-88237 Technology infuses new dance performances http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-03/technology-infuses-new-dance-performances-83302 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/the-precession.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The internet is proving substantial material for artists trying to come to terms with the pros and cons of technology, and dance is no exception.&nbsp; Two dance&nbsp; performances examine how social media might be reshaping our collective consciousness. Dance critic Lucia Mauro brings us these reviews.<br /><br /><span>Live video feeds and sound collages make regular appearances in contemporary dance performances. Yet rarely is the technology the driving force behind the movement. Performance artists Mark Jeffery and Judd Morrissey seamlessly integrate dancers and a digital environment in <em>The Precession</em>. It&rsquo;s a multi-layered piece that invites audiences into the <a href="http://www.hydeparkart.org/" target="_blank">Hyde Park Art Center&rsquo;s gallery</a> and catwalk to go on a journey through time and space.<br /><br /></span><span>The idea came from the artists&rsquo; visit to the Hoover Dam. They were struck by the two pre-modernist winged workmen sculptures flanking the Dam and the perceived merging of a large-scale labor endeavor and celestial matter. The workmen, you see, are seated within a complex celestial map. This map examines the notion of Precession, which refers to changes in the earth&rsquo;s axis of rotation. It also singles out the position of the pole star, which is aligned with the earth&rsquo;s axis. The sculptor had an intriguing futuristic intent: If extraterrestrials were to discover this map, they would be able to determine the date and time the Dam was dedicated.</span><br /><br />Jeffery and Morrissey pull the idea together by having six dancers embody the earth on a tilt and, later, circulate around a professional fire twirler as the sun. The dancers are also positioned in relation to their individual star digitally projected from above. They&rsquo;re even joined by a physicist giving a lecture. Then science and labor join hands. The performers, dressed as denim-cad laborers, don inflatable wings and move to opposite sides of the space. They recite text that they receive in earphones. These words are Twitter updates culled live from within a mile-radius of the Hyde Park Art Center and the vicinity of the Hoover Dam. So the performers themselves become a collective chorus of the people.<br /><br />Spanish choreographer Fernando Hernando Magadan has thought a lot about how an addiction to Tweeting and texting can alter the way we relate to each other. For <a href="http://www.lunanegra.org/" target="_blank">Luna Negra Dance Theater&rsquo;s</a> spring engagement, he took cues from human evolution. So, for his new work titled <em>Naked Ap</em>e, picture a graph of stooped Cro-Magnon men eventually standing upright. Except, in Magadan&rsquo;s updated version, humans have now become machines. Four dancers, and one pontificating scientist, navigate around sculptures in the shape of disembodied clothing. They begin as one amoeba-like unit struggling to break into individuals. This movement is set against a classical Bach score overlaid with electronic tracks. The dancers embark on a journey of self-discovery&hellip;from mechanical clenching to the desperate touching of another&rsquo;s face. One woman softens her fingers and loosens her torso so that her bones seem to emerge anew.<br /><br /><span>Both <em>The Precession</em> at the Hyde Park Art Center and Luna Negra Dance Theater reflect on ways technology can bring people together and tear them apart.</span></p></p> Thu, 03 Mar 2011 14:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-03/technology-infuses-new-dance-performances-83302