The opening night celebrating Iberian Suite at the Kennedy Center began with a piano piece by Javier Perianes that was elegant, intricate and simple at the same time. Light notes played into deeper and more demanding fare that lead back to a playful, spring-like end.
The work then changed to a beautiful video montage with images of the natural world and words reflective of personal qualities found in Iberian culture. (The microphone stand, in the left corner, though made of clear material, was noticeable through a couple of scenes.)
Eugenia León, known as the voice of Mexico, gave off an earthy vibrance with her piece, that resounded with hope and pain. The subtle natural quality was also found in the ballet work of Carmen and Ángel Corella, the latter's costume dress being a natural beige color that blended with her skin and graced all her movements with perfect fluidity. Ángel was simple in black pants and shirt.
Their ballet was for the first half, made of low movements close to the ground, with Carmen's flamenco to break the cohesion from earth bound motions to higher jeté and pirouettes. The dancers moved within a uniquely mellow harmony, with a sense of long practiced symmetry.
The dancers of Grupo Corpo from Brazil, were amazing with earth based core movements in intricate unison, while wearing costumes that really looked like they could be painted skin, with red-browned and earth colored skirts for both the men and women.
The scenes continued with video montage, poetry and a commemoration for the beauty in all its forms of Iberian culture.
By Sarah Bahl