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New director heads Latino dance company

October 14, 2010 3:35:50 PM PDT
Now entering its 11th season, Luna Negra dance company will be presenting its fall 2010 concert Saturday. It will feature a world premier by its new artistic director, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano.

Ramirez Sansano is thrilled to lead the company forward into its second decade, building on its mission of presenting the work of Latino choreographers. He rehearsed two of the company's dancers for its fall concert this week.

"The Latino culture is behind in the arts and I think we need more platforms like this one and not just in dance," said Ramirez Sansano.

The dance company steers away from stereotypes and folkloric representations bringing audiences modern Latino expressions with energy, power and passion.

The premier will feature Ramirez Sansano's "Toda Una Vida" ? All My Life - a provoking dance that explores the hardships and triumphs couples go through during a lifetime. "Toda Una Vida" is set to the well known bolero by Maurice Ravel.

"I always admire the fact the people can stay for such a long time together. And in the case of my parents, somehow they made it work for almost 50 years and that really amazes me," said Ramirez Sansano.

It takes hard work and dedication to be a dancer with Luna Negra.

Monica Cervantes started doing gymnastics when she was 5 years old in Spain and says her training has given her a lot of discipline.

"From the moment you decide you want to be a dancer you have to dedicate all your time?the more you put in the more you get," said Cervantes.

The program will also feature a dance which explores the traditions, music and culture of Sephardic Jews.

Ramirez Sansano started dancing at an early age in Spain and was the head of his own dance company in Valencia. He has performed around the world and danced with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago for four years before accepting the position of Luna Negra's artistic director.

"I am excited and nervous?a lot of people welcomed me to Chicago so it has been really nice," said Ramirez Sansano.

His advice to dancing hopefuls is to go for it.


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