And good lord is it hot.
Leaving that aside (ok, maybe not...), I've begun to appreciate the differences between dancers and the ways that they communicate. A couple of years ago, Princess Bing and I saw Juana Amaya at the Wang Center. I remember her performance as one long demonstration of her brilliance. She was a beautiful flurry of color and motion, and she remained untouchable and distant throughout. At times, she even seemed angry, perhaps because for the most part we all sat stunned with our mouths agape. Her performance was explosive and passionate and carried a simple, compelling message: "I am not for you."
This weekend, a few of us saw Belén Maya at the Majestic Theater. The experience was noticeably different, and the difference went beyond hers being a more contemporary program than Amaya's. Belén Maya was much more accessible, and perhaps even flirtatious. Early in the program, this keyed on expectation. As she danced, I kept waiting for her to open up, and the best that she offered was a little tease here and there. When she finally did let go, it carried such a sense of release, but the flirtation remained. A quick turn or a definitive gesture brought everything back to that delicious sense of wanting. It was magnificent.
The performance closed with a much less formal encore. The performers gathered in a semi-circle and one by one stepped forward and improvised as the others cheered and clapped and stomped. These performances were the unexpected gems of the evening, their effect being enticing and (in several cases) openly funny. It felt like it could have been happening on a street in Seville, and they just seemed like they had such fun with it.