A Victoria Premiere: Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company in an Intensely Physical Contemporary Program

Malpaso Dance Company, April 28 + 29, 2023, 7:30 pm, Royal Theatre

woman with water by Malpaso Dance Company. Photo: Ivo Roberto Baelli
woman with water by Malpaso Dance Company. Photo: Ivo Roberto Baelli

Dance Victoria presents Cuban contemporary dance company, Malpaso Dance Company, on April 28 and 29, 2023 at the Royal Theatre for an engrossing evening of exceptional dance by four acclaimed choreographers. For its Victoria debut, the company will bring a mix of the soulful, the sexy and the sensational.

Malpaso Dance Company’s skillful blend of unfussy ballet, their native Afro-Cuban tradition, and intensely physical modern dance makes them a crowd favourite. “Malpaso” jokingly means “misstep” in Spanish – an indication of the approachable philosophy of this company that is redefining how the world thinks of Cuban dance.

For their show in Victoria, Malpaso will share Lullaby for Insomnia  by company founder and associate artistic director Daile Carrazana. Carrazana says, Lullaby for Insomnia (Nana Para un Insomnio) is “an intimate solo, inspired by the work of the pianist and singer Bola de Nieve, an iconic personality of Cuban culture.”

woman with water is a 10-minute work inspired by Mats Ek’s two earlier works, Wet Woman (1996) and Place (2008), a pas de deux created for Mikhail Baryshnikov and Ana Laguna. Performed to a discordant score by Swedish band Fläskkvartetten, the work centres around a woman, a man, a table and a glass of water. Her dance is introspective as she stares forebodingly at the glass of water on the table. She is cool and distant with the man. The work will leave audience goers chatting about its meaning long after the curtain falls. woman with water is dedicated to Ek’s long-time collaborator Marie-Louise Ekman, a Swedish painter and film director.

Indomitable Waltz is an 8-dancer work choreographed by Aszure Barton, who was born and educated in Canada, and has received recognition as a protégé of Mikhail Baryshnikov. A series of vignettes in Indomitable Waltz explore the soul under extreme emotional circumstances. Barton drew her inspiration from Havana with its crumbling colonial buildings and resilient citizens, with nods at Rueda and other forms of Cuban street dancing.

World renowned Israeli choreographer, Ohad Naharin, travelled to Cuba to re-stage his seldom performed, 30-year-old masterpiece, Tabula Rasa. Set to Arvo Pärt’s score of the same name, the phrase “Tabula Rasa” means “clean slate” in Latin and refers to the state of a human being at birth, before being marked by circumstances and life experiences. That spiritual concept is the starting place for Naharin’s choreography. Naharin gave Tabula Rasa a clean slate when he restaged the work with Malpaso and says the passage of time gave him a “different toolbox” to interpret the work, while sharing experiences and discoveries helped in the collaborative process with dancers.

Malpaso Dance Company concludes Dance Victoria’s 2022/23 Season, a diverse contemporary program by top international choreographers all in one night.

Malpaso Dance Company / HAVANA, CUBA

Lullaby for Insomnia DAILE CARRAZANA
woman with water MATS EK
Indominable Waltz ASZURE BARTON

Friday + Saturday, April 28 + 29, 7:30 pm
Royal Theatre

How to Buy

Phone the Royal Box Office: 250-386-6121 or Toll Free 1-888-717-6121, Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (closed 1:00 to 1:30 pm)
Online: DanceVictoria.com
Visit the Royal and McPherson Theatres website for current Box Office details.


Pay Your Age (ages 12 to 29) and Night Moves (ages 30 to 45) tickets are also available.

About Dance Victoria

Dance Victoria brings the World’s Best Dance to the Royal Theatre and supports the development of new dance for the international stage from its studios in Quadra Village. Dance Victoria is a non-profit charitable society. DanceVictoria.com

Media Materials

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