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Gustavo Ramirez Sansano: Current and Classic

Gustavo Ramirez Sansano

Gustavo Ramirez Sansano’s choreography is getting a lot of notice, especially right now in the Chicago area where he is Artistic Director of Luna Negra Dance Theater, appointed as of 2009.

As the former director of the Totoyaya Dance Project in Valencia Spain, Sansano has been equally busy making choreography for a bevy of dance companies like the Compania National de Danza, The Hamburg Ballet, Budapest Dance Theater, and Nederlands Dans Theater II.  His work has also been featured in such festivals as “Les Etoiles de Ballet” in Cannes, France and the IX International Festival of Ballet in Miami, Florida. Winning many awards for his artistic work, Sansano was named one of the “top 25 to watch” in 2012 by Dance Magazine.

Sansano has a choreographic style that is highly gestural, theatrical and if I may be permitted an oxymoron here, sensually kinetic, as you can see in his “Todo Una Vida” and “Retrato de Oscar Wilde.” His sense of theater, humor, and charm comes through in spades in “Quixoteland,” a piece he created for the National Dance Company of Wales.

As a dancer, Sansano performed work by choreographers Victor Ullate, Jiří Kylián, Ohad Naharin and many more.  He has danced with Ballet Contemporaneo de Barcelona, Nederlands Dans Theater II, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and other equally illustrious companies.  This background surely gives him a grace and understanding when working with artists, which is obvious in the way dancers absorb his choreography with the kind of relaxed alertness the movements demand.

Sansano’s choreography is well worth watching.  It is contemporary and very much of the moment, without being faddish.  Dancing with some of the great masters of choreography has given him a framework for understanding that ‘current’ can also be classic, and with this in mind, it is easy to see how his work will last.