Visceral Dance Chicago Performs Two Works by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano

SPRINGELEVEN takes place March 8–17 at the Ann Barzel Theater in the Visceral Dance Center.

By: Feb. 29, 2024
Visceral Dance Chicago Performs Two Works by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano
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Visceral Dance Chicago will perform the company premieres of two works by acclaimed Spanish choreographer Gustavo Ramírez Sansano this spring. The former artistic director of Chicago’s Luna Negra Dance Theater, who has choreographed works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Nederlands Dans Theater, Compañía Nacional de Danza, Chicago’s own Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ballet Hispánico, and many others, is working with Visceral for the first time.
“This has been a long time in the making, and we are so happy to have Gustavo back in Chicago,” said Visceral Founder/Artistic Director Nick Pupillo. “His choreographic voice is detailed and demanding, yet full of so much personality and charm. Gustavo’s two dynamic works for this season will add diversity to our repertoire and leave our audiences with something special and memorable.”
For its program SPRINGELEVEN, which takes place March 8–17 at the Ann Barzel Theater in the Visceral Dance Center, the company performs Sansano’s 18+1, a playful work for 10 dancers full of unexpected moments accompanied by rich and fiery Cuban and Latin music by Pérez Prado. Also on the program are Visceral Founder/Artistic Director Nick Pupillo’s world premiere Fixated, set to a driving electronic beat that exposes the true power within each company artist; Roderick George’s world premiere Man v Machine, a demanding and athletic work that uses an internal metronome rhythm with the dancers maintaining the beat;.and Pupillo’s signature 2016 work Atlas, an intimate look inside three different but connected relationships.

Visceral makes its debut at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago June 28–30 with Sansano’s Carmen.maquia, a contemporary take on Bizet’s classic opera inspired in part by the paintings of Pablo Picasso. The choreography for this evening-length work for 13 dancers fuses contemporary dance with nods to the Spanish paso doble and flamenco, featuring Bizet’s music from the opera and other works. The set design is by Luis Crespo.
Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, previously artistic director of Luna Negra Dance Theater (2009–13), combines his work as a freelance choreographer with directing the company TITOYAYA, which he co-founded in 2006 in Spain with Veronica Garcia Moscardo. Sansano has received numerous awards for his choreography, including first prize at the Ricard Moragas Competition in Barcelona (1997), Prix Dom Perignon Choreographic Competition in Hamburg (2001), and Valencian performing arts awards for best dance show and choreographer (2005 and 2019). Dance Magazine featured him as one of “25 to Watch” in 2011, and the Chicago Tribune named him a “Chicagoan of the Year in Arts & Entertainment” in 2012. In addition to choreographing for dance companies worldwide, he performed with prestigious companies such as Ballet de la Comunidad de Madrid/Victor Ullate, Nederlands Dans Theater II, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and he collaborated on creating operas with Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Omaha, and Opera Philadelphia.
“Returning to Chicago is like coming home, where every step feels like a familiar dance,” Sansano shared. “Working with the Visceral dancers fills me with joy, their excitement is the heartbeat of a great performance. Resetting these works, which belong to the soul of this city, is a joyous reunion with both the place and the art that defines it.”