White Bird’s 18th season Concludes with First Cuban Company Malpaso


Who: Malpaso Dance Company, with the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble
(A Joyce Theater Production)

Presented by: White Bird
When: Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 7:30 pm
Where: Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, SW Broadway/Main, Portland, OR
Sponsors: Bonhams,  The Oregonian,
Tickets: Starting at $26, available at whitebird.org and Portland’5 Box Office,
1111 SW Broadway (formerly PCPA) NO added fees.1-800-380-3516 (added fees apply).

“They’re sparklingly present…and remarkably strong all around.”
-The New York Times

Concluding its 18th season on May 4, 2016, White Bird proudly presents its first Cuban company, Malpaso Dance Company, based in Havana, which is committed to bringing Cuban contemporary dance into the 21st Century. The thrilling program features two recent works by Artistic Director Osnel Delgado as well as a new piece by one of Portland’s favorite choreographers Trey McIntrye. The final work on the program by Delgado will be set to a live score by Grammy-winning composer Arturo O’Farrell and played live by his 8-piece band, the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble, featuring award-winning jazz saxophonist Ivan Renta.

Founded in 2012 in Havana by Osnel Delgado, Dailedys Carrazana and Fernando Saéz, Malpaso is a company of 9 dancers that collaborates with outstanding international choreographers and nurtures new voices in Cuban dance. The company made its acclaimed US debut at The Joyce Theater in New York City in May 2014, and The New York Times called it a “knockout.”

Malpaso Dance Company is the inspiration of White Bird’s 16th Annual Outreach Project with Portland Public Schools, focused on Cuban Arts and Culture, which comprises a multi-disciplinary curriculum created by a core group of PPS teachers, culminating in a free matinee performance by Malpaso for 2,700 PPS students and teachers at the Schnitzer on May 4.

Beginning the White Bird program is Delgado’s Ocaso, (Sunset), a duet that depicts one couple’s intimate bond and joys, set to music by the Kronos Quartet. Guest choreographer, Trey McIntyre choreographed the second piece, Under Fire with music from Grandma Kelsey (stage name of Boise musician Kelsey Swope).  Under Fire is inspired, according to McIntyre, by a bonfire of burning “printed documents that had followed me for my life and had become a weight and a burden…I moved some of the charred paper with a stick and found that what was underneath was pristine.” McIntyre continues, “This struck me as an elegant metaphor for human life. The more we try to burn away and change our exterior, the more our essential born selves become evident and manifest.”

Malpaso’s program culminates with 24 hours and a dog, a collaborative work by Osnel Delgado and his 9 dancers and developed in 2014 as a direct response to the theatricality and evocative power of the music of Grammy-award winning jazz composer Arturo O’Farrill, who wrote an original overture for the piece. The score will be performed live by the award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble, featuring multiple Grammy-award winner saxophonist Ivan Renta.

In this “ripe, radiant, highly danceable composition” (The New York Times),   Osnel Delgado has created a highly dance language that reflects the tempo of the dancers’ lives in their beloved Havana. A dog, an invisible yet omnipresent character, visits the stage with the dancers as an allegory of a fickle and unpredictable city life.

Before founding Malpaso, Osnel Delgado danced with Danza Contemporanea de Cuba from 2003-2011. He has worked with choreographers Mats Ek, Rafael Bonachela, Kenneth Kvanstrom, Itzik Galili, Pedro Ruiz, Isidro Rolando, and George Cespedes, among others. Osnel is a 2003 graduate of the National Dance School of Havana, where he is also a professor of dance studies. He has received major Cuban awards including the Premio a Mejor Coreografia del Concurso Solamente Solos (Award for Best Solo Choreography), and a Special Mention award at the VII Iberomerican “Alicia Alonso” Choreography competition in Madrid.

Trey McIntyre trained at North Carolina School of the Arts and Houston Ballet Academy. McIntyre has worked for 24 years as a freelance choreographer, producing close to one hundred pieces during the span of his career so far. Recipient of numerous awards, he has created works for Stuttgart Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, New York City Ballet, The Washington Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theatre. White Bird commissioned and presented his work “(serious)” for his company Trey McIntyre Project in 2009.

Grammy Award winning pianist, composer and educator Arturo O’Farrill — leader of the “first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz” (The New York Times) — was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. Son of the late, great composer Chico O’Farrill, he earned a reputation as a soloist in groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Belafonte.   A celebrated composer, O’Farrill has received commissions from the Apollo Theater, the Philadelphia Music Project, Symphony Space, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts. In 2002, he established the GRAMMY-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) and in 2007, he established the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) as a new institutional support for the Orchestra with a mission to promote Afro Latin Jazz through performance, education and recordings.

The Malpaso Dance Company tour was made possible in part by Joyce Theater Productions, an initiative of The Joyce Theater Foundation in partnership with Sunny Artist Management that supports select projects from inception to premiere and subsequent tours.

White Bird’s 18th season (2015-16) is supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, including support from the City of Portland, Multnomah County and the Arts Education & Access Fund; Work for Art,; The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Collins Foundation, Ronni Lacroute/WillaKenzie Estate, National Endowment for the Arts, Oregon Arts Commission, Starseed Foundation. WESTAF, and New England Foundation for the Arts. White Bird’s 16 Annual Outreach Project with Portland Public Schools is supported by Herbert A. Templeton Foundation, Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust, Enterprise Foundation, Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, Oregon Cultural Trust, and Portland’5 Centers for the Arts.

White Bird’s 18th season Concludes with First Cuban Company Malpaso