Performing Arts: Theater
February 8, 2015
Clogging, hip hop, vocal solos, drumming, body percussion, sand dancing, latin, funky, and jazz rhythms, all coalesce together in a multicultural mix of Spanish, African, Irish, and American sounds and dances at the New Victory Theater in creator Enlace Servicios Culturales’ exuberant CAMBUYÓN.

A sixty minute long show for kids (ages 5+) and families, we are transported to a seaport dock where seven different performers engage us in sights and activities that could’ve been part of the life of everyday Spanish trading ports one hundred years ago.

We learn a bit of history while absorbed in the world of rhythm and dance: “vessels would dock with sellable goods, inviting locals to row out and ‘Come Buy On’ the ships”... hence the title of the piece.

Dimas Cedres engages us with mysterious sepia lighting throughout the performance, enhanced by transitional graphic design videos on a back screen by designer Jonatan Rodriguez, and beautifully designed crates on and off pulleys, by Maria Toledo, set the stage. Two incredibly precise, facile, and dynamic female performers, Clara Pons and Berta Pons captivate in hip hop and break dancing style to percussive rhythms.

Throughout the show, found objects, like glass bottles, frying pans, steel buckets, matches, matchboxes, and even beer mugs, all become instruments of sound in the hands of these talented artists. The most captivating part of the show was when two bare-footed male dancers stood on top of crates, first using their hands as vessels to shower sand onto the surface of the crate, which then helps create a soundscape as their feet maneuver in tap and sliding dance steps. Below, inside the crates, the two women roll, tumble, and shape themselves into asymmetrical forms in juxtaposition to the men on top.

Raúl Cabrera offers a soulfully felt vocal solo; clapping, stomping, and clogging builds into a seven person ensemble extravaganza of movement and sound. A whistling guitar solo, a competitively high energy drumming duet, add to the mix to thoroughly engage our senses and bring us into the world of creativity, delight, and participation in the beat of life.

The work is directed by Carlos Belda, and CAMBUYÓN features Néstor Busquets, Raúl Cabrera, Thanos Daskalopoulos, Jep Meléndez, Berta Pons, Clara Pons and Jonatan Rodríguez.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Mary Seidman

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