Stanford Live Brought World Class Talent to Memorial Auditorium

Cuba's Malpaso Dance Company Performs at Stanford's Memorial Auditorium Photo by Robert Torres
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Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company graced the stage of Stanford’s Memorial Auditorium for two performances March 16th and 17th. The gifted dancers that comprise this touring company put on a master class in dance. They made choreographed routines appear to be spontaneous movements that fit perfectly to the accompanying music. It is truly a privilege to live in close proximity to Stanford and take advantage of the world renown talent Stanford Live brings to the campus. Their season includes artists that excel in a wide variety of genres. The Malpaso Dance Company represented the world of dance with a breathtaking performance.

Though the Malpaso Dance Company is only a dozen years old, it is in great demand worldwide. The reason for that was clear to those of us fortunate enough to see them perform at Stanford. Their program and dance style are unique. The way the dancers interpreted the music was mesmerizing. I found myself actively concentrating to ensure that I wouldn’t miss anything happening on stage. That must have been true for most of the audience members because there was total silence during each of the performances. I was spellbound by the story unfolding on stage.

“24 Hours and a Dog” performed by the Malpaso Dance Company Photo by Robert Torres

The program consisted of three separate performances. Malpaso’s co-founder, Osnel Delgado, opened the show with a solo titled “Lullaby for Insomnia.” He might be the most fluid dancer I have ever seen. Every movement was purposeful and smooth. Every line was complete and beautiful, and every emotion was clearly portrayed. It was an excellent beginning to the show created by the talented dancers and choreographers this company has attracted from world class dance studios in Cuba and throughout the world.

When the entire company of dancers entered the stage for the second number, magic was created. Each dancer had various collaborative roles and at times solo roles in this number, “Stillness in Bloom.” It was a challenge to watch all the dancers at once, but everything each individual dancer was doing contributed to the story they were telling. The moves these seasoned dancers were capable of seemed to defy the laws of gravity and physics. Yet, they made this look effortless.

The third, and sadly, final number was “24 Hours and a Dog.” Once again, the company of superb athletes/dancers commanded the stage and captivated the audience. It was truly a masterpiece of storytelling fused with fluid dance movements. Far too quickly the program was over, and the audience was on its feet to show these dancers the appreciation they deserved. I know an encore in a dance performance is rare, but this dance company is going to get quite a few calls for one. We didn’t get an encore, but I hope Stanford will bring this company back in a future season. To learn more about the Malpaso Dance Company and to learn where and when you can see them perform, check their website, malpasodance.com

This program by the Malpaso Dance Company was a perfect representation of what Stanford Live provides for those of us in the Bay Area. If you are not familiar with their calendar, details of each upcoming event can be found on their website, live.stanford.edu.  The list of upcoming events is long because they use various venues on campus and feature artists from a variety of genres. There truly is something for everyone on this schedule.  While I can’t list their entire 2024 season here, I am going to highlight a few of the many events that are open to the public:

  • Audra McDonald in concert at Bing Concert Hall March 22
  • “Book of Mountains and Seas” at Bing Concert Hall April 6 and 7
  • Second Moon at the Studio April 11
  • Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra at Bing Concert Hall April 12
  • Stanford Chamber Chorale Spring Concert at Memorial Church May 31
  • Robert Plant and Alison Krauss at Frost Amphitheater August 22

There are many great events included in the 2024 season. No matter what your favorite style of music or genre of entertainment is, I think you will find productions you won’t want to miss.

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