ML - Michigan Avenue

2013 - Issue 3 - May/June

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 53 of 147

TALENT PATROL From the barres of the Ballet Chicago Studio, Gustavo Ramírez Sansano teaches inspired dance. weekend dance series of three cutting-edge works by three choreographers, each piece designed to push the boundaries of both dancers and audience. "Choreography is like The Hunger Games," says Sansano. "You're always hungry; you always want to achieve more things; you want to reach more people." For this 35-year-old native of tiny San Fulgencio, Spain, the event is a personal and professional highlight. "The idea of Luna Nueva is to bring choreographers total freedom. That's why it's important where we perform it. The people at the Museum of Contemporary Art are open to anything, and they like to be surprised and challenged. It's the perfect place." Sansano cultivated early ambitions of a career in dance; even as a child, he knew he wanted to direct a repertory company. "I was inspired by everything around me—people, situations, objects, and events, but especially relations between people," Sansano says. He began training at the prestigious Institut del Teatre What's next: "I in Barcelona when he was 16; after graduwant to learn how ation, he continued his ascent, joining to break-dance." the crème de la crème of the dance world Reading now: at Ballet Contemporaneo de Barcelona, "The Happiness Ballet de la Comunidad de Madrid, and Trip by Eduardo Nederlands Dans Theater 2. After performPunset. He's a ing across Europe, he uprooted to an even strange man, but I'm interested in more far-flung location: the Windy City, to how he finds the join Hubbard Street Dance. "Chicago is the best minds to Midwest, but it is also a great city, like any study what great city in Europe, with incredible arts happiness and activity," says Sansano about his cross-conintuition do in the brain." tinental move. "It wasn't difficult." During his season with Hubbard Street, Sansano met Luna Negra founder Eduardo Vilaro. The pivotal introduction led to a visa and a coveted position with the company. "The first piece I did for Luna Negra, Flabbergast, was the first paid piece of choreography I had ever done," says Sansano. "The universe was really kind to me and gave me so many chances. From then until now, it never stopped." Today, he finds inspiration in diverse sources, ranging from his family in Spain to avant-garde pop singer Björk. "She's a singer, but it's not about the singing, it's LUNA NEGRA DANCE THEATER'S ARTISTIC DIRECTOR PUTS about the art. She has total freedom." While Sansano appreciates Chicago's culture, art, HIS BEST FOOT FORWARD WITH A SHOWCASE OF ORIGINAL and dining scenes, he reserves his highest praise for the WORKS. BY RACHEL GILLMAN people who have made Chicago feel like home for the past three years. "The dance community is so welcoming. I didn't get the same welcome from my own country ustavo Ramírez Sansano is an expressive speaker: He leans in to engage the listener, enlivens his words with gestures, waves his long when I went back, and I'm from there. It's amazing here." And as the proud arms to emphasize a point. He is a fluid storyteller, but his preferred choreographer of Luna Negra, he adds, "We have the best dancers in the medium is the stage. As the artistic director of Luna Negra Dance Theater, city." Luna Nueva Festival runs June 20–22 at the MCA Stage of the Museum of Sansano is excitedly preparing for the second annual Luna Nueva Festival, a Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., 312-397-4010; MA INSIGHT G 52 PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID W. JOHNSON gustavo ramírez sansano MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 052_MA_SP_TP_Sansano_MayJune13.indd 52 4/16/13 10:55 AM

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