Articles

Reviews and Interviews

IMG_2940.jpg

PRISMA International Contemporary Dance Festival 

Dancer: Rachel Secrest

Photo by Omar Z. Robles

C8F35B27-6134-44B6-93E2-60F4D0DCB974_1_201_a.jpeg

"Los Perros del Barrio Colosal" Dancer: Spencer Weidie

IMG_2931.PNG

Boca Tuya company on 2021 PRISMA International Contemporary Dance Festival 2021

Photo by Jacob Jonas 

2021

Una semana de ensayo fue suficiente para que estos chicos, provenientes de diferentes fundaciones y programas sociales, nos dejaron el corazón atravesado por sus verdades hechas movimiento, desde los primeros minutos. Los intérpretes nos ofrecieron desplazamientos y rutinas sencillas, alejadas de los vicios de los que practican las técnicas de la danza; pero, definitivamente, cargadas de honestidad y pulcritud en sus secuencias.

Ellos contaban su historia, mientras que los observadores nos reponíamos del nudo en la garganta que nos producía el montaje en su inicio, con la guitarra lastimera y la interpretación de Chavela Vargas de la canción «Las simples cosas» como fondo.

2021

In part 2 of 2, Brandon and Omar dive into the specifics of navigating a career as a choreographer. What do dancers need to know when pursuing this path? How do you find creative/administrative balance? What are the best practices of being a freelance choreographer?

"I'm still figuring it out. I'm still improvising. There's really not a formula but these conversations help us come up with own own structures."  -with Omar Román De Jesús

2021

In part one of this two part interview, Brandon sits down with dancer, teacher, and choreographer Omar Román De Jesús to talk about his journey as a choreographer and how he views his place as a choreographer.

2021

..."As an artist, Román De Jesús infuses his own Puerto Rican heritage and queer identity into his work, but it’s often a source of conflict for the 29 year-old.

“My movement vocabulary is influenced by that, but it’s also influenced by others, like Chinese or African-American choreographers,” he said. “Plus, I work with who I have. One dancer is so comfortable with himself, and he’s flamboyant and sassy, so I work that into his character. But I’m not about making this queer or that Puerto Rican, because I’d rather work with their personalities...”

2021

..."It is the ability to use melodrama in ways that do not appear forced or trite that makes “Los Perros del Barrio Colosal” a success. The dancers play with comedy, pantomime, and made-for-TV themes in ways that take audiences members on a profound emotional journey—one that feels authentic and important. Perhaps most crucially, “Los Perros del Barrio Colosal” inspires the viewer’s imagination long after the twelve-minute film has stopped running..."

2021

..."Having recently formed his own Company, Boca Tuya, Omar brought his dancers together during the pandemic to create a filmed dancework entitled Los Perros del Barrio Colosal ("The Wondrous Neighborhood Dogs"). He sent me a copy and asked for my thoughts on the piece; I loved it from start to finish, and decided to write about it..."

2021

..."Román is also interested in asking dancers to release insecurities and lose their fear of embarrassment by testing techniques with which dancers might not be comfortable... “As adults, we become more self-aware and more insecure and more self-conscious of everything. Those insecurities, especially as a dancer, grow like poison. It’s my responsibility to create a space where we can start getting rid of negative consciousness and start accessing that beautiful rawness, innocence, and pureness,” Román says..."

2021

..."La agrupación, proveniente de Estados Unidos y con sede en Nueva York, fue fundada por el director artístico y coreógrafo Omar Román De Jesús, «con el propósito de generar empleo para artistas de la danza que entienden que tenemos responsabilidad de movilizar a nuestra comunidad hacia un futuro más compasivo», como explica para PRISMA en la proyección on-line de la obra..."

2021

..."Breaking Ground concluded with the most contemporary work on the program, Mi Pequeñito Sueño by Omar Román de Jesús. From start to finish, Mi Pequeñito Sueño felt charged and full of abandon. Formally, it was like a marriage of ballet and Dance Theater. And like any Dance Theater composition, repetition abounded, particularly in parallel jumps. As the performers rebounded over and over again on the stage’s surface, the desire for levity and suspension rang true..."

2021

...“His Romeo,” has its loveliness, yet nothing quite provokes and stirs the way Ballet22’s commission from Omar Román de Jesús did on Ballet22’s inaugural program. That work, with the men in sportscoats and long tutus flailing tulle everywhere brought a postmodern jolt of unpredictability into the program..."

2021

..."Rather than follow the standard choreographic process, Jesús has allowed his dancers’ personalities to inform his works. Their individuality is what makes his choreography so relatable; audiences see the unique emotions of each dancer on stage..."

2021

..."This optimistic outlook perfectly represents Jesús, who speaks with an easygoing smile and articulates his experiences with deeply introspective, open-hearted, and honest thoughts. And although Jesús admits Covid “wasn’t good for him,” he seized the opportunity to re-evaluate his priorities as a choreographer and the impact he wants to make in the dance world..."

2021

..."Join CHOP SHOP for a conversation with choreographer Omar Román De Jesús! Omar will share insights about his work, reveal the creative processes behind his dance film Los Perros del Barrio Colosal, and take audience questions..."

2020

..."Omar Román De Jesús entra a Café con Cé y su energía interminable rebota de las paredes. Ya afuera al sentarse uno puede notar que su cabeza anda en cinco lugares a la vez; un e-mail por mandar, una propuesta por someter, una coreografía por terminar, el horario del día y la conversación. No obstante, su intensidad y pasión son el brillo que lo han hecho destacarse como bailarín y coreógrafo en Puerto Rico y los Estados Unidos..." 

2020

..."In Welcome to Barrio Ataxia, commissioned for Seattle's Whim W'Him in 2018, contemporary choreographer Omar Román De Jesús explored bipolar disorder. He offers advice on how to mindfully broach mental illness in choreography..."

2018

..."Omar Roman De Jesus's "Welcome to Barrio Ataxia" was the subject of a piece by critic Michael Upchurch in Crosscut, and I was more prepared for the subject, but that didn't lessen the surprise of the way the transition between the two parts was tempered despite the contrast.  While I wouldn't call the contrast subtle, it was more nuanced than a description would imply, with an invisible thread between the two parts. Music was by Lucho Bermudez and Slow Meadow.  As Olivier Wevers described in his intro, the program does end with a sigh..."

2018

..."Omar not only shares his process as a choreographer but also shares when he first discovered for himself that he was gay and what this meant for a young boy growing up in Puerto Rico. He talks on how he made it through this tremulous time in his life and how it has shaped his current relationship with his father. Omar tells us what kept him going just as he was thinking about giving up dancing and how finding joy in all situations is most important to him. Omar is a charming soul contributing many beautiful gifts to the dance world. This is an endearing episode sure to leave you charged."

2018

..."In a jolting series of well-contrasted movements, it opposed the isolation of ambling pedestrians with the complex contortions of apparent twins, symbolizing a soul in constant conflict. The very visible payoff was to see solo dancers, originally hemmed in by pools of light, achieve enough confidence to move from self-love to pure love. Finding the right escape velocity is every dancer’s greatest challenge: It was revelation itself to see it happen to twelve of them at the same time..."

2018

..."Lastly, “Boa,” by Puerto Rican choreographer Omar Roman de Jesus, enlists a playlist of lyrical music and Latin beats to create an abstract story about self-love. Each of the 12 dancers wears khaki-hued leotard tops and high-waisted, wide-hipped trousers (by costumer Mark Gieringer), liberating the dancers from stereotypical gender roles..."

2018

..."But opportunities to work with highly-skilled dancers who have both the technical and artistic ability to stretch a developing choreographer and transform their work are hard to come by. If ballet is authentically moving towards diversity (dare we say equity), ways of supporting choreographers of color so their stories can enter the canon must be considered..."

2018

..."It was harsh at the beginning, though, not knowing anyone and not knowing the language. “I almost gave up.” On the phone to his mother, Omar told her about his troubles. But after all the struggles to get him that far, she said, without hesitation, “You stay there for 6 months, then come home if you still want to.”

2018

..."In the piece’s dreamy second half, set to Lonesome Summer’s “Slow Meadow,” six dancers become an elastic net supporting a limp and rubber-limbed female soloist. There are vestiges of salsa steps in what they do – but they seem to unfold in a slow-motion dream world..."

2018

..."Well, Birts can make his human body do something like this, long arms flapping independent of tilting shoulders and undulating lower back. Meanwhile, he’s transferring his weight slowly from leg to leg. All of this takes place under a ghostly white, diffuse spot light, while Birts’ fellow dancers slowly move upstage into the shadows. As I said, indelible."

2018

..."Cupido," choreographed by Omar Roman De Jesus, was a delightful tribute to the feelings of love, some not able to be expressed verbally, but magnified by inner feelings expressed through the body. Set mostly to flute, oboe and strings, sections were choreographed to the different languages the melodies were sung in. With amazing control and litheness, the dancers cleanly worked off of each other, beautifully expressing the melody and lyrics, again, a lot of angular lines, strong poses and unique steps and lifts..."

2018

..."Then came a spirited work by Omar Román De Jesús former ballet and contemporary dancer now known for his aesthetic choreographic themes of universal love and beauty.  In his well-constructed piece Cupido he used the apt technique and emotionality of his subjects Brubaker, Rosenzweig-Bock and Wilson..."

2017

..."The final scene was a duet for two men who led each other around, constantly supporting each other.  Were these two friends? Lovers? Strangers who just met?  The choreographer wisely left this up to the audience members’ imagination.  That De Jesús dared to end “Daniel” with the breathless duet and not the full cast was a brilliant choice, one that was heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time..."

2017

..."Gendered ambiguously in neutral costumes, the dancers employ tender moments that contrast with the entirety of the program. In one, a man sits cross-legged in the spotlight, performing gestures that mimic every-day actions: eating with utensils, counting something on his fingers. As though frustrated by his inability to perform basic operations, his motions become increasingly frantic. In another, a gentle duet between two males, one holds a deep second-position plié, the other sits comfortably, almost childlike, on his thigh. The final image — two men running in unison around the stage — represents the endearing nature of companionship..."

2017

..."the performance celebrates the different social interaction and movement patterns within the Autistic population. The lighting by Christopher S. Chambers is distinctive and focused the audience’s attention on the action, at times obscuring parts of the stage so that the dancers who weren’t moving were invisible. The costumes, designed by Mark Gieringer are contemporary and figure flattering. The modern score with a variety of music styles encompasses a wide range of musical expression. This piece is recommended viewing for everyone because it increases our awareness of our own humanity..."

2015

..."The final piece of the festival, choreographed by Omar Roman De Jesus, also walked the fine line between gorgeous and repulsive, and did it beautifully..." ...."The dancers’ pale, expressionless faces and vaudeville-inspired choreography are punctuated with moments of delicate wonder..." ..."De Jesus truly evokes the essence of the ‘circus’ that Saakasu translates to be. He was also the recipient of The Commission for the Steps Repertory Ensemble Award..."

2015

..."I wasn't familiar with Omar Roman de Jesus's choreographic background, but with "Saakasu" he's really onto something: vivid in its theatricality and demanding of the dancers in terms of both technique and expression, it's a piece to be seen again. The audience reacted with shouts of enthusiasm..."

2015

..."Mr. de Jesus set the denouement of the piece to Fleur de Lis. Setting a piece on Fleur de Lis is a very conscious choice—one that is too often made with a cliched intention in the dance world. However, de Jesus’s choice was the right one in this case. Rather than rely on the romanticism of Fleur de Listo drive the piece, the piece drove Fleur de Lis, by way of the same dim lighting and vaudeville-meets-underworld choreography, into exactly what de Jesus intended for a ghostly fade-out..."

2021

Sombreristas es el nombre de la obra presentada por la compañía estadounidense Boca Tuya, la noche del sábado 16 de octubre, en el cierre de la edición Número 10 de PRISMA-Festival Internacional de Danza Contemporánea de Panamá.

Boca Tuya es una compañía de danza establecida en Nueva York, dirigida por Omar Román de Jesús. Considerada una incubadora artística, promueve entre sus miembros una cultura que prioriza el bienestar, estabilidad económica y logros personales.

Una puesta de apenas quince ¡pero significantes y justos minutos! Así fue la presentación que cerró con éxito la segunda jornada de espectáculos de sala de Prisma-Festival Internacional de Danza Contemporánea de Panamá, décima versión. 

«Danza para todo público» es la frase que mejor definiría Los perros del Barrio Colosal, la pieza que nos ofreció Boca Tuya, compañía newyorkina dirigida por el galardonado coreógrafo Omar Román de Jesús. Un trabajo artístico creado, ¡con apoyo financiero durante la pandemia!, para cine-danza y espectáculo en vivo; que tuvo como principal atributo poder conectarse con los espectadores desde su primera imagen: una luz cenital sobre una bailarina aullando entre las primeras butacas del Teatro Ateneo de la Ciudad del Saber.

2021

Get in Touch

939-218-5381

  • Facebook
  • Instagram