© François Spénard
Fusion: Traditional – Contemporary – Ballet
Immigrating to a new country, to grow new roots, we are willing to go so far as to change our behaviour to integrate. But to transform ourselves, do we walk the line between progress and loss? The Afro-Cuban post-modern choreography, The Aristocrat, is a social commentary that explodes misconceptions that first generation immigrants might have about integration, like a need to adopt a different identity.
The title, The Aristocrat, alludes to the dreams of grandeur motivating migrants to move to affluent places. The conversation is between a male solo dancer, 3 drummers and a cellist through orisha dances, ballet and contemporary movement that explore themes of self acceptance, personal development, and grounding in ancestral heritage.
Rhythm is an elemental force that acts to guide, support, inspire or cause conflict. She propels conversation between dancer and musician: in harmony, and in dissonance. Throughout the performance the audience encounters satire, irony and humour to accentuate the transformation.
The creation plays with time and space, where time becomes hope and space becomes surroundings. The piece tests assumptions of refinement, colonization and integration and where beauty and tension lie.
World premiere – 2015, Montreal
Touring team – 1 dancers, 1 choreographer, 4 musicians, 1 production director, 1 technician
Duration – 45 minutes
Type of public – All ages
Staging – Indoor, stage minimum 21’x 32’ (6.4 m x 9.75 m)
Special technical needs – White or grey dance marley (preference).
Julio Hong was born in Havana where he absorbed the rich dance traditions of Cuba earning a Diploma in Classical Ballet from the National School of Arts (ENA) and in 1994, a Masters degree in Dramaturgy and Theatre from the Superior Institution of Art (ISA). In 1999, Julio joined Compagnie Marie Chouinard, where he danced for 6 years, followed by a year with RUBBERBANDance, 4 years with the popular television show Le Match des Étoiles, and performed in Joe Dassin, Sherazade, Motown and regularly with Cirque du Soleil. Julio then founded the Afro Cuban Association of Montreal and cofounded Le Groupe Herencias. His choreographic style is a fusion of contemporary dance, traditional dance, ballet technique, movements from daily life, and ritual. Yemayo, Orun Seko, The Aristocrat and Cervantes are only a few of his recent creations.