Interview with Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Choreographer of “Noche Latina”, her Washington Ballet Debut
By: Eduardo Carrasco. Photos by Gregory Batardon
Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, is young and beautiful, speaks five languages, but none of these languages perfectly expresses her state of mind. “With dance I always seem to get to the point”, says Lopez Ochoa, one of the choreographers that created ¡Noche Latina!, a new program celebrating Latin music and dance. The three movement program includes world premieres by Lopez Ochoa and Edwaard Liang . The ballets include music by singers, songwriters, and musicians of Spanish, Argentinian, Costa Rican and Mexican descent. Together with Trey McIntyre’s Like a Samba, their choreography will interpret stories of passion, romance, love and life in Spain and Latin America. Perform by The Washington Ballet at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
The Colombian and Belgian Lopez Ochoa completed her dance studies at the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp, Belgium. After a 12-year career in various European dance companies, Ms. Ochoa decided in 2003 to focus solely on choreography. She has created works for numerous companies around the world. These performances mark Ochoa’s Washington Ballet debut.
Here are same of her comments about her work in “Noche Latina” to SOLUCIONES magazine.
SOLUCIONES: How did you created the choreography of “Noche Latina”?
Annabelle Lopez Ochoa: The first thing I look for is music that touches me, for this particular piece that would be part of the program Noche Latina it had to be from an Hispanic range. Personally I’m huge fan of Maria Dolores Pradera as I grew up with her music. It’s therefore not the first time that I use her music for a ballet.
As I was discussing costumes and colors with my costume designer I realized that for the Hispanic look we tend to reach out to the same color range. So for a change I decided step away from the cliché and have all the costumes white. This led me to the idea of the piece.
The piece is called “Sueño de Mármol”.
A man walks on stage and see a garden of marble statues that reminds him of the people and events of his own past. The memories are haunting him.
SOLUCIONES: What’s the message behind your choreography in this work?
Lopez Ochoa: The piece is at times quite melancholy.
It’s like looking at an old picture, which is a frozen moment in time and the recollection of that particular moment opens a drawer full of diverse memories.
We can’t change the past, we can only learn from it and move on forward. But at the same time we are a result of our past, we carry the blueprint of all that we’ve experienced.
SOLUCIONES: What dance means to you?
Lopez Ochoa: Dance for me is the language that is closest to me. I speak five languages (French, Dutch, English, Spanish, German) and I find myself in situations that none of these languages perfectly expresses my state of mind. With dance I always seem to get to the point.
Dance is a visual art form and can be very pleasant and soothing to watch but at the same time the physical aspect of it can conveys a deeper emotion to the public.
SOLUCIONES: What are your plan for the future?
Lopez Ochoa: My future plans after Washington are new creations for the following companies, Whim Whim Seattle, Ballet de Republica Dominicana, Istanbul Modern Dance Company, a new solo for ABT soloist Daniil Simkin, Atlanta Ballet and Augsburg Ballet and a revival of my piece “Requiem for a Rose” for Austin Ballet.