Part of Jean’s mission for the January concert this season is to showcase some of San Diego’s up-and-coming choreographic talent. Pablo Fransisco Ruvalcaba has a long history with Jean and San Diego Dance Theater, first as a student, and then as a Limón Master Teacher. Though he now resides in New York, Pablo calls the San Diego/Tijuana region his hometown and began his dance journey here as a young man. Since then, he has had an twenty year career with the José Limón Dance Company among many other successes and achievements. Now, he has returned to his roots to set his first work on the San Diego Dance Theater company for Janus and Other Dances of Beginnings, Transitions, and Endings. Pablo shared the background on his new work with us:
First off I wanted to thank Jean for the many years of friendship and support, and for her faith in allowing me to work with her lovely San Diego Dance Theater as a first-time choreographer. It has been a long time since she taught my first modern class and it is very nice to come home. To all the dancers involved: your work and full hearted participation has been so appreciated. Thank you for your trust.
Now, I am not sure what to write about but lets give “what the dance is supposed to be about” a shot!
When I had originally thought of this concept, I had envisioned a triptych based on Coleridge’s Kubla Khan or Fragment of a Vision in a Dream. This piece is the second and shortest part of the triptych. The first and third sections are yet to be created. I decided to start at the middle because that is always when things change…and it’s easier to tell a story if you don’t have to begin or end it.
As I’ve mentioned to the dancers, I am an only child and as such have always wondered what it would be like to have siblings –I did grow up with many cousins, but I always suspected that I was somehow missing something in not being someone’s brother. So I decided to make that an abstract theme of this work.
As I see it one’s brother (or sister) is “always at arms length” and you are always affected deeply by their actions, it’s as if those are the actions of our own deeper, darker selves, the self that we always wanted to be or the self we always wanted to suppress. In a group of siblings, each one’s actions affects every individual on a deep and personal level thereby changing all at once.
In that way “Fragment,” as the piece is called, is meant to explore how the feelings and actions of individuals affect the whole of the group and also how that group in turn accepts or deplores that individual’s attitude as an extension of their deeper selves. “Fragment” refers to the little piece of our sibling that we keep inside and connects us to them.