If you’re conversant in the percussive dance trio Soles of Duende, the title of their newest present, “Can We Dance Here?,” solutions itself lengthy earlier than their toes hit the stage: Yes.
It’s a tongue-in-cheek query from three daring, radiant artists — the faucet dancer Amanda Castro, the classical Indian Kathak dancer Brinda Guha and the flamenco dancer Arielle Rosales — who’re performed asking for permission, whose work proudly and generously takes up area.
On Thursday on the Gibney Center in Manhattan, they have been joined by the musicians Raaginder, Okai Musik and Ryan Stanbury for the premiere of “Can We Dance Here?,” a part of Gibney’s Spotlight collection, which helps early-career artists. By the tip of the swift, hourlong program, because the packed home referred to as for extra, it was clear that this crew is prepared for a fair larger highlight. “Can We Dance Here?” is a treasure and a triumph.
If the dancers are asking permission from anybody, or something, it’s the ground, which they deal with with reverence, generally kneeling down to the touch it earlier than coaxing rhythms from its floor. At their most intense, they seem to attract vitality up from deep within the earth. Though their dance kinds — simply as rigorously types of music — come from completely different cultural lineages, they share this regard for the bottom, and for the toes as a conduit to one thing higher than themselves.
The members of Soles — who describe themselves as a Brooklyn-born Puerto Rican raised in Connecticut (Castro), a Mexican Puerto Rican Jew from the Lower East Side (Rosales) and a Bengali Indian from New Jersey (Guha) — started collaborating in 2016. While every has room to revel within the specifics of her custom, “Can We Dance Here?” is outstanding for the way it brings their types into unforced, candid dialog. This fluency — which extends to the musicians, who breezily complement the ladies’s footwork on violin, trumpet, piano and percussion — appears to spring from their relationships as individuals, as buddies. You sense that they actually know and respect each other.
The present begins not with the toes, however with the voice, the dancers standing in a close-knit triangle formation to which they usually return, vocalizing steps in their very own dance lingos. Their dialogue grows extra advanced as instrumental music kicks in, layered with the sounds of their sneakers — or, in Guha’s case, naked toes under bell-clad ankles — slapping and drumming the ground, locking into rhythmic concord. Duos and trios additionally reveal stunning convergences within the higher physique, particularly between the tendrilled, curvaceous arms of Kathak and flamenco.
“Can We Dance Here?” emphasizes the collective, however every dancer additionally shines on her personal. Early on, Guha will get the viewers to make noise along with her, via the magnetism of her soulful gaze and imploring claps. In the second half, Rosales dons a easy ruffled skirt to supply a stately, sultry flamenco solo; at one level afterward, her rapid-fire stomping shakes the theater.
Castro, an unassuming star wherever she goes (these days she’s been a standout in works by Ayodele Casel and Dormeshia), captures our consideration along with her heat, conviction and spot-on timing, whether or not miming a tap-infused recreation of Double Dutch or dealing with a costume malfunction. (When a belt started to fall off her fabulous white jumpsuit, she merely ripped it off and tossed it apart.)
Together they reside as much as their identify. The program notes embody a passage from Federico García Lorca’s “Theory and Play of the Duende.” The duende, a sort of inventive pressure or spirit, is “not a question of skill,” he writes, “but of a style that’s truly alive: meaning, it’s in the veins: meaning, it’s of the most ancient culture of immediate creation.”
These dancers have it, and I hope they get the prospect to share it with many extra individuals.
Soles of Duende
Through Saturday at Gibney Dance Center, Manhattan; livestream Friday; gibneydance.org.