San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Dance

Choreography festival returns to National Theater for 31st edition

This has been a busy month for modern dance: Coming on the heels (so to speak) of the Contemporary Dance Festival, a Danza Universitaría show, and a Dance and Creativity Festival in Liberty Park, the National Theater presents one of the longest-running dance events yet. The Graciela Moreno Choreography Festival is a four-day series of performances, showcasing some of the finest dancers in the country.

Named after Graciela Moreno, a longtime National Theater director, the festival will receive its 31st production this weekend on the theater’s mainstage, showcasing no fewer than 12 choreographers and 49 performers. The festival has long been acclaimed for its range of age groups and artistic styles.

About 30 different works were auditioned at the National Theater, of which only 11 were selected. Theater representative Gabriela Dorries Gigirey and Culture Ministry representative Adrián Figueroa reviewed each audition and made the final selection.

While auditions tend to be grueling affairs, the National Theater is dedicating its foyer to a photographic exhibit documenting the festival’s audition process, which took place July 2-4. Guests can browse stills of dancers showing their stuff before seeing the final presentations in the main auditorium.

The final performance, on Sept. 7, is dedicated to the Uruguayan-born choreographer Cristina Gigirey Nadal, who spent much of her career founding dance troupes such as the National Dance Company and Danza Abend, as well as creating original works in Costa Rica. The festival will culminate in two revivals of Gigirey’s most acclaimed pieces, “Proceso” (“Process”) and “La Casa de Bernarda de Alba” (“The House of Bernarda Alba”). The Sunday show is a rare chance to see a modern classic in motion.

Festival takes place Sept. 4-7 at the National Theater, downtown San José. Thu.-Sun., 8 p.m. ₡3,500-5,000 ($7-10). Info: National Theater website.

Contact Robert Isenberg at risenberg@ticotimes.net

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