A Dash of Quartet and Ballet

By Richard Mineards   |   March 21, 2023
Attacca Quartet took to the stage (photo by David Bazemore)

It was certainly a plucky performance when the Grammy award-winning Attacca Quartet, a decidedly funky and exuberant foursome, played at the Music Academy’s Hahn Hall, as part of the popular UCSB Arts & Lectures series.

The works, all by Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy-winning composer Caroline Shaw, known for “a world of sound never heard before,” were “Plan & Elevation,” “Blueprint,” “Punctum,” “Three Essays,” and “Valencia.”

All works were played extraordinarily well by violinists Amy Schroeder and Domenic Salerni, violist Nathan Schram, and cellist Andrew Yee in the 90-minute performance, but I suspect the very contemporary sound, with a lot of plucking of strings rather than bow work, was not to everybody’s taste.

Attacca Quartet also served as the quartet in residence at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Juilliard’s Graduate Resident String Quartet.

Six days later, it was time for the Ballet Hispánico under artistic director Eduardo Vilaro and choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa to shine at the Granada in Doña Perón, an explosive portrait of Eva “Evita” Peron, one of the most recognizable and controversial women in Argentinian history until her untimely death at the age of 33.

Another Arts & Lectures gem, 53-year-old Ballet Hispánico is the largest Hispanic cultural organization in the U.S.

Doña Perón is the company’s first-ever evening-length work, reclaiming the narrative of the iconic Latina figure by a Latina choreographer.

An evening to savor….

Celesta Billeci, Barbara Stupay, Eduardo Vilaro, and Sheila Wald before the Ballet Hispánico performance (photo by Isaac Hernandez)

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