David Zambrano likes to lie low and let his dance do the talking. It comes as no surprise then that the reclusive 50-year-old Dutch choreographer has evolved a dance workout called flying low.
“The idea is to gather energy from the earth and send it to others. Metaphysically, it means thanking the nature for its bounty. Physically it manifests itself in low-floor movements that involve frequent diving,” he says.
Born in Venezuela, Zambrano worked for 15 years in New York before settling down in Amsterdam. His recent dance projects include 12 Flies Went Out at Noon (2005), Barcelona in 48 Hours (2004), The Rabbit Project (2003) and Mandraking (2002).
In his three-decade long career as creator and educator, Zambrano has visited 40 countries, worked with more than 25,000 students and performed at hundreds of venues across the world.
His oeuvre ranges from set choreography, structured improvisation and pure improvisation.
“My roles of improviser, choreographer, and performer are connected. I love creating dance and performing it. But the ultimate objective is to transmit it to others, at a teaching workshop or on the stage,” he says.
The rehearsal sessions for Soul Project, to be performed at the Max Mueller Bhavan on Sunday, are high on energy. You hear songs of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, or the genre’s Godfather James Brown, or Lady Long Legs Tina Turner. “In New York, I grew up listening to soul. But my new favourite is Patti LaBelle. Her spontaneity in
numbers like You are my friend... grabs everybody’s attention.”
In town for a residency programme of the Gati Dance Forum, Zambrano is all revved up about Soul Project. The dance piece, as the title suggests, is about soul in all its manifestations: spiritual, abstract, musical, and personal.
At his workshops, Zambrano has been developing the movement vocabulary for the project. He has arrived at five movement dynamics that help the performer exude a strong and expressive physicality to reach out to the audience.
“The audience, too, has the freedom to walk around performers. They can choose to be closer to or further from dancers,” he says.
May 9, 6.30 pm. Max Mueller Bhavan, 3, Kasturba Gandhi Marg. Entry on first come first served basis.