ZuZu Lounge

Dancer Nick Kepley. Photographer Steve Wilson.
Dancer Nick Kepley. Photographer Steve Wilson.

Choreography: Margo Sappington
Music: Esquivel

This ballet is an exploration of the “space-age” aspects of music by Juan Garcia Esquivel rather than the “retro” aspects. ZuZu Lounge explores the hybrid of popular and modern dance techniques with classical ballet. Ms. Sappington said, “Expect a ballet full of surprises,” as she experiments with movement to expand this classical genre.

Music by the late Juan Garcia Esquivel is highly complex, and his cd’s might be found in the “lounge” section instead of an easy listening category. Known as the Mexican Duke Ellington, Esquivel innovated what he called “sonorama” and reorganized the orchestra so that even from one recording microphone, the sound would bounce from one side of the studio to another. He grew up in Mexico City where he began composing and arranging music for XEW Radio. He became well-known for his ability to contort any arrangement into a dance number for his Hispanic fans. Esquivel made use of real sounds in his music such as traffic noise, chirping birds and the sounds of high heel “sling-backs” on the pavement, as well as singers reciting his trademark, wordless “zu-zu’s.”

World Premiere: February 21, 2002, Kansas City Ballet, Lyric Theatre, Kansas City, Missouri

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