Review: Latin Nights

Latin Nights; 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday, 6 p.m. Wednesday; $57. E. Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts, 2420 N Street; (916) 552-5800; Through May 25.
Rated 5.0

Every picture tells a story, and in Septime Webre’s beautiful dance, Juanita y Alicia, it’s the story of an old photograph taken in Cuba before the choreographer was born. His dance, somewhat wistfully performed by the Sacramento Ballet as part of its Latin Nights program, is of family, friendship and a way of life that once flourished in pre-revolutionary Havana.

Stefan Calka, Christopher Nachtrab, Jonathan Harris, Maggie Rupp and Hunter Finnegan are standouts in this authentic, bittersweet reverie.

The program opens with dance vignettes from Act 1 of Don Quixote, with its visions of Spain in the time of author Miguel de Cervantes. The port city of Barcelona bustles with citizens, fishermen, matadors and courtesans. Lauryn Winterhalder, Dylan Keane, Lauren Breen, Ava Chatterson and Alexander Biber, among others, perform quite well. Don Quixote (danced—or rather, marched—by Richard Smith in windmill-tilting armor) and Sancho Panza (Anthony Cannarella, in a sweetly comic role) complete the series of scenes.

In between the two ballets there’s a lively performance by Ballet Folklorico de Sacramento. The colorful troupe performs to music that is bright, energetic and inspiring.