Cafe Latino Premier Reviews:


Cafe Latino Premiere / Written by Anna Shvarts

It was no more than four months ago that the co-founder, co-producer, choreographer teacher and dancer, Dan Marshall announced his intention on forming a full-fledged dance company, now known as FreEMotion/LibrEMocion Repertory Company, Inc.  His announcement was heard at his free Tuesday’s dance class in Sophia’s-Bar, Tapas and Music, a favorite place for Bostonians with a sweet tooth for Latin food, music and atmosphere.  The response became apparent at the auditions when large groups of amateur and professional dancers showed up to strut their stuff in front of welcoming but determined judges.  Dan’s initial plan for his company, to gather a group of ten talented couples, had to be stretched and reconstructed, as a cache of energy, talent and potential stormed his rented studios at the Brazilian Cultural Center in Inman Square and the Boston Kung Fu and Tai Chi Institute on Massachusetts Ave.

Finally, after no more than three months of rigorous preparation, training, organizing, stressing and pushing the dancers to the edges of their present abilities, endurance and creativity, the newly formed FreEMotion/LibrEMocion, in collaboration with the world-renowned Tango Fever Company and OPED/Dance World – Tango Mundo, was able to successfully put together and perform their first official production, “CAFÉ LATINO”.  The show opened and ran three nights in a row this past weekend of September 22nd, 23rd, 24th in Babson College, at the Sorenson Center for the Arts in Wellesley, MA.  Various forms of Latin dances such as the Tango, Milonga, Valse, Cha Cha Cha, Bachata, Salsa, and Mambo-Salsa, although the prevailing forms of expression of the company’s theme and goal, were not however the only tasty offerings on the diverse menu prepared by director/co-founder of FreEMotion, Dan Marshall, with assistance from director of Tango Mundo, Jaime Alvarez.

For the appetizer, a Latin Jazz trio from Venezuela, Mauro Tortolero, Vicente Lebron and Alberto Turbay, served up the chick café crowd and dancers with lively and seductive tunes created by the blend of their voices, the singing piano, percussion and bass.  As a welcoming apéritif, a special guest artist and a treat to watch all on his own, Argentinean Milonguero from Buenos Aires and Broadway performer Ruben Ferrin recited poems in Spanish introducing the upcoming entrees.  Ruben was followed by the sleek and sexy Tango Fever’s Jorge Nel Giraldo and Marta Mandel: two well-known tango performers whose dancing recently appeared in the movie Random Hearts.  An Argentinean quintet from Buenos Aires, GoTan, Andrea Marsili on piano and direction, Carolina Poenitz on bandoneon, Marcia Lehninger on violin, Gabriel Lofvall on keyboard and Justin Patch on bass or electric bass, accompanied Jorge and Marta’s delectable dancing  which oozed and spilled with spicy passion and left the audience in speechless hunger, each time reaching once again for the menu.  Their senses and appetites continued to be awakened and teased as they were taken further into the sensual culture of Latin America and through a string of diverse tangos danced by a true lover of tango, Tango Mundo’s own Jaime Alvarez and his lovely partners and devoted associates Rebeca Schoff and Anna Burdo, the enticingly precise Benjamin Bridgeman and Vera Iskandarian, and the classy Hanif Butt and Edie Nikilova.  These tangos were intermingled with the vivacious and beautiful Salsa and Cuban Bachata and Cha Cha Cha choreography and dances of Dan Marshall, which felt complete with his energetic partner, Angela Shamsi by his side.  The young, Latino-cool and nonchalant young FreEMotion poet Florencio Yllana, originally from the Philippines, who wooed his audience with a refreshing delivery of his original poetry about life’s hardships and loves lost and found, introduced some of the aforementioned dances.  Another young poetess of Russian descent from the diverse FreEMotion Inc., Sasha Yampolsky took he crowd on a detour into the lovely Espagna, the guilty conqueror of the Americas and inadvertent creator of the culture in honor and praise of which “Café Latino” was created and performed.  In the meantime, café’s well-kept secret, Marilda Castro, a Peruvian actress and dancer was preparing a tasty interruption of the traditional, with a brand new dish of her own preparation: a modern dance interpretation to the soft murmur of the piano/percussion fusion that steamed up the hearts and stomachs of her newly found fans, differently and definitely each night.  In attempt to cool the sauna-like atmosphere in the hearts and ears of the audience, Dan Marshall’s Mambo-Salsa piece about the many men a woman loves, only sparked up “Ole’s” from the audience whose enjoyment was revealed in their delightful laughter and clapping throughout the piece.  It was danced and acted out by some of the most seductive and talented male members of FreEMotion’s collective, Dale Cumberbatch, Uche Amaechi, Jeremy Zucker, Dan Marshall and Heather Rene whose voluptuous and flirty moves captured their hearts and all the attention.  The show closed, all three nights with a sweet Valse rendition by the Tango ensemble, a meet-the-dancers reception with food and refreshments and a round of resonating applause fitted for such a successful production.  The only regret, if any should be expressed, was the unfortunate lack of sufficient advertising, as the performance was a true Latin feast!

For more information about FreEMotion/LibrEMocion Repertory Co., Inc. and their upcoming productions and/or workshops, look to their WEB site at