Theater archives



If fierce, fearless Arthur Aviles can invigorate a desolate neighborhood with a show composed of undulating motions, then dance can revolutionize the world. His new ¡Mi Tito! ¡Mi Celia! sends his sextet stomping and spinning in flamboyant (and sometimes nonexistent) costumes through a medley of dances set to the classic songs of salsa seductress Celia Cruz and mambo king Tito Puente. Vintage and homemade videos insert a live Puente concert, a 1980s salsa lesson, and entertaining scenes of Aviles prancing down trash-ridden streets and through a raucous basketball game. Aviles dances to reconnect with his Puerto Rican roots, using a technique he calls swift flow—”like the wave in disco.” It grew, he says, from the desire to speak a common language with his dancers. Though the repertoire has no apparent structure and little variety, the dancers’ gusto shines in Floor Piece (Four beat cha cha): Aviles and Alberto Denis gallivant naked while the women circle and handstand in full black body stockings. BAAD’s free-spirited atmosphere intoxicates; the temptation to unleash all inhibitions, strip, and frolic like a kooky hippie is almost irresistible.