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BALLET HISPANICO

by Michelle Brandon
April 17, 2012
The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue (at the corner of 19th Street)
New York, NY 10011
212-242-0800
Ballet Hispanico, recognized as the preeminent Latino dance institution in the United States, returns to The Joyce Theater for its annual New York Season from April 17-29, 2012. This year's program pays tribute to the richness and range of the company's Latino roots – and the diverse talents of the dancers – and features African and Caribbean influences. Works to be performed include a World Premiere, Espiritu Vivo, created especially for Ballet Hispanico by Ronald K. Brown and set to music by Afro-Peruvian Latin Grammy Award winner Susana Baca, who will perform live during Program A; the Joyce premiere of Asuka, Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro's first work for the company, an exuberant homage to salsa legend Celia Cruz; and the New York Premiere of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's Nube Blanco. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue (at 19th Street), NYC. Tickets range from $10-$59. Tickets are available by phone at 212-242-0800 or online at Joyce.org.

The program includes three premieres:
• Espiritu Vivo, an exciting collaboration between Ballet Hispanico and Brooklyn-based choreographer Ronald K. Brown, explores the intersection of the African and Latino diasporas in the Caribbean and in Latin America. Using the rich history, tradition, and dance forms from these regions, the work explores the stages of grief and the promise of a new day. Susana Baca will perform live during Program A.
• Asuka is a celebration of the music of Celia Cruz through the lens of the Latino experience. Cruz, renowned as the "Queen of Salsa," captured the heart of Latinos the world over and became a symbol of perseverance for many. Through rich imagery and humor, Eduardo Vilaro explores the struggles of departure from one's homeland and the exuberance of success experienced by a community.
• Nube Blanco (White Cloud) is inspired by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's childhood memories of the beautiful songs of Maria Dolores Pradera. Lopez Ochoa brilliantly integrates the Spanish zapateado technique or footwork that is found in flamenco dance and gives it a contemporary twist.

"We are thrilled to work with such gifted collaborators this season," said Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director of Ballet Hispanico. "Ronald K. Brown's work, set to the music of the incomparable Susana Baca, is mesmerizing. Annabelle Lopez Ochoa has showcased the emotional range of our dancers in her pieces. And Celia Cruz's remarkable impact on the Latino community was the inspiration for my first work for Ballet Hispanico. I wanted to honor her music, which captured the voice of so many immigrants."

The program also includes a revival and repertory favorites:
• The revival Guajira features the guajira, the women of the Cuban countryside who spend their days toiling in the sun beside the men, then enjoy a little rest and perhaps a bit of flirtation, and in the evening forget their day of toil in a rousing guateque (party) with the other laborers. The typical guajiro rhythm is heard here, notably in the second ("Guajiras") section. But, like the culture of Cuba itself, the music and the gestural language of the piece hark back both to Africa and to Spain. Guajira was created by Pedro Ruiz and is set to the music of Los Activos, Conjunto Céspedes, and José Maria Vitieir.
• Mad'moiselle, a highly theatrical work that explores iconic male/female images and gender role-playing in Latin American cultures, was created by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa to a soundscape inspired by Chavela Vargas. The score, developed by Ms. Ochoa with composer/sound designer Bart Rijnink, draws on the music of Ms. Vargas, who is best known for her rendition of beloved Mexican rancheras.
• Locked Up Laura, a sensuous pointe duet by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa set to the music of Bart Rijnink, explores the human struggle to maintain authenticity in the face of routine through the lens of an artist.
• Tito on Timbales is a tribute to the music of master percussionist Tito Puente. In this ballet, choreographer William Whitener captures the joy and intricacies of social dance through cascading patterns, sensual partnering and the community of celebration.

Dancers: Lauren Alzamora, Donald Borror, Jamal Rashann Callender, Mario Ismael Espinoza, Rodney Hamilton, Min-Tzu Li, Andrea Salamanca, Jeffrey Sykes, Vanessa Valecillos, Kimberly Van Woesik, Joshua Winzeler, Jessica Alejandra Wyatt.

Ballet Hispanico will perform April 17-29, 2012 at The Joyce Theater, with performances Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30pm; Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm; and Saturday at 2pm; and Sunday at 2pm and 7:30pm.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE

Program A
Tuesday, April 17 at 7:30pm; Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30pm; Thursday, April 19 at 8pm; Friday, April 20 at 8pm; Saturday, April 21 at 8pm; Sunday, April 22 at 7:30pm
Nube Blanco; Espiritu Vivo with Susana Baca; Asuka

Program B
Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30pm; Wednesday, April 25 at 7:30pm; Thursday, April 26 at 8pm; Friday, April 27 at 8pm; Saturday, April 28 at 8pm
Guajira; Espiritu Vivo; Mad'moiselle

Program C
Saturday, April 21 at 2pm; Sunday, April 22 at 2pm; Saturday, April 28 at 2pm; Sunday, April 29 at 2pm
Tito on Timbales; Locked Up Laura; Espiritu Vivo; Asuka

The matinee performance on Saturday, April 21 will be a Family Matinee. Tickets for children are $10 ($6 with Joyce Junior Membership). Ballet Hispanico's Family Weekend matinees will take place on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29.

The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue (at 19th Street), NYC. Tickets begin at $10 and are available by phone at 212-242-0800 or joyce.org.

Ballet Hispanico's 2012 New York season is made possible by Jody and John Arnhold, Goldman Sachs, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Open Society Foundations and the Fund for the City of New York, The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, and with public support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Asuka was commissioned in part by Goya Foods in celebration of their 75th Anniversary, by Gaily and John Beinecke, the University of Notre Dame's DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Espiritu Vivo was commissioned by the University of Notre Dame's DeBartolo Performing Arts Center and funded by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, public support from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and in part by National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts. NDP is supported by lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, with additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust.

ABOUT BALLET HISPANICO
Celebrating 41 years of dance and culture, Ballet Hispanico was founded by Tina Ramirez and is recognized as the nation's preeminent Latino dance organization. Now led by Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro, Ballet Hispanico has grown from its grassroots origins as a dance school and community-based performing arts troupe to become a world-class institution that explores, preserves, and celebrates Latino cultures through dance. With a professional Company that has performed for an audience of over 2 million throughout 11 countries on 3 continents; a School of Dance unique in its emphasis on ballet, modern and Spanish dance; and an Education & Outreach division that creates extensive programming for public schools, both in New York and around the country, Ballet Hispanico builds new avenues of cultural dialogue and shares the joy of dance with all communities. For more information, visit www.ballethispanico.org. Follow Ballet Hispanico on Facebook and Twitter.

EDUARDO VILARO joined Ballet Hispanico as Artistic Director in August 2009, following a ten-year record of achievement as Founder and Artistic Director of Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago. He has been part of the Ballet Hispanico family since 1985. As a dancer in the Ballet Hispanico Company, Mr. Vilaro performed works by Vicente Nebrada, Talley Beatty, Ramon Oller and other audience favorites. As an educator he assisted Ballet Hispanico founder Tina Ramirez in developing a program for children living in temporary housing and was involved with many aspects of the organization's education residencies.

THE JOYCE THEATER FOUNDATION, INC., a non-profit organization, has proudly served the dance community and its audiences since 1982. The founders, Cora Cahan and Eliot Feld, acquired and renovated the Elgin Theater in Chelsea, which opened as The Joyce Theater in 1982. The Joyce is named in honor of Joyce Mertz, beloved daughter of LuEsther T. Mertz. It was LuEsther's clear, undaunted vision and abundant generosity that made it imaginable and ultimately possible to establish the theater. One of the only theaters built by dancers for dance, The Joyce Theater has provided an intimate and elegant New York home for more than 290 domestic and international companies. The Joyce has also commissioned more than 130 new dances since 1992. In 1996, The Joyce created Joyce SoHo, a dance center providing highly subsidized rehearsal and performance space to hundreds of dance artists. New York City public school students and teachers annually benefit from The Joyce's Dance Education Program, and adult audiences get closer to dance through pre-engagement Dance Talks and post-performance Humanities discussions. The Joyce Theater now features an annual season of approximately 48 weeks with over 340 performances for audiences in excess of 135,000.

BALLET HISPANICO
The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue (at 19th Street), NYC
April 17-29, 2012
Tue-Wed 7:30pm; Thu-Fri 8pm; Sat 2pm & 8pm; Sun 2pm & 7:30pm
Tickets $10-$59. Ticket prices are subject to change.
JoyceCharge: 212-242-0800, joyce.org
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