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Ballet Hispanico announces two-week New York season at Joyce Theater

by Michelle Brandon
March 28, 2014
The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue (at the corner of 19th Street)
New York, NY 10011

Featured Dance Company:

Ballet Hispanico
Ballet Hispanico (office)
167 West 89th Street
New York, NY 10024

Ballet Hispanico, recognized as the nation's leading Latino dance organization since 1970, returns to The Joyce Theater from April 15-27, 2014 with 15 performances featuring four dynamic programs. Tickets start at $10 and are on sale now.

The extraordinary lineup of works, curated by Eduardo Vilaro in his fourth year as Artistic Director of Ballet Hispanico, features "El Beso", a stunning world premiere by Spanish native Gustavo Ramírez Sansano with original costumes by internationally renowned fashion designer Angel Sanchez. Other highlights include three Joyce premieres: "Sombrerísimo", Belgo-Colombian Annabelle Lopez Ochoa's athletic tour de force for six male dancers; "Umbral", Edgar Zendejas's seductive interpretation of the beloved Mexican celebration "Día de los Muertos" (Day of the Dead); and Eduardo Vilaro's "Hogar", a moving meditation on immigrant identity and the meaning of home set to live music by masterful Russian composer Ljova (Program B only). Nacho Duato's masterwork "Jardi Tancat", the Joyce premiere of Edwaard Liang's lush duet "A Verme", and repertory favorites from Vilaro and Lopez Ochoa round out the colorful season.

"It's been a gift to work with so many talented artists and collaborators this season," said Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director of Ballet Hispanico. "I'm thrilled to introduce New York audiences to the work of Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, who paired with the fashion maverick Angel Sanchez, has created a feast for the eyes. Ms. Lopez Ochoa's 'Sombrerísimo' was an audience favorite at the Fall for Dance Festival in September and I'm sure it will continue to enthrall audiences at The Joyce. I'm also proud to say that this is our third consecutive New York Season to feature live music—the beloved Latino tradition of marrying dance with live music is one that Ballet Hispanico seeks to uphold."

An Opening Night Celebration with the Ballet Hispanico dancers and artists will take place at El Cid, 174 Eighth Ave. at 19th Street on Tuesday, April 15th following that evening's performance. Advance tickets to the celebration featuring Spanish tapas, wine and sangria are $50 ($60 at the door) and can be purchased online at ballethispanico.org.

Ballet Hispanico's New York Season at The Joyce Theater – April 15-27, 2014

"El Beso" (2014) – World Premiere
Choreography by Gustavo Ramírez Sansano
Award-winning Spanish choreographer Gustavo Ramírez Sansano (a Dance Magazine "25 to Watch" pick) premieres his first commission for Ballet Hispanico, a tongue-in-cheek ode to the kiss and its varying manifestations, with original costumes by Venezuelan fashion designer Angel Sanchez.

"A Verme" (2012) – Joyce Premiere
Choreography by Edwaard Liang
A Verme or "Into Me See," a duet set to the lush music of Ezio Bosso, explores the concept of intimacy and the push and pull of energy that connects two individuals. The piece follows the tension and release of a timeless attraction between two lovers outside of time and space.

"Hogar" (2013) – Joyce Premiere – LIVE MUSIC
Choreography by Eduardo Vilaro with music composed by Ljova, performed live by Ljova and the Pinky Swear Brigade. Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro unveils his latest work for Ballet Hispanico, a moving meditation on immigrant identity and the meaning of home created in collaboration with acclaimed Russian composer Ljova to original music.

"Sombrerísimo" (2013) – Joyce Premiere
Choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
An absorbing exploration of identity, Sombrerísimo makes references to the surrealist world of the Belgian painter René Magritte, famous for his paintings of men in bowler hats. This athletic work for six male dancers was commissioned by New York City Center for the 10th anniversary of the Fall for Dance Festival.

"Umbral" (2013) – Joyce Premiere
Choreography by Edgar Zendejas
Edgar Zendejas's first commission for Ballet Hispanico—set to original music by Owen Belton—draws viewers into the ethereal world that is at the heart of the beloved Mexican celebration "Día de los Muertos" (Day of the Dead).

"Mad'moiselle" (2010)
Choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
Mad'moiselle creates a world that explores iconic male/female images and gender identity in Latin American cultures. Through rich imagery and theatrical satire, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa weaves a tongue-in-cheek look at the "Marias" in all our lives. The score, created with composer/sound designer Bart Rijnink, will draw on the music of Chavela Vargas, who is best known for her rendition of beloved Mexican rancheras.

"Jardi Tancat" (1983)
Choreography by Nacho Duato
Duato's very first work, based on Catalonian folk tales sung by Maria del Mar Bonet, won him first prize at the International Choreographic Workshop in Cologne. With equal shades of passion and melancholy, the ballet evokes the despairing yet hopeful prayers of Spaniards who wait for rain on their barren land.

"Asuka" (2011)
Choreography by Eduardo Vilaro
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, Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro explores the struggles of departure from one's homeland and the exuberance of success experienced by a community. Asuka was Vilaro's first work for Ballet Hispanico.


Program A

"Umbral", "Sombrerísimo", "El Beso"
Tue 4/15, Wed 4/16 at 7:30pm; Thu 4/17, Fri 4/18, Sat 4/19 at 8pm; Sun 4/20 at 7:30pm

Program B
"Mad'moiselle", "Hogar" with live music by Ljova and the Pinky Swear Brigade, "El Beso"
Tue 4/22, Wed 4/23 at 7:30pm; Thu 4/24, Fri 4/25, Sat 4/26 at 8pm

Program C
"Jardi Tancat", "Sombrerísimo", "Asuka"
Sat 4/19, Sun 4/20*, Sat 4/26 at 2pm
*Show on 4/20 includes post-performance Q&A with Ballet Hispanico Artistic Director and dancers

Program D: specially programmed to celebrate retiring Ballet Hispanico dancer Vanessa Valecillos
"Jardi Tancat", "A Verme", "Sombrerísimo", "Mad'moiselle"
Sun 4/27 at 2pm

Ballet Hispanico's 2014 New York season is made possible by Jody and John Arnhold, Goya Foods, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Princess Grace Foundation - USA and with public support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and Spain Culture New York-Consulate General of Spain & Spain Arts & Culture.

MetLife Foundation is the Official Tour Sponsor of Ballet Hispanico.
American Airlines is the Official Airline of Ballet Hispanico.


Celebrating 43 years of dance and culture, Ballet Hispanico is recognized as the nation's premier Latino dance organization. Led by Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro, the Company boasts a rich and diverse repertory of over 100 works by the foremost choreographers and emerging artists of our time. The works expand on founder Tina Ramirez's legacy of exploring the diversity of Latino culture through a fusion of Latin and contemporary dance powered by theatricality and passion. The Company has performed for an audience of nearly 3 million, throughout 11 countries, on 3 continents. For more information, visit www.ballethispanico.org. Follow Ballet Hispanico on Facebook and Twitter.

EDUARDO VILARO, a first generation Cuban-American, began as artistic director of Ballet Hispanico in August of 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since it was founded in 1970. Mr. Vilaro has been part of the Ballet Hispanico family since 1985. As a dancer with the Ballet Hispanico Company, he performed throughout the U.S., Latin America and Europe and assisted founder Tina Ramirez with the development of dance education residencies. Mr. Vilaro is also an accomplished choreographer, having created works for the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Lexington Ballet, the Civic Ballet of Chicago, and over 20 ballets for Luna Negra Dance Theater, the company he founded in Chicago. He received a B.F.A. in Dance from Adelphi University and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Art from Columbia College Chicago, where he served as Artist-in-Residence at The Dance Center. Mr. Vilaro was a guest speaker at the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders and the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture, and continues to speak to the growing need for cultural diversity and dance education.

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.

The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue (at 19th Street), NYC
April 15-27, 2014
Tue-Wed 7:30pm; Thu-Fri 8pm; Sat 2pm & 8pm; Sun 2pm & 7:30pm
(Evening performance on Sunday, April 20 only.)
Tickets start at $10 and are available for purchase in person at the Joyce Theater Box Office, by phone at (212) 242-0800, or online at joyce.org. Ticket prices are subject to change.
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