Ballet Hispanico, celebrating 45 years of repertory that reflects the ever-changing diversity of Latino cultures, makes its annual holiday return to the Apollo stage with additional performances from November 20-21, 2015. The performances are sponsored by Univision Communications Inc. Led by Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro in his sixth season, Ballet Hispanico will present the world premiere of an evening-length work choreographed by Fernando Melo and co-commissioned by the Apollo Theater on Friday, November 20, 2015 at 8pm and Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 8pm. For the first time at the Apollo Theater, Ballet Hispanico will also present a specially-priced family matinee, Saturday en Familia, on Saturday, November 21 at 2pm. Two Ballet Hispanico Performances for Young People / Apollo School Day Live shows of mixed repertory celebrating Latin American dance and culture will be offered to schoolchildren on the morning of Friday, November 20, presented through the Education programs of Ballet Hispanico and the Apollo Theater.
Ballet Hispanico and the Apollo Theater are partnering to co-commission a world premiere by Brazilian native Fernando Melo, praised by the Chicago Tribune as possessing a “highly theatrical dance vision, tantalizing in its mild surrealism and fun to watch.” His as-yet-untitled work is choreographed to a live medley of Brazilian percussive and acoustic sounds, and explores Melo’s homeland—a land of soccer, samba and sensuality but also inequality and disorder—with abstract and poetic subtlety. The premiere at the Apollo will mark the first time Melo’s work is presented in New York.
“I’m delighted to be partnering with the Apollo Theater to introduce New York audiences to the work of Fernando Melo, a stunningly gifted choreographic voice whose work will be an inspiring look at contemporary Brazil,” said Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director of Ballet Hispanico. “The decision to enhance our season with added performances and low-cost offerings for the whole family speaks to our commitment to the cultural mecca that is the Apollo and the larger Harlem community.”
“We are thrilled to have Ballet Hispanico back at the Apollo this year and to extend the relationship into even more of a partnership,” said Mikki Shepard, Apollo Executive Producer. “African American and Latin American culture have long been paired in innovative ways at the Apollo, fostering new experimentation and stylistic mixing. And though music has always been at the core of the Apollo’s mission, dance has also always been a vibrant part of the Theater’s rich legacy. We continue to celebrate that legacy through collaborations with esteemed companies such as Ballet Hispanico.”
In keeping with its mission to make the beauty of the arts and Latino culture accessible to all communities, Ballet Hispanico this year introduces Saturday en Familia at the Apollo: a 90-minute, fun-filled journey through Latin American dance and culture featuring Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro and Education Director AnaMaria Correa as co-hosts, excerpts from Ballet Hispanico’s diverse repertory and a Q&A with the dancers. All tickets for Saturday en Familia are $15. Repertory for the Saturday en Familia matinee includes:
"Sombrerísimo" - Excerpt (2013)
Choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
An absorbing exploration of identity, Sombrerísimo references 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.
"El Beso" – Excerpt (2014)
Choreography by Gustavo Ramírez Sansano
Spaniard Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s first work for Ballet Hispanico is a spirited look at the nuances of a kiss set to Spanish Zarzuela music and featuring original costumes by Venezuelan fashion designer Angel Sanchez.
"Club Havana" – Excerpt (2000)
Choreography by Pedro Ruiz
The intoxicating rhythms of the conga, rumba, mambo, and cha cha are brought to life by choreographer Pedro Ruiz, a native of Cuba, in this re-imagined nightclub populated by virtuoso dancers.
"Untitled" – Excerpt (2015)
Choreography by Fernando Melo
Danced to a medley of Brazilian percussive and acoustic sounds, Rio de Janeiro native Fernando Melo’s first work for Ballet Hispanico explores his homeland—a land of soccer, samba and sensuality but also inequality and disorder—with abstract and poetic subtlety.
Additional programs at the Apollo Theater will include special Ballet Hispanico Performances for Young People / Apollo School Day Live shows of mixed repertory for schoolchildren on the morning of November 20, 2015. Ballet Hispanico’s Performances for Young People (PYP) are interactive 50-minute productions that delight students with a guided exploration of Latin American dance forms and music. Apollo School Day Live provides new generations of theater-goers with exciting opportunities to learn about the arts, history and culture.
Tickets are $28-$58 for evening performances and $15 for Saturday en Familia. Tickets are available online now at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at (800) 745-3000, or in person at the Apollo Theater Box Office at 253 W. 125th Street, NYC. For more information, visit www.ballethispanico.org
Univision Communications Inc. is the lead sponsor of Ballet Hispanico’s 45th Anniversary New York Fall Season.
MetLife Foundation is the Official Tour Sponsor of Ballet Hispanico.
Ballet Hispanico’s 45th Anniversary New York season is made possible by Jody and John Arnhold, the Apollo Theater, the Howard Gilman Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, The Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, with public support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, 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.