Electronic Press Kit 2010-2011.pdf

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					                                                                ORGANIZATION HISTORY

  Exploring the contemporary Latino soul through dance.
Ballet Hispanico explores, preserves, and celebrates Latino cultures through dance. The mission
unfolds in the work of the professional Company, the School of Dance, and the Education &
Outreach programs. Together, these divisions celebrate the dynamic aesthetics of the Hispanic
diaspora, building new avenues of cultural dialogue and sharing the joy of dance with all
Recognized for her achievements by the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest cultural honor,
Tina Ramirez founded Ballet Hispanico in 1970. Ms. Ramirez, daughter of a Mexican
bullfighter and grand-niece of a Puerto Rican educator, enjoyed a long professional dance career
before establishing BH.    From its grassroots origins as a dance school and community-based
performing arts troupe, the organization has grown into a world class institution.            Ballet
Hispanico’s New York City headquarters includes six beautiful dance studios.
In August 2009, Ballet Hispanico welcomed Eduardo Vilaro as its Artistic Director. A former
member of the Ballet Hispanico Company, Vilaro founded and led Chicago’s Luna Negra Dance
Theater for ten years. Vilaro’s background in dance education and community outreach allows him
to build on the core values established by Ms. Ramirez to bring Ballet Hispanico into an
artistically vibrant future.
The Company performs a diverse repertory by the foremost choreographers of our time as well as
emerging artists. The works fuse Latin dance with classical and contemporary techniques to
create a new style of concert dance in which theatricality and passion propel every move. Our
choreographers represent a multitude of nationalities including Venezuela, Cuba, Trinidad, Puerto
Rico, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia. The Company has offered over 3,350
performances to an audience of over 2 million, throughout 11 countries, on 3 continents.
School of Dance offers a unique curriculum including flamenco and classic Spanish dance as well
as ballet and contemporary techniques. The School offers rigorous pre-professional training, a
general program, and special classes for pre-schoolers and adults. It has trained more than 8,000
children who have gone on to successful careers in dance, theater, film, education, business, and
many other professions.
Education & Outreach (formerly known as Primeros Pasos) offers an innovative exploratory
learning experience for school children, teachers, and parents. The in-school version of the
program offers long-term teaching artist residencies and has touched the lives of some 20,000 New
York City school children. The touring program includes teacher training sessions, classroom
workshops and master classes with Company members, and special Performances for Young
People, and has brought the joy of Latino dance traditions to countless thousands across the
                                                               ABOUT EDUARDO VILARO

                                        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. Building on Tina
                                        Ramirez’ founding vision for Ballet Hispanico, he
                                        brings with him a commitment to dance, to education,
                                        and to fostering a deeper understanding of the rich
                                        diversity within Latino cultures.
                                        Mr. Vilaro is an accomplished choreographer, having
                                        created over 20 ballets for Luna Negra and others.
                                        He has worked in collaboration with major dance and
                                        design artists as well as musicians like Paquito
                                        D'Rivera and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. As a
                                        former principal dancer with Ballet Hispanico, he has
                                        performed throughout the United States, Europe,
                                        Central and South America. He has taught master
                                        classes and worked with Ms. Ramirez to create and
                                        conduct arts education and outreach programs for
                                        New York City children; he subsequently created a
                                        broad range of educational programming for the
                                        Chicago community.
Mr. Vilaro came to New York City at the age of six from his native Cuba, and began his dance
training as a teenager on scholarship at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center; he also
studied at the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance. He received a BFA in Dance
from Adelphi University an MA in Interdisciplinary Art from Columbia College Chicago, where
he served as Artist-in-Residence at The Dance Center.
Mr. Vilaro served on the Board of Directors for Dance/USA, the national service organization for
professional dance. He was selected as Chicagoan of the Year in 2007 and Alumni of the
Year by Columbia College in 2008. He is the recipient of an NEA grant and the Ruth Page
Award for his choreography.

             The Latin-American experience at last has a voice.
                                                   The New York Times
                                                                                                                               New works under Eduardo Vilaro

                                          Through the fresh, relevant new works of the Ballet Hispanico repertory, Artistic Director Eduardo
                                          Vilaro continues to explore the Latino voice in dance. Each season brings choreography from
                                          contemporary masters to emerging stars. These artists reinvigorate the company’s aesthetic so it
                                          resonates for a new generation of audiences.

                                                As quoted in Dance Magazine, July 2010
                                                Eduardo Vilaro has stretched the “Hispanico” of Ballet Hispanico in terms of both dancers and
                                                choreographers. “I find that in diversity there is a richness, a contrast, a yin and yang. It gives a
                                                beautiful mix onstage. I’m looking forward to broadening even more. Now that we are diverse,
                                                let’s start the conversations.”

          Company © Eduardo Patino, NYC

                                                                 A 2010 world premiere by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa to soundscape inspired by Chavela
                                                                 Vargas. Ms. Ochoa, with composer/sound designer Bart Rijnink, creates a highly theatrical
                                                                 work that explores iconic male/female images and gender role playing in Latin American
                                                                 cultures. The score will draw on the music of Chavela Vargas, who is best known for her
                                                                 rendition of beloved Mexican rancheras. Mad'moiselle was commissioned, in part, by
                                                                 The Surdna Foundation.

                                          Annabelle Lopez Ochoa is half-Colombian and half-Belgian, and completed her dance training at
                                          the     Royal    Ballet  Academy        in  Antwerp,   Belgium.      She     appeared   with    various
                                          German companies before joining Djazzex, a contemporary jazz-dance company in 1993. In 1997, she
                                          joined the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam for seven years as a soloist. Since leaving her performing
                                          career in 2003, Ochoa has choreographed works for the Scapino Ballet, Dutch National
                                          Ballet, Djazzex, The Royal Ballet of Flanders, Gran Canaria Ballet, Ballet du Grand Theatre du Geneve,
                                          Ankara Modern Dance Theatre, Ballet X, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Ballet National de Marseille and
                                          Pennsylvania Ballet.

                                                                        Puntos Suspensivos
Company © Anna Campbell

                                                                        This new 2010 artistic collaboration will explore the "Chifa," or Asian influence in the
                                                                        Latino diaspora. The title means ellipses and the work is a reflection on connecting
                                                                        authentically and viscerally to one’s culture. Gabriela Lena Frank's score evokes the
                                                                        sound of traditional Asian instruments while employing the cello,
                                                                        violin, and viola. Puntos Suspensivos was commissioned, in part, with funding from
                                                                        Works and Process at the Guggenheim and the American Music Center Live Music
                                                                        for Dance Program and was created in Ballet Hispanico’s Instituto Coreográfico
                                                                        funded by The Rockefeller Brother’s Fund and The Ford Foundation.

                                          Maray Ramis Gutierrez began her training at the Paulita Concepcion Vocational School of the Arts in Havana,
                                          Cuba and continued her studies at the National School of Dance in Havana. She has danced throughout the
                                          world, performed on British television, and the Venice Opera. As a principal dancer for the National
                                          Contemporary Dance Company of Cuba, she has worked with esteemed choreographers such as Giovanni de
                                          Cicco, Donald McKayle, Isidro Rolando, Joaquin Sabate, Jan Linkens and Marianela Boan. Maray has created
                                          works for Hedwig Dances, Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, and collaborated with Eduardo Vilaro to
                                          choreograph for Luna Negra Dance Theater.

                                          Triptíco Ron de Jesús I Nací Andrea Miller I Locked Up Laura Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
                                                                                                                                    Classic works from Ballet Hispanico’s
                                                                                                                                                       historic catalogue

                                                                                     Tres Cantos (1975)
Nicholas Villeneuve © Josh Preston

                                                                                     Set to three songs (tres cantos) by Latin American composers Carlos Chavez, Lorenzo
                                                                                     Fernandez, and Silvestre Revueltas, Talley Beatty’s 1975 masterwork reflects the history of
                                                                                     Mexico, from its Aztec roots through the Spanish Conquest to the re-emergence of the
                                                                                     native peoples’ unconquered spirit. This revival celebrates the 200th anniversary of Mexico's
                                                                                     independence. The revival of Tres Cantos has been made possible, in part, by American
                                                                                     Express and the National Endowment for the Arts as part of American Masterpieces: Three
                                                                                     Centuries of Artistic Genius.

                                                       Talley Beatty (1918-1995) is one of the master choreographers of the 20th century with a
                                                       career spanning dance, theatre, opera and television. Mr. Beatty began dancing with Katherine Dunham before
                                                       moving to Broadway with Cabin in the Sky and Showboat. He then formed his own dance company, touring with
                                                       Tropicana, a suite of dance styles derived from African and Latin American cultures. He also choreographed for
                                                       Stockholm’s Birgit Cullberg Ballet, the Boston Ballet, Inner City Dance Company of Los Angeles, and Alvin Ailey.
                                                       From 1974 through 1985, Ballet Hispanico commissioned five works and made one acquisition from Mr. Beatty.

                                                                                     Tres Bailes (2008)
Rodney Hamilton © Rosalie O’Connor

                                                                                     Tres Bailes is a rich, abstract work of three powerful dances that display the artistry and
                                                                                     athleticism of the Ballet Hispanico dancers, set to the pulsing music of Astor Piazzolla,
                                                                                     Alberto Iglesias, The Gotan Project. Tres Bailes was created for Fire Island Dance Festival 14,
                                                                                     benefiting Dancers Responding to AIDS. Generous support was provided by Major Choreo-
                                                                                     graphic Sponsor Goldman Sachs Gives/The Chavez Family Foundation.

                                                       Jean Emile trained in New York City at the High School of Performing Arts, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center,
                                                       School of American Ballet, Dr. Glory’s School of Musical Theater, Joffrey Ballet School and at the Summer Dance
                                                       Academy in Cologne, Germany. His professional experiences include working with Netherlands Dance Theater
                                                       2 (The Hague, Holland), Netherlands Dance Theater 1, Compania Nacional de Danza (Madrid, Spain), Lar
                                                       Lubovitch Dance Company (New York, USA) Notre Dame de Paris, (Las Vegas, USA) and Donald Byrd, The
                                                       Group. He choreographed "Getting There", "Veronica", "Sentimento", "3 to 1" for La Compania in
                                                       Barcelona and The Operetta "Die Herzogin Van Chicago" (The Dutchess of Chicago) by the composer Kalman
                                                       for the Theater Osnabruck in Germany. He currently teaches at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center in New

                                                                                     Batucada Fantástica (1983)
               Vanessa Valecillos © Rosalie O’Connor

                                                                                     An audience favorite, this work presents a rousing homage to the Brazilian Carnival, a
                                                                                     joyous outburst of dancing, music-making and partying, featuring eight distinctive solos
                                                                                     culminating in a riotous ensemble finale. Ballet Hispanico's original production of Batucada
                                                                                     Fantástica was made possible, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for
                                                                                     the Arts.

                                                       Vicente Nebrada (1930-2002) was a founding member of the Harkness Ballet where he began his
                                                       choreographic career in 1964. In 1975 he became the Founding Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of
                                                       the International Ballet of Caracas, creating numerous ballets and solidifying his reputation as an internationally
                                                       acclaimed choreographer. In 1984 he was appointed Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Caracas, which he
                                                       directed until 2002. His artistic support as resident choreographer helped establish Ballet Florida in Palm Beach
                                                       in the mid 1990s. His works continue to be performed around the world and have been danced by more than 30
                                                       companies such as, American Ballet Theatre, National Ballet of Canada, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, and Ballet
                                                                                                                       Classic works from Ballet Hispanico’s
                                                                                                                                          historic catalogue

                                                                Nací (2009)
Vanessa Valecillos © Rosalie O’Connor

                                                                Drawing from the duality of her Spanish and Jewish-American background, choreographer Andrea
                                                                Miller employs her distinctive movement style to investigate the Sephardic culture of Spain, with its
                                                                Moorish influence and profound sense of community, despite hardship. Andrea Miller’s
                                                                choreographic fellowship was made possible by a 2009 Princess Grace Award.

                                         Andrea Miller is Artistic Director and Choreographer of New York based Gallim Dance. Upon graduating from
                                         the Juilliard School, Miller joined Ohad Naharin's Ensemble Batsheva in Tel Aviv. In 2007 she returned to establish
                                         Gallim Dance. Miller's works have been performed throughout the US, Canada and Europe. She was awarded the
                                         2009 Princess Grace Foundation Fellowship in Choreography, 2010 Princess Grace Foundation USA Works in
                                         Progress Award, the Youth America Grand Prix Choreographers Award, and was selected for Dance Magazine's
                                         2009 "25 to Watch."

                                                                       Destino Incierto (2008)
                                                                       Carlos Sierra-Lopez, a Puerto Rican choreographer and former Ballet Hispanico company
                                                                       member, created Destino Incierto for three dancers.       The 12-minute piece echoes the
                                                                       timeless characters of Carmen, Don Jose, and Escamillo in an emotional journey through
Company © Rosalie O’Connor

                                                                       each character’s struggle to find harmony for themselves and with one another.

                                        Carlos Sierra-Lopez is a native of Puerto Rico with numerous credits. Choreographic credits include Estocada
                                        Final Dance Month Gala, Dominican Republic Teatro Nacional, Corpo Danzante in Puerto Rico, Carmen at the La
                                        Jolla Playhouse (Associate Choreographer), and Swing! (First National tour; Associate Choreographer). He
                                        assisted and collaborated on productions of Saturday Night Fever in Holland and Celia: The Life and Music of
                                        Celia Cruz at New World Stages New York.

                                                                 Club Havana (2000)
                                                                 Latin Dancing at its best. The intoxicating rhythms of the Conga, Rumba, Mambo, and Cha Cha
                                                                 are brought to life by choreographer Pedro Ruiz, himself a native of Cuba, as he
                                                                 imagined his very own “Club Havana”. The original Club Havana production was made
Company © Rosalie O’Connor

                                                                 possible, in part, by gifts from Jody and John Arnhold, Dhuanne and Douglas Tansill and Caroline
                                                                 Newhouse; by grants from American Express Company and AT&T; and with
                                                                 commissioning funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.

                                         Pedro Ruiz trained in his native Cuba and in Venezuela. Mr. Ruiz choreographed three celebrated ballets while a
                                         principal dancer with Ballet Hispanico for twenty one years. Choreography credits include: The Joffrey, Luna
                                         Negra, New Jersey Ballet, the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program, Ailey’s Spring Celebration and Summer Sizzler
                                         concerts. He is on the dance faculty of Marymount College, the staff of The Ailey School and Scarsdale Ballet.
                                         Awards include: the Bessie Award, the Choo-San Goh Award and The Cuban Artist’s Fund. Recently, Mr. Ruiz
                                         received The Joyce Foundation Award to create a new work for The Joffrey and was profiled nationally on PBS’s
                                         “In The Life.”
                                                                                           Classic works from Ballet Hispanico’s
                                                                                                              historic catalogue

Farewell (1992)
Choreographed by Christopher Gillis, one of the first artists to succumb to the AIDS epidemic, this haunting
duet explores physical and psychological separation in a relationship. Farewell is presented on behalf of
Margie Gillis and the Paul Taylor Dance Company.
Christopher Gillis (1951-1993), born in Montreal, Canada, danced in the companies of May O’Donnell and Jose
Limón before joining The Paul Taylor Dance Company in 1976, where he was a principal dancer for over 15 years.
An acclaimed choreographer, he contributed works to White Oak Dance Project and Repertory Dance Theatre in
Salt Lake City as well as five works for the Paul Taylor Dance Company. He enjoyed a life-long collaboration with
his sister Margie Gillis, creating several works with her and for her that remain in the repertory of the Margie Gillis
Dance Foundation.

Before After (2002)
Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
Before After, the critically-acclaimed signature piece of Ms. Ochoa, explores the moment before a relationship
comes to an end.

                                                                                                   2010-2011 TOUR SCHEDULE
   September 29                                                                February 15
   Knoxville, TN                                                               East Lansing, MI
   Clarence Brown Theater,                                                     Cobb Great Hall at Wharton Center for Performing Arts
   University of Tennessee-Knoxville
                                                                               February 20
   October 2                                                                   New York, NY
   Madison, WI                                                                 Children’s Museum of Manhattan
   Wisconsin Union Theater*
                                                                               February 26-27
   October 8                                                                   Antigua Guatemala
   Great Barrington, MA                                                        Festival Internacional de Cultura Paiz 2011
   Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
                                                                               March 5
   October 24 – 25                                                             Pittsburgh, PA
   New York, NY                                                                Byham Theater*
   Works & Process at The Guggenheim
                                                                               March 8
   November 5                                                                  Boca Raton, FL
   Chicago, IL                                                                 Festival of the Arts BOCA
   Harris Theater for Music and Dance
                                                                               March 29-April 1
   November 8                                                                  New York, NY
   Interlochen, MI                                                             Tribeca Performing Arts Center
   Interlochen Center for the Arts, Corson Auditorium*
                                                                               April 11
   November 30 – December 12                                                   New York, NY
   New York, NY                                                                The Plaza, Ballet Hispanico Spring Gala
   New York Season, The Joyce Theater*
                                                                               May 21
   February 4, 2011                                                            New York, NY
   Lewisburg, PA                                                               Ballet Hispanico (Si Cuba! Festival)
   Weis Center for the Performing Arts,
   Bucknell University                                                         May 23-27
                                                                               New York, NY
   February 12
                                                                               Aaron Davis Hall at Harlem Stage
   Kohler, WI
   Kohler Memorial Theater

   Official Tour Sponsor for Ballet Hispanico’s 40th Anniversary season tour
   * Engagement includes Education and Outreach residency activities
                                                BALLET HISPANICO COMPANY

Lauren Alzamora graduated from UNC School of the Arts in 2001. She has danced
for Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Eliot Feld's Ballet Tech and Battery Dance Company in
New York. Lauren has also collaborated with New York-based dance photographer
Howard Schatz on several projects, including underwater dance photography; she is
featured among other artists in Schatz's book H2O.
Jessica Batten trained with New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble under Nancy
Turano. Ms. Batten was a personal demonstrator for the Paris Opera and Royal
Danish Ballet Schools and has performed with the Kirov Ballet. She graduated Cum
Laude in 2005 from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Dance and has danced with
NJDTE, Cedar Lake II, Connecticut Ballet, and on the Amici Television Show in
Rome. This will be her fifth season with Ballet Hispanico.
Donald Borror, a native of Columbus, Ohio, began his serious ballet training at
Ballet Met Columbus before attending and graduating from Walnut Hill School in
2006. Upon graduation he was accepted into The Juilliard School and received a
BFA as a member of the dance class of 2010. His choreography has been seen in
Juilliard’s Senior Production and the Choreographers and Composers Concert as
well as with Columbia Ballet Collaborative.
Rodney Hamilton, a native of St. Louis, started his dance training at the age of ten
with Carr Lane, COCA, Alexandra School of Ballet and Katherine Dunham. In 1996, at
the age of 14, Mr. Hamilton joined the adult dance chorus at The Muny of St.
Louis. He graduated from The Juilliard School and will be in his ninth season with
Ballet Hispanico.

Mario Ismael Espinoza, was born in Tijuana, Mexico. He graduated from the Univer-
sity of California in Irvine, where he performed with Donald McKayle's étude
Ensemble. Mario since then has performed with Odyssey Dance Theatre, in Salt Lake
City, Utah; Company C Contemporary Ballet, Man Dance San Francisco, Peninsula
Ballet, Liss Fain Dance and ODC Dance in San Francisco, California. This is his first
season with Ballet Hispanico.
Jeffery Hover, Jr. graduated summa cum laude from Butler University, receiving a
BFA in Dance Performance with departmental honors. Mr. Hover has danced with
New Jersey Ballet, Dance Kaleidoscope, Ballet International and The Muny in St.
Louis. He has also worked closely with Paul Sutherland, Gemze de Lappe and
Norman Walker. This will be his fourth season with Ballet Hispanico.

Min-Tzu Li, a native of Taiwan, enjoyed her education at The Boston Conservatory
and gained many diverse experiences working with their faculty and students. Ms. Li
has been fortunate to perform works by such masters as José Limón, Martha
Graham and Murray Louis, as well as creating her own works. This will be her fourth
season with Ballet Hispanico.
                                               BALLET HISPANICO COMPANY

Vanessa Valecillos, joined Ballet Nacional de Caracas under the renowned director
Vicente Nebrada at age 15. Ms. Valecillos continued her dance training in the United
States where she earned a BFA from The North Carolina School of the Arts. After
Graduating, Miss Valecillos performed with Southern Ballet Theater, Chicago Lyric
Opera and with Luna Negra Dance Theater where she was a founding member
under the artistic directorship of Eduardo Vilaro.
Nicholas Villeneuve, a native Canadian, was raised in Kingston, Jamaica. An
alumnus of The Juilliard and The Alvin Ailey Schools, his credits include The Lion
King, Cortez Contemporary Ballet and The Company Dance Theatre, Jamaica. He
has performed works by José Limón and Hans van Manen, is on faculty at
Perry-Mansfield, and guest teaches at The Juilliard School. This will be his sixth
season with Ballet Hispanico.
Jessica Alejandra Wyatt, received her training from The School of Oregon Ballet
Theatre. Under the direction of Cuban teacher Haydee Gutierrez, she also studied
with her mother Elena Carter. Miss Wyatt was an apprentice with The Joffrey Ballet
and a company member of Luna Negra Dance Theater. This will be her second
season with Ballet Hispanico and she dedicates each and every step to her mother.
                                                                                  PRESS QUOTES

"Mad'moiselle" [is] a smart, spicy piece of dance theater and the highlight of Ballet Hispanico's
season. New York Post

Ballet Hispanico's visit offered a look at former Chicagoan Eduardo Vilaro's superb maintenance
of the company, from the pinpoint precision of the Beatty enactment to the verve and elegance of
the many couples in "Club Havana" by Pedro Ruiz. Chicago Tribune

Ballet Hispanico dances with elegance and lyricism... [their] graceful phrases look effortless.
Audiences will return to see Ballet Hispanico for its enduring graciousness. Washington Post

Batucada looks and feels marvelous, but it would be impossible to watch this ballet today – we
would be blinded; it would look dated – if it were not exquisitely balanced by the more sober
works that Vilaro has either commissioned or acquired. Dance Magazine

The glamorous troupe offered an evening of delicious dancing that was technically challenging,
witty at times, and chock-full of emotion. Backstage

Ballet Hispanico knows when to turn up the volume, and when to turn it down. This dance
company can wake up the neighborhood with a sudden, brassy shout or it can croon softly in
your ear, whispering words of love. The Star Ledger (New Jersey)

It seemed like one was witnessing a new dance form — ballet moves turned into traditional Latin
dance….Ballet Hispanico moved with a crisp attack and flowed beautifully all night long whether
twirling or doing splits and other unbelievable, gymnastic-like moves. LaCrosse Tribune

El conjunto de 13 bailarines de diferentes nacionalidades –si bien la mayoría es hispana...
muestra en esta nueva serie una notable mejoría en técnica y estilo, sin perder ese sabor típico
que lo caracteriza, y que se llama emoción. Danza Ballet

The company has such a reputation of excellence that, honestly, I would have been disappointed
were the show to have been anything less than perfect. Indeed, the troupe members gave a
performance that merited every accolade they’ve earned. I continue to be astounded at the sheer
diversity and talent on the dance scene. Twin Cities Daily Planet

If Pedro Ruiz’s Club Havana is even half as much fun to dance as it looks like it is, then the
members of Ballet Hispanico must feel as if they’re having a party every time they perform it.
Albany Times Union

Ballet Hispanico is a good-time company. You go there to see sleek, gorgeous dancers
blending modern ballroom, and ballet in fizzy cocktails that go down easy. New York Sun
               The Times—
                  Are They  Talking about diversity
                                   and the next generation

              Min-Tzu Li,
Jessica Alejandra Wyatt,
   Angelica Burgos, and
     Nicholas Villeneuve
      of Ballet Hispanico
                                                             Matthew Karas

                                                                                                Americans and Asians. In a recent
As a follow-up to our Race Issue in 2005, we set ourselves this                                 improvisation course, she says, “I had
simple question: How diverse is the up-and-coming generation?                                   B-boys in the class and kids who studied
But this soon splintered into other questions: What opportunities                               bharata natyam. I was thrilled! In the dis-
                                                                                                cussions they are really sharing their
are available to young dancers? How are students engaging with                                  unique perspectives.” She says they
cultures other than their own? What is diversity, anyway?                                       quickly learn “that they need to find
   In talking to artistic directors, educators, and performers                                  common languages. When they talk
about this unwieldy topic, two things became clear. The first is                                about nuances from their form, they have
                                                                                                to recognize that not everybody knows
that multiracial dancers are a growing part of the discussion.                                  what they are talking about at first. They
And second, it’s impossible to separate race from culture.                                      love to rise to that challenge.”
                                                                                                    One way that diversity can be meas-
Eduardo Vilaro, the new director of            mixed race and who grabs at many differ-         ured is in student-run companies. Lee
Ballet Hispanico, says, “Younger audi-         ent cultural backgrounds in order to create      says that when she started at
ences are looking for a reflection of what     my identity.”                                    Northwestern 30 years ago, there were
they see in their environment, which is            On the college and university scene,         only two on campus. Now there are at
technology-filled extravaganza that            we spoke to Susan Lee, who directs the           least 22, and they have helped attract
reaches beyond their hometown, their           dance program at Northwestern                    African American students to dance. “I
city, their school. It broadens their con-     University. Active in American College           think it’s the fusion forms they are really
nection to the greater world. They             Dance Festivals for years, Lee says that         excited about,” Lee says. “They are doing
already understand what it is to be a          the Midwest region has grown in diver-           African dance and whatever else they
global village.”                               sity in the last 10 years, especially African    have brought in as part of the mix.”
     Cuban-born Vilaro feels that young
dancers thrive on diversity. “I see them
joke around, using racial stereotypes in
very fun ways. But to me that’s question-                                                      Eduardo Vilaro at right, with (from left)
                                                                                                    Burgos, Li, Villeneuve, and Wyatt
ing, and that’s investigating. They are tak-
ing chances and opening up the dialogue—
talking about your nappy head, or your
funny accent. At the same time they’ll say,
‘Hey, let me tell you a little more about
this,’ or ‘No, you’ve got it wrong.’ ”
     Vilaro enjoys the wealth of Latino
dancers in New York, many trained at
Juilliard, Ailey/Fordham, or ballet
schools. “But then you have this mixture,
these other students of color, often mixed
race, that are coming from a university
background that are well-trained also, but
not so classical.” Vilaro, who is of mixed
heritage (Asian, African, and Spanish),
says that many of the Ballet Hispanico
dancers are also mixed. One dancer’s
parents are Dominican and Armenian;
another is Mexican and African American.
“It speaks to me as someone who is of
Ballet Hispanico opens at the Joyce with 'Mad'moiselle' -                                                                   Page 1 of 1

Updated: Thu., Dec. 2, 2010, 10:29 AM

         'Mad'moiselle,' s'il vous plait
         Last Updated: 10:29 AM, December 2, 2010
         Posted: 11:04 PM, December 1, 2010

         Anabelle Lopez Ochoa knows how to work a prop. Her new "Mad'moiselle" has plenty of them -- it's a smart, spicy piece of
         dance theater and the highlight of Ballet Hispanico's season, which opened Tuesday at The Joyce.
         Ochoa, a frequent guest choreographer at the company, is half-Colombian and half-Belgian. Dancing in the Netherlands,
         she picked up the Dutch mix of brash theatrical effects in ballet.
         She keeps it simple yet eye-filling, giving her black-clad dancers one or two props per scene -- a shocking red boa or
         blinding white fan -- and using them skillfully.
         The music, an untitled but fascinating recorded collage by Bart Rijnink, might be called "Variations on 'Maria.' "
         "Mad'moiselle" is about images of Latin women, and "Maria" -- from "West Side
         Story" -- gets mixed and remixed with other songs.
         The curtain rises on a woman in a bright-red wig, stiletto boots and a bustle with steam rising from it.
         Another woman pulls her wig forward over her face, and a guy shuffles out wearing a shocking blue wig the same way.
         When they duet, he looks like Cookie Monster and she, like a cross between Cousin Itt and Elmo. Somehow it makes
         Just when you think the piece is finished, Ochoa goes on to give you an even better ending -- to "Ave Maria."
         Ochoa's theatrical ideas are so surefooted that it's a little letdown that the steps themselves, though fine, aren't as striking.
         But there's enough smarts on the stage to make it worth anyone's time.
         Ballet Hispanico offers three programs for its two-week run, but "Mad'moiselle" is on all of them. This is one mademoiselle
         you won't want to miss.

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'Ballet Hispanico' preview: Provocative work makes a sultry entrance                                         Page 1 of 2

'Ballet Hispanico' preview: Provocative work makes a sultry
Published: Thursday, December 09, 2010, 8:02 AM

         Robert Johnson/The Star-Ledger

                                                                            NEW YORK — Ballet Hispanico has gone
                                                                            all contemporary without losing its mojo.
                                                                            The company’s first two programs at the
                                                                            Joyce Theater are, if anything, overheated.
                                                                            Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Ballet
                                                                            Hispanico turns on the sex appeal in a pair
                                                                            of dances: a flamboyant premiere called
                                                                            “Mad’moiselle,” choreographed for the
                                                                            company by Annabelle López Ochoa, and
                                                                            “Tres Bailes,” a potboiler by Jean Emile
                                                                            introduced in 2008.

                                                                            Program A also features “Before After,” a
                                                         Rosalie O'Connor
                                                                            duet in which dancer Jessica Alejandra
  Ballet Hispanico in the premiere of "Mad'Moiselle;" choreographed for
  the company by Annabelle LÃ pez Ochoa, at the Joyce Theater.
                                                                            Wyatt bares her breasts — so by the time
                                                                            the curtain rises to reveal a hooker
                                                                            loitering in red platform shoes, in
“Mad’moiselle,” the air is thoroughly charged. Such stimulation is better than the flat, melancholy
atmosphere of “Puntos Suspensivos,” another season premiere — but how much titillation does an audience

López Ochoa and Emile acquired their aesthetic chops in the bustling contemporary dance enclaves of
Belgium and the Netherlands, and both choreographers produce discreetly ordered and intelligent work
rewarding in its physicality. Restraint balances the dramatic moment in “Tres Bailes” where two men
suddenly rip off their billowing skirts and the lighting silhouettes them. A dance set to tango music should
look taut and not entirely comfortable. The men begin in a submissive pose. Three women summon them by
clapping their hands. Until the moment when the men resume their symmetrical crouch, however, Emile
supplies predictable, hard-breathing intrigue. 12/9/2010
'Ballet Hispanico' preview: Provocative work makes a sultry entrance                                   Page 2 of 2

In “Mad’moiselle” López Ochoa accessorizes lean choreographic patterns with props stolen from a bordello—
lurid, carmine wigs; Victorian bodices; and feather boas. This dance parodies men’s fear of seduction and
hackneyed notions of the “eternal feminine.” The women we see are archetypes, sometimes faceless, and a
series of marvelous songs all dedicated to “Maria” accompany the dance. This music ranges from “West Side
Story” to the piteous, broken voice of Chavela Vargas, who tells us, in a recording, that Maria is “the name
of women everywhere” (“nombre universal de mujer”).

Carrying this satire to its logical conclusion, the piece ends with Min-Tzu Li tottering in to the strains of “Ave
Maria,” a towering coiffure of red veils piled atop her head. The choreography is solidly constructed, but one
must ask whether the choreographer’s movement invention here equals her extravagant imagery. How
much is conceptual rigor, and how much idle provocation?

The duet, “Before After,” suggests that López Ochoa’s talent has more to offer. In a series of fluid
encounters, Wyatt tangles with Nicholas Villeneuve, butting her head against him, slouching in his embrace
or walking away. Unlike the action in “Mad’moiselle,” these events have a matter-of-fact quality that puts
both partners on an equal footing. Gradually they remove articles of clothing, suggesting the evolution of
their relationship and a process that becomes clear only when they separate.

Ballet Hispanico’s programs are all worthwhile, but those mixing old and new repertoire have the most
variety showing radically different approaches to composition. On Program C, for instance, the classic
“Batucada Fantástica” emphasizes jazz steps in a chain of exuberant solos, and the dancers are wonderfully

Ballet Hispanico

Where: The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St

When: Tomorrow through Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday at 7:30 p.m., with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2

How Much: Tickets are $10-$59. Call (212) 242-0800 or visit

© 2010 All rights reserved. 12/9/2010
Annabelle Lopez Ochoa & Maray Gutierrez have world premieres in Ballet Hispanico sea... Page 1 of 2

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  Tuesday, November 23,2010                                                                                                          Text to search

  Chica Power
  Ladies take the lead in Ballet Hispanico’s new season
  By Susan Reiter
  .             .               .               .              .             .

                                                                          Ballet Hispanico was founded by a fiercely
                                                                          determined woman named Tina Ramirez 40
                                                                          years ago, and the company’s upcoming
                                                                          anniversary season could serve as an unofficial
                                                                          celebration of female choreographers. Eduardo
                                                                          Vilaro, the energetic New York native now in his
                                                                          second year as the company’s artistic director,
                                                                          has assembled two programs that include world
                                                                          premieres by two women, Annabelle Lopez
                                                                          Ochoa and Maray Gutierrez, as well an earlier
                                                                          work by Ochoa and the return of Andrea Miller’s
                                                                          Nací, last season’s vibrant new addition to the
                                                                          repertory. That means half of the season’s
  Ballet Hispanico’s Min-Tzu Li and Donald Borror in 'Puntos
  Suspensivos' / Photo by AnnaLee Campbell                                repertory is created by women—an impressive
                                                                                                                                     Calendar     Bar/ Club/ Lounge
  As a special opening-night treat, American Ballet Theatre’s peerless principal dancer Herman Cornejo will
  perform Tango Y Yo, a solo he choreographed to his countryman Astor Piazzolla’s music. The repertory also
                                                                                                                                       Tue      Wed     Thu      Fri      Sat        Sun   Mon
  includes works by Talley Beatty, Vincente Nebrada, Christopher Gillis and Jean Emile.
                                                                                                                                       23       24      25      26       27          28    29
  Ochoa, the daughter of a Colombian father and Belgian mother who was raised in Belgium, is an increasingly
  busy freelance choreographer who brings an interesting mix of perspectives and backgrounds to her work.
  Sitting in the Ballet Hispanico conference room on the Upper West Side before starting a rehearsal of
  Mad’moiselle, her full-company world premiere, she cheerfully describes herself as a “cocktail” of mixed
  cultures. She has always lived in Europe—Amsterdam has been her home base for 17 years—but her                                       Search in Events
  Colombian half clearly plays a role in her work. “There was a duality, a cultural collision between my parents,
  though I was brought up more in the mindset of European culture.”                                                                    Event Name

  She danced professionally until 2003, training in classical ballet but joining a series of European companies with                   Category           All                               6
  radically different movement styles. Her early performing years were spent with “two German companies that
  were very theatrical. I hated them, because I was 18 and wanted to kick my legs high and turn and suddenly I
  had to cry onstage!” She moved on to perform contemporary jazz dance with Djazzex, a more comfortable fit.
  “My energy could just flow. They really taught me how to move across the stage.” Next she danced with
  Rotterdam’s Scapino Ballet for seven years, in a repertory she describes as “more conceptual ballets, quite
  edgy work.”                                                                                                                                 Sign up for the NYPress
  That company gave her opportunities to develop as a choreographer and get her second career going, but the                              e-newsletter for weekly updates
  choreographic bug had bitten her quite early in life. One day when she was 11, her dance teacher left the                                   and exciting event info:
  students for an hour with the pianist, who played a minute of music to which “we had to create something with a                                                               GO
  friend,” she recalls. “That was amazing. I felt, if I can do this for the rest of my life, I will be the most happy
  person in the world. From that moment on, I choreographed every year in school for the student workshop. My
  last year, I did choreography for the entire school—100 kids.” Working with chorographers during her performing
  years, “I was always thinking with them, observing how they created.”
  A 2003 Dutch National Ballet commission gave her the courage to pursue her choreographic passion full-time,
  and these days she keeps quite busy. Much of her work has been seen in Europe, but she is making inroads in
  this country; she will be working with Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2012. Vilaro had her create dances for Luna
  Negra, the Chicago company he directed for 10 years, and introduced her to Ballet Hispanico audiences last
  year with her duet Locked Up Laura.
  Before After, her 2002 duet, joins the company’s repertory this season, having been seen briefly here in 2006,
  performed at the Fall for Dance Festival by members of Dutch National Ballet. Ochoa describes it as being “like
  a flashback. It’s a study of what happens before the end of a relationship.” The score by Marc Van Roon
  samples, among other things, the words of a street poet on a New York corner.                                                                                                                            11/23/2010
Ballet Hispanico @ the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, 10/8/10 - Arts Talk - Capital R... Page 1 of 3

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Ballet Hispanico @ the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, 10/8/10
October 8, 2010 at 11:52 pm by Tresca Weinstein

Special to the Times Union

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — If Pedro Ruiz’s “Club Havana” is even half as much fun to dance as it
looks like it is, then the members of Ballet Hispanico must feel as if they’re having a party every time they
perform it.
                                                                                                                @Timesunionarts brings you tweets from great sources
“Club Havana,” choreographed in 2000, capped off the company’s varied program Friday evening at the     Timesunionarts
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center here. The five sections encompass elegant partnering in “Son” and
                                                                                                            timesunionarts New blog post: Jacob’s Pillow
“Bolero,” high kicks and swiveling hips in “Mambo,” quick footwork in the rhumba and conga, and a sexy,     ‘PillowTalks’ now online
sassy “Cha Cha Cha” pas de trois, in which the diminutive Min-Tzu Li is lifted high in the arms of the      8 hours ago
worshipful Randy Herrera and Donald Borror. It’s all spinning and whirling, dips and lifts, sparkly          10+ recent retweets
minidresses with bright ruffled layers beneath the twirling skirts.
                                                                                                                       timesunionarts From APM: The Capital
In contrast, Talley Beatty’s “Tres Cantos,” from 1975, feels heavy-handed, particularly its swelling,                  District Sings!: The Capital District Sings! – I
                                                                                                                       believe this is the area’s first-ever comm...
melodramatic score and cheesy tribal costumes and props. The men wear flesh-toned shirts with designs        
meant to suggest war paint on bare skin, the women are in short tunics, and everyone is outfitted with a               24 minutes ago
pair of knee guards—meant to suggest armor, perhaps? They carry flags and feathered staffs, and at one
                                                                                                                       timesunionarts On TV: ’30 Rock’ live: Tina
point half a dozen dancers are connected by a single piece of fabric outfitted with head- and armholes for             Fey, Tracy Morgan, Alec Baldwin and crew
each of them. The music, by Carlos Chavez, Lorenzo Fernandez and Silvestre Revueltas, rises again and                  will be performing “30 Rock” live at 8:30
again in crescendos that distract from rather than complement the dancing.                                             ton...
                                                                                                                       43 minutes ago

The piece, restaged by Nancy Turano, was created as an homage to Mexican history, from its Aztec roots                 redaries5 RT @MsColumbiaRecs: hey there
to the Spanish conquest and on up to independence, but the tone doesn’t change enough to reflect those                 @timesunionarts @rocnation artist @jcolenc
milestones. If you squint a bit, though (and maybe cover your ears), the accoutrements disappear and what              is coming to a town nearby. check him out:
you see is gorgeously orchestrated movement, with the dancers—in pairs and trios—leaping, kicking and                  http://bit ly/13Z8be
turning in unison, weaving patterns between and around each other as they move on and off the stage.                                              Join the conversation

At the other end of the spectrum, the movement in the newest work on the program, Jean Emile’s fast-
paced “Tres Bailes,” from 2008, is modern and angular, with three seductive women (Lauren Alzamora,             Recent Comments
Jessica Batten and Vanessa Valecillos) playing to two men in black (Herrera and Jeffery Hover).
Simultaneous duets move from lifts to jumps to high kicks and down to the floor, in a single fluid phrase.         • Jacob’s Pillow ‘PillowTalks’ now
                                                                                                                     online (1)
The program also included Christopher’s Gillis’ tender pas de deux, “Farewell,” from 1992. Alexandra                     ◦ Don Drewecki: This is a wonderful
Gonzalez and Rodney Hamilton turn together, embrace, move apart and are drawn back to each like                            example of what is possible when
magnets—until, with a last kiss, he leaves her.                                                                            arts organizations are run by arts
                                                                                                                           people and not...
Tresca Weinstein is a frequent contributor to the Times Union.
                                                                                                                   • ‘Secretariat’ movie: Good story but not
BALLET HISPANICO                                                                                                     factual … Will you care? (5)
Where: The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, 14 Castle St., Great Barrington, Mass.                                        ◦ Bob L.: Just two-cents from
When: 8 p.m. Friday                                                                                                        another Riva Ridge fan…they did
Program: “Tres Cantos,” “Farewell,” “Tres Bailes,” “Club Havana”                                                           indeed take a lot of theatrical
Length: One hour, 40 minutes, two intermissions                                                                            license here, and...
                                                                                                                         ◦ Barbara: I hate when a movie script
                                                                                                                           varies widely from the “true story,”
Posted in Dance, Reviews | Add a comment                                                                                   especially when the promotions...
                                                                                                                         ◦ StevenLD: A specific answer to
RSS feed for comments on this post.                                                                                        your question by Steve 10/14/2010
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