“Bury Me Standing” by Ballet Hispanico. Photo: Paula Lobo
In what has become an “enjoyable tradition during the holiday season” (The New York Times), Ballet Hispánico in collaboration with the Apollo Theater makes its annual return to the Apollo stage on December 1-2, 2017, led by Eduardo Vilaro. Three inspiring works reflect on the migrant experience, the tragedy of marginalization and the resilience and triumph of the human spirit to capture contemporary Latino culture through movement. The performances are sponsored by support from Goya Foods.
Award-winning choreographer Ronald K. Brown’s Espiritu Vivo (2012) explores the intersection of the African and Latino diasporas in the Caribbean and Latin America. Incorporating narrative, tradition, and dance forms from these regions, the work explores the stages of grief after tragedy, leading to the final step of hope for the future. Choreographer Ramon Oller’s Bury Me Standing (1998) was inspired by the unique culture of the Gypsy or “Roma” people, a marginalized community that has journeyed across continents for thousands of years. Finally, Con Brazos Abiertos (2017), choreographed by Michelle Manzanales, is an exploration of iconic Mexican symbols that she was reluctant to embrace as a Mexican-American child growing up in Texas. Intertwining folkloric details with a distinct voice, set to music that ranges from Julio Iglesias to rock en español, the piece is a fun and frank look at a life caught between two cultures.
“The Apollo is a treasured partner and a home for Ballet Hispánico and we’re excited to bring these three inspiring works to one of the most important theaters in the world,” said Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico. “Throughout our 47-year history, Ballet Hispánico has been bringing communities together to share, celebrate and explore our cultures. We are honored that The Apollo will once again be part of our journey.”
“We are thrilled to have Ballet Hispánico return to the Apollo this year with three powerful works which speak directly to what’s going on in our country right now,” said Kamilah Forbes, the Apollo’s new Executive Producer. “Though music has always been at the core of the Theater’s mission, dance has also been an integral part of the Apollo’s DNA. We continue to honor that legacy through collaborations with esteemed companies like Ballet Hispánico, the premier Latina dance organization in the United States.”
There will be a post-performance artist talkback with Ron Brown and Michelle Manzanales moderated by Eduardo Vilaro, Ballet Hispánico’s Artistic Director & CEO. The discussion will focus on creating culturally specific dance work.
Additional programs at the Apollo will include special Ballet Hispánico Performances for Young People / Apollo School Day Live shows of mixed repertory for schoolchildren. Ballet Hispánico’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 for the evening shows are $10-65 and are available online 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
Ballet Hispánico, the premier Latino dance organization in the United States, brings individuals and communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures through dance. Whether dancing on stage, in school, or in the street, Ballet Hispánico creates a space where few institutions are breaking ground. The organization’s founder, National Medal of Arts recipient Tina Ramirez, sought to give voice to the Hispanic experience and break through stereotypes. Today Ballet Hispánico is led by Eduardo Vilaro, an acclaimed choreographer and former member of the Company, whose vision of social equity, cultural identity and quality arts education for all, drives its programs. Ballet Hispánico, a role model in and for the Latino community, is inspiring creativity and social awareness in our neighborhoods and across the country by providing access to arts education.