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, led by Eduardo Vilaro in his seventh season as Artistic Director. A trio of works will draw upon the innovation and versatility of one of the world’s premier dance companies to capture contemporary Latino culture through movement. The performances are supported by Goya Foods, Lead Sponsor of Ballet Hispánico.
The World Premiere of Línea Recta, choreographed by Belgo-Colombian Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and co-commissioned by the Apollo Theater, pairs the hallmark passion of flamenco dance with innovative and intricate partnering, performed to live Spanish guitar. The evening also features Cuban-American Eduardo Vilaro‘s Danzón, which puts a contemporary spin on the national dance of Cuba, and Spaniard Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s colorful, amusing and fast-moving Flabbergast, set to music by Juan García Esquivel.
“The Apollo is a treasured partner and a home for Ballet Hispánico,” said Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director of Ballet Hispánico. “We’re proud to bring to their stage bold and distinctive works that reflect the Latino influence on the artistic, social and cultural life of our great nation.”
“We are thrilled to have Ballet Hispánico return to the Apollo this year with these exciting works and to further extend the relationship into an even deeper partnership with the co-commissioning of Línea Recta ,” 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.”
Línea Recta will be Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s third original work for Ballet Hispánico underEduardo Vilaro; the Company previously commissioned and performed audience favorites Mad’moiselle (2010) and Sombrerísimo (2013). Ballet Hispánico also acquired and performed Lopez Ochoa’s Before After (2002), Nube Blanco (2008) and Locked Up Laura (2009).
Additional programs at the Apollo Theater 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 $35-$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’s New York Fall Season Program:
Línea Recta (2016) – World PremiereChoreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
From one of today’s most sought-after choreographers comes a powerful and resonant work that explores an intriguing aspect of flamenco dance: the conspicuous absence of physical partnering. While maintaining the integrity and hallmark passion of the genre, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa imagines an original and explosive movement language premised upon the theme of partnership and performed to live flamenco guitar by Eric Vaarzon Morel. Línea Recta came to fruition through Ballet Hispánico’s Instituto Coreográfico, an innovative choreography lab program for Latino dance makers.
Danzón (2012)Choreography by Eduardo Vilaro
Initially evolved from Haitian contradance, the Danzón has been called the official dance of Cuba. Eduardo Vilaro has taken this traditional and quintessentially Cuban dance form and reinvented it with contemporary language to construct a joyous celebration of music and movement.
Flabbergast (2001)Choreography by Gustavo Ramírez SansanoLatin lounge meets spontaneous combustion in this quirky yet joyful piece set to the music of Juan García Esquivel. Inspired by his experience of coming to America for the first time, choreographer Gustavo Ramírez Sansano exposes with humor our stereotypes and preconceived ideas about new and foreign places. Flabbergast is dedicated to the choreographer’s mother, who taught him how to dance the bayón.
Goya Foods is the Lead Sponsor of Ballet Hispánico’s New York Fall Season.
Major support for Ballet Hispánico’s New York Fall Season was provided by The James and Judith K. Dimon Foundation.
MetLife Foundation is the Official Tour Sponsor of Ballet Hispánico.
Univision Communications, Inc. is Media Sponsor of Ballet Hispánico.
ANNABELLE LOPEZ OCHOA (Choreographer) is a sought-after Belgo-Colombian choreographer that since 2003 has created works for more than 40 companies around the world such as Scapino Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Djazzex, GenEva Ballet, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Gothenburg Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, BalletX, BJM-Danse Montreal, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Ballet National de Marseille, Saarbrucken Ballet, Jacoby & Pronk, Chemnitzer Ballet, Ballet Hispánico, Morphoses Wheeldon Company, Whim W’Him, IncolBallet de Colombia, Finnish National Ballet, Compania Nacional de Danza Madrid, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Scottish Ballet, The Washington Ballet, Ballet Nacional Dominicano, Ballet Saarbrucken, Augsburg Ballet, Ballet Austin, Atlanta Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, Ballet Moscow, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, West Australian Ballet, Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, Ballet Nacional Chileno, Ballet Staatstheater am Gartnerplatz Munchen, Ballet Manila, Daniil Simkin Intensio Project, Cincinnati Ballet, Silicon Valley Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, English National Ballet and New York City Ballet. In the fall of 2007 she was selected to participate with the prestigious New York Choreographic Institute. Dance Magazine named her work Cylindrical Shadows, performed by Pacific Northwest Ballet, as one of the highlights of 2012. Her full-length narrative ballet A Streetcar Named Desire has been awarded with ‘Best Classical Choreography’ by the Circle of Critics of the National Dance Award UK, the South Bank Sky Arts Awards for “Best New Production” and has been nominated for an Olivier Award 2012.
GUSTAVO RAMIREZ SANSANO (Choreographer) was Artistic Director of Luna Negra Dance Theater from 2009-2013, after directing proyectoTITOYAYA in Valencia, Spain for four years. Sansano has been the recipient of numerous awards for his choreography, including first prizes at the Ricard Moragas competition in Barcelona, the Dom Perignon choreographic competition in Hamburg, and at Las Artes Escénicas de la Comunidad Valenciana. He has beencommissioned to create works for Compania Nacional de Danza, the Hamburg Ballet, TanzTheaterMünchen, Budapest Dance Theater, National Dance Company Wales, Norrdans, Gyori Ballet, Balletto dell’Esperia, BalletMet, IT dansa, Ballet Junior de Genève, and Nederlands Dans Theater, among others. As a dancer, Sansano performed works by Jacopo Godani, Hans Van Manen, Ji?í Kylián, Ohad Naharin, Johan Inger, Paul Lightfoot, Victor Ullate and many more, working for the Ballet Joven de Alicante, Ballet Contemporaneo de Barcelona, Ballet de la Comunidad de Madrid, Nederlands Dans Theater II and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Gustavo was chosen by the magazine POR LA DANZA for its 15th anniversary as one of the ‘Fifteen Choreographers to Watch.’ Dance Magazine featured Luna Negra’s artistic director, Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, in its annual ’25 to Watch’ list 2012, and was named ‘Chicagoan of the Year in Arts & Entertainment’ by the Chicago Tribune.
Eduardo Vilaro joined Ballet Hispánico as Artistic Director in August 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since it was founded in 1970. In 2015, Mr. Vilaro took on the additional role of Chief Executive Officer of Ballet Hispánico. He has been part of the Ballet Hispánico family since 1985 as a principal dancer and educator, after which he began a ten-year record of achievement as Founder and Artistic Director of Luna Negra Dance Theater in Chicago. Mr. Vilaro has infused Ballet Hispánico’s legacy with a bold and eclectic brand of contemporary dance that reflects America’s changing cultural landscape. Born in Cuba and raised in New York from the age of six, he is a frequent speaker on the merits of cultural diversity and dance education.
Mr. Vilaro’s own choreography is devoted to capturing the spiritual, sensual and historical essence of the Latino cultures. He created over 20 ballets for Luna Negra and has received commissions from the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Grant Park Festival, the Lexington Ballet and the Chicago Symphony. In 2001, he was a recipient of a Ruth Page Award for choreography, and in 2003, he was honored for his choreographic work at Panama’s II International Festival of Ballet. In 2016, he was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame. ABOUT BALLET HISPÁNICOCelebrating over 45 years of bringing individuals and communities together to celebrate and explore Latino cultures, Ballet Hispánico is the new expression of American contemporary dance. Led by Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro, the Company has produced multifaceted performances that have featured master works by Nacho Duato, cutting-edge premieres by Cayetano Soto and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and live music collaborations with renowned artists such as Paquito D’Rivera and Ruben Blades-to name a notable few. Ballet Hispánico has performed for audiences totaling over 3 million, throughout 11 countries, and on 3 continents, and its impact is achieved through world-class productions, innovative education and dance training programs, and community engagement. For more information, visit www.ballethispanico.org.
The legendary Apollo Theater- the soul of American culture- plays a vital role in cultivating emerging talents and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation, and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world. With music at its core, the Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, performance art, spoken word initiatives, and more. Recent highlights have included James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, the Africa Now! Festival, and Apollo Club Harlem. The Apollo is a presenting organization that also produces festivals, large-scale dance and music work. The Apollo’s vision is global and includes touring and a digital media presence. The Apollo’s work is organized around a set of core initiatives: Apollo Music (African American and culturally diverse artists); Signature programs (Amateur Night, Salon Series and the Apollo Music Café); Legacy Series (work that celebrates and extends our legacy in a more contemporary way); Global Festival (international and U.S. based artists presentations focused under a specific theme); Special Projects (multidisciplinary work with partner organizations). Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms, and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres – including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, Unlocking the Truth,Miri Ben Ari, D’Angelo, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, JAmes Brown, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, and Stevie Wonder; and the Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy. For more information, visitwww.apollotheater.org