September 15, 2022 - October 15, 2022
Four weeks of Community, Conversation, and Celebration
A Message from Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro
Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) has come and gone, and as I reflect on all that has occurred for Ballet Hispánico, I am filled with a sense of pride and wonder.
Pride because we are blessed to nurture and hold the legacy of our founder Tina Ramirez, who understood the power of our culture and the gifts we as immigrants have bestowed on this American landscape. Tina has left an indelible mark on our field and our world. Ballet Hispánico is committed to her legacy and will forge on, bringing the power of diversity to communities everywhere.
The wonder comes in the form of impact and how we as a force can help transform as well as bring people together in joy. This past HHM was much more than a monthly celebration. It was a grand festival! With events, performances, conferences and celebrations, Ballet Hispánico uplifted the artists and voices of our Latine community.
Our long awaited A La Calle Block Party returned post-pandemic, and even though the rain kept us from celebrating on our street, we welcomed everyone into our studios and turned it to an A la Casa block party. We danced, watched our young people perform, and witnessed the strength of community through art. My sincerest thanks to all who attended!
And speaking of our block, this week we were honored by the city of New York with a street naming, recognizing the fifty-two years of access to the arts Ballet Hispánico has brought to this community. Ballet Hispánico Way is not only a recognition but a stake in the ground for generations to come. We have few Hispanic/Latinx spaces of note in our city or country. For me, this turns Ballet Hispánico into a monument: one to be celebrated for decades to come.
The celebration of HHM did not end at our doorstep. Throughout the city Ballet Hispánico also celebrated HHM by uplifting the voices of those in our community that continue to be marginalized. In partnership with The Stonewall Inn and the Ali Forney Center, our Diálogos series presented Reimagining Heteronormativity in Dance, a panel that addressed the topic of intersectionality of LGBTQIA+ and Latinx culture in dance and social justice. Our Diálogos featured panelists including myself, along with Sam Ratelle, Jason Rodriguez, Angelica Torres, Dre Torres, Sergio Trujillo, and moderator Tamia Santana.
Our celebration danced through universities, community centers, banks, parks, public schools and we were even able to celebrate the magic of our culture in partnership with Teacher’s College at Columbia University and the community of Kookmin University in Seoul Korea. We served over 17,000 people in the metropolitan area and beyond and brought the joy of dance to even more on social media and at home.
While we took this month to focus the celebrations on our city, our jewel of a dance company is still out on the road bringing the joy and depth of our cultures to many more people. The house that Tina built lives in each and everyone of those dancers and the artistry they bring to our stories and our traditions on stage. If you are in the nation’s capital from November 30-December 3, Ballet Hispánico will be performing at The Kennedy Center. Come join us at the people’s theater.
On a daily basis, I get to witness the power of this mission in the smiles of our young students and the representation we bring to communities. HHM continues to be a great way to highlight the work we do at Ballet Hispánico. But make no mistake, we celebrate our Latinidad every day of the year and we invite you to join us at Ballet Hispánico Way.
Ballet Hispánico Way Street Naming
On October 20 Ballet Hispánico made history when NYC’s W 89 Street between Amsterdam and Columbus was renamed “Ballet Hispánico Way.” Board Chair Kate Lear, Honorary Chair Jody Gottfried Arnhold, Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro, and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine delivered impassioned speeches. Other notable attendees included our Board President Michelle Caruso-Cabrera and Executive Director of the Office of Arts and Special Projects at the NYC Department of Education Paul Jonathan Thompson who, along with dancers, families, and community members made the celebration extraordinary! Come see the street sign on the corner of W 89th and Amsterdam.
A La Calle Block Party
On October 2, Ballet Hispánico hosted its 4th annual A La Calle Block Party. Despite the rain, we were thrilled to continue indoors with lots of dancing, much laughter and great food! The festivities began with live music from Tempo Alegre, followed by fantastic performances by Flamenco Vivo, Bombazo Dance Company, Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, and students from the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance and Pa’lante Scholars program. Other activities included face painting, a dress up photo booth, and dance classes.
Portrait Unveiling: As Time Dances On by Sally A. Eckert
We were thrilled to welcome guests to our Ballet Hispánico home to unveil As Time Dances On, a magnificent portrait created by artist Sally A. Eckert. The painting beautifully captures the Company’s story since its founding by Tina Ramirez in 1970 and illustrates how our current leader Eduardo Vilaro has advanced our mission of promoting the work of Latinx artists. In light of Tina Ramirez’s recent passing, this event was particularly special because it gave us another opportunity to reflect on her incredible legacy.
October 1 & October 7
As part of the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, the Company kicked off its fall tour with an October 1 performance close to home at the historic Tarrytown Music Hall, followed by a cross country trip for an October 7 appearance at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the fabulous venue located in Beverly Hills.
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts photo by: Lawrence K. Ho
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Collaboration
We were thrilled The Metropolitan Museum of Art asked us to be part of a collaboration that offers dancers the chance to create works inspired by artworks of their choice. Dandara Veiga, a Ballet Hispánico artist who rose to the challenge, says the following about the painting she chose:
“Children's Games caught my attention with how the painting presents itself in such a dynamic way. The combination of the warm colors along with the image of the children playing in a sort of half circle brought me joy. The abstract shapes made it even more fun to find movement to pair with this beautiful art piece.
Once I started exploring the movements to match my interpretation of the painting, Rufino’s message became even more clear to me which is the vast joy and imagination of children that echoes in the arts.”
For the video post, click here.
School of Dance
We were delighted to launch our adult classes on October 3.
Pa'lante Scholars Performances
As part of the School of Dance’s Professional Studies training, Pa’lante Scholars learn Ballet Hispánico repertory and perform works from the Company's over 50 year legacy in a variety of spaces throughout the New York/Tri-State area. This month, our Pa'lante Scholars danced in Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations with JPMorgan Chase, the New York City Council, and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
New York City Council
William Randolph Hearst Foundation
Community Arts Partnerships
Diálogos is Ballet Hispánico's conversation series exploring the interconnections of the arts, social justice, and Latinx cultures.
Instituto Coreográfico with Omar Román De Jesús
At the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, choreographer Omar Román De Jesús, from Bayamón, Puerto Rico, took part in Instituto Coreográfico, the Ballet Hispánico initiative that encourages young artists to create work and provides audiences with access to the dance-making process. Román De Jesús has taught workshops and master classes throughout the world for dancers, non-dancers, and children on the Autism Spectrum. We were pleased to offer him this occasion to introduce a new piece and to participate in a conversation about what inspired his creative journey.
Diálogos at the Stonewall Inn: Reimagining Heteronormativity in Dance
Ballet Hispánico partnered with The Ali Forney Center and The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative to present a discussion entitled Reimagining Heteronormativity in Dance. Panelists included Eduardo Vilaro, Sergio Trujillo, Sam Ratelle, Jason Rodriguez, Angelica Torres, and Dre Torres.
Latinx Leaders Summit: Reencuentro, Conexión y Chispa
On October 6, Ballet Hispánico hosted the Latinx Leaders Summit: Reencuentro, Conexion, y Chispa. As part of the Summit, Latinx dance leaders from across the country gathered to confer, discuss, and find ways of working to create more visibility and assure diversity in the dance field. The Summit included events, forums, discussions, workshops, networking, and a closing reception. Speakers included Dr. AnaMaria Correa, Heather Hathaway Miranda, Eduardo Vilaro, Sergio Trujillo, Chell Parkins, Mark Travis Rivera, Rodney E. Lopez, and Emil J. Kang.
"Words have meaning. Words can change the trajectory of somebody’s life. That one person who believed I could do it changed mine. We all have the power to do that. We have the power of changing a person's trajectory and empowering them with vision.”
Sergio Trujillo, Award-winning Theater Director and Choreographer, and Member of the Ballet Hispánico Board of Directors
Latin Social Dance Class
Our Community Arts Partnership team collaborated with Credit Suisse to offer its employees a Latin Social Dance Class.
Community Arts Partnerships engage and enrich communities through innovative experiences in dance and culture.
For information about School Community Programs, click here.
Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro
Over the past month, Eduardo Vilaro has been the recipient of several awards and accolades for his thought leadership and tireless efforts as Artistic Director & CEO of Ballet Hispánico. Among others, Eduardo was included in Crain’s New York lists of Notable Hispanic Leaders and Notable LGBTQ Leaders
Eduardo was also recognized at the For(bes) Kings of Culture, Legends of Business event. Other honorees included: Scott Mills, CEO, BET; Al Harrington, CEO, Viola; and Steve Pamon, President, Verzuz.
Impacting Millions Through Art
“As the CEO of Ballet Hispánico, I have the best job in the world. I’m not making millions, but I am changing millions on a daily basis.”
Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director & CEO, September 28, 2022
For(bes) Kings of Culture,Legends of Business event
Press Coverage Highlights
"Vilaro is ushering in a new era of artists."
"Elegant whirls of silk and ethereal wisps of tulle are just the metaphorical start of the 8-count at the historical Ballet Hispánico."
"A La Calle Block Party del Ballet Hispánico es una alegre celebración donde podrás disfrutar de la danza, la música, el arte, la comida y la cultura latina, todo a la vez."
For Partnerships Opportunities
Partner with us for the next Hispanic Heritage Month. Partnership opportunities are available for Latin Social Dance Classes, panel discussions on diversity, equality, and inclusion, community outreach, educational programs, performances, and Diálogos, conversations exploring the interconnections of the arts, social justice and Latinx cultures. For more information, contact our Assistant Director of Institutional Relations, Emily Corona at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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