BALLET HISPÁNICO in collaboration with THE APOLLO THEATER present:
Espiritu Vivo, Bury Me Standing and Con Brazos Abiertos
December 1-2, 2017 at 8pm
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.
ABOUT BALLET HISPÁNICO
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.
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 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 THE APOLLO THEATER
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, visit www.apollotheater.org
Founded in 1936, Goya Foods, Inc. is America’s largest Hispanic-owned food company, and has established itself as the leader in Latin American food and condiments. Goya manufactures packages and distributes over 1,600 high-quality food products from the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America. Goya products have their roots in the culinary traditions of Hispanic communities around the world; their combination of authentic ingredients, robust seasonings and convenient preparation make them ideal for every taste and every table. For more information on Goya Foods, please visit www.goya.com.