Ballet Hispánico brings Dance and Diversity to Vail Dance Festival | VailDaily.com

Ballet Hispánico brings Dance and Diversity to Vail Dance Festival

Natalie A. Correa
Special to the Daily

Ballet Hispanico is the premier Latino dance organization in the U.S. The company brings dance and diversity to the Vail Dance Festival Aug. 6-9.

Ballet Hispanico — the premier Latino dance organization in the United States — will make its first appearance at the Vail Dance Festival this month. The world-renowned festival is led by artistic director Damian Woetzel.

"I think for Ballet Hispanico to be performing at the Vail Dance Festival shows the need for cultural diversity programming," artistic director and CEO Eduardo Vilaro said, "and how this festival has met that need head-on with its innovative pairings of artists in all genres of dance."

Woetzel has experienced Ballet Hispanico firsthand for many years in New York City in both formal performances and in more lab-like settings such as the Company's Instituto Coreografico, a choreography institute for Latino artists to create culturally specific work in a nurturing learning laboratory of dance.

"Ballet Hispanico has a vital energy that I find both inspiring and educational," Woetzel said. "As a company, they have trail-blazed so many paths, and it is a wonderful opportunity to have them featured at the festival in several performances, which share different aspects of their unique power as an American dance treasure."

Four performances in Vail

Ballet Hispanico will bring its powerful blend of dance to Vail with four distinct appearances. For the NOW: Premieres performance on Monday, Aug. 6, the company has been paired with rising choreographer Claudia Schreier, who is creating a duet to a commissioned score by contemporary classical composer Gabriela Lena Frank. Company dancers Chris Bloom and Dandara Veiga will star in this world premiere of dance and music.

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"It is a wonderful pairing because Claudia is an up-and-coming, black female choreographer, and her collaboration with Gabriela, a Latina composer, aligns perfectly with our commitment to diversity and promoting cross-cultural connections. The work will be a feast for the eyes," Vilaro said.

On Tuesday, Aug. 7, the company will make an appearance alongside other artists at Dance for $20.18, where it will present Vilaro's Danzon. The work takes the traditional and quintessentially Cuban form and reinvents it with contemporary movement vocabulary in a celebration of music and dance. The company will also bring its family-friendly En Familia to the Avon Performance Pavilion on Wednesday, Aug. 8. As the Maestro de Ceremonias, Vilaro will take the audience on a 90-minute journey through Latin American dances and cultures, and teach the basic steps of cha cha cha, the rhythms of flamenco, Afro-Cuban inspired movements and more.

"This is going to be a fun-filled adventure for the whole family," Vilaro said.

For its final festival performance on Thursday, Aug. 9, the full company takes the stage of the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Gustavo Ramirez Sansano's acclaimed CARMEN.maquia, a Picasso-inspired, contemporary take on Bizet's beloved classic. The physically charged and sensual choreography fuses contemporary dance with elements of the Spanish paso doble and flamenco. Ramirez Sansano's celebrated work had its New York premiere at the Apollo Theater in November 2014. Latina magazine called it "an experience unlike any other in the Latin dance space we've seen in quite some time." An audience favorite, the work recently made its United Kingdom debut in March and will return to the Apollo on Dec. 7-8.

Cultural Diversity

While on tour, the company offers community arts partnerships programming, such as its Dialogos series, which explores the interconnections of the arts, social justice and Latino cultures. The company also offers Lecciones on dance and diversity, where Vilaro speaks on the merits of cultural diversity and dance.

"It is the perfect opportunity for us to take the lead in giving all audiences access to that power, and we're going to continue to do the work," Vilaro said.

Ballet Hispanico was founded on a mission to give Latinos a place and voice in the arts. Since its founding, generations of Latinos have produced art that reinterprets their heritage, bringing fresh perspectives on the Latino experience.

Ballet Hispanico will perform at Vail Dance Festival Aug. 6-9. To purchase tickets, visit vaildance.org.

If you go …

What: Ballet Hispanico makes Vail Dance Festival debut with four performances.

Where: Vail, Beaver Creek.

When: Aug. 6-9.

More information: For tickets and the full Vail Dance Festival schedule, visit http://www.vaildance.org.