Closing Work on July 16 Celebrates Salsa Icon Celia Cruz
on the Anniversary of Her Passing
Ballet Hispanico, recognized as the nation’s premier Latino dance organization since 1970, will perform a dynamic trio of works at SummerStage at Central Park on Wednesday, July 16 at 8pm. The program for the evening will include Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro’s Asuka, a special piece celebrating the life and music of Celia Cruz on the anniversary of her 2003 passing. Ms. Cruz last performed in Central Park’s SummerStage in 2002. Ballet Hispanico’s pre-professional second company, BHdos, will also participate in SummerStage with a performance at St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx on Friday, July 11 at 7pm. Tickets for both shows are free.
The program for Ballet Hispanico’s appearance on July 16, 2014 at SummerStage will include:
Asuka by Eduardo Vilaro
Asuka is a celebration of the music of Celia Cruz through the lens of the Latino experience. Cruz, renowned as the “Queen of Salsa,” captured the heart of Latinos the world over and became a symbol of perseverance for many. Through rich imagery and humor, Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro explores the struggles of departure from one’s homeland and the exuberance of success experienced by a community. Asuka was Vilaro’s first work for Ballet Hispanico.
Sombrerísimo by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
An absorbing exploration of identity, Sombrerísimo makes references to the surrealist world of the Belgian painter René Magritte, famous for his paintings of men in bowler hats. This athletic work for six male dancers was commissioned by New York City Center for the 10th anniversary of the Fall for Dance Festival.
Tito on Timbales by William Whitener
Tito on Timbales is a tribute to the music of master percussionist Tito Puente. In this ballet, choreographer William Whitener captures the joy and intricacies of social dance through cascading patterns, sensual partnering and the celebration of community.
On Friday, July 11, 2014, BHdos will lead an engaging dance performance influenced by Spain and Latin America, featuring the impressive choreography from the current Ballet Hispanico repertory. Handpicked by Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro, the talented pre-professional dancers of Ballet Hispanico’s second company bring the joy of dance and Latino culture to schools, communities and corporations. The evening will include an All Levels Open Dance Master Class by BHdos at 7pm, with the performance to follow at 8pm.
ABOUT BALLET HISPANICO
Celebrating 43 years of dance and culture, Ballet Hispanico is recognized as the nation’s premier Latino dance organization. Led by Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro, the Company boasts a rich and diverse repertory of over 100 works by the foremost choreographers and emerging artists of our time. Building on founder Tina Ramirez’s legacy, Ballet Hispanico explores the diversity of Latino culture through a fusion of Latin and contemporary dance powered by theatricality and passion. The Company has performed for an audience of nearly 3 million, throughout 11 countries and on 3 continents. Through the work of its professional company, school of dance, and community arts education programs, Ballet Hispanico celebrates the dynamic aesthetics of the Hispanic diaspora, building new avenues of cultural dialogue and sharing the joy of dance with all communities. For more information, visit BalletHispanico.org. Follow Ballet Hispanico on Facebook and Twitter.
EDUARDO VILARO, a first generation Cuban-American, began as artistic director of Ballet Hispanico in August of 2009, becoming only the second person to head the company since it was founded in 1970. Mr. Vilaro has been part of the Ballet Hispanico family since 1985. As a dancer with the Ballet Hispanico Company, he performed throughout the U.S., Latin America and Europe and assisted founder Tina Ramirez with the development of dance education residencies. Mr. Vilaro is also an accomplished choreographer, having created works for the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Lexington Ballet, the Civic Ballet of Chicago, and over 20 ballets for Luna Negra Dance Theater, the company he founded in Chicago. He received a B.F.A. in Dance from Adelphi University and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Art from Columbia College Chicago, where he served as Artist-in-Residence at The Dance Center. Mr. Vilaro was a guest speaker at the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Leaders and the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture, and continues to speak to the growing need for cultural diversity and dance education.
SUMMERSTAGE, New York’s largest free performing arts festival, bringing over 100 free performances to 14 parks throughout the five boroughs. With performances ranging from American pop, Latin and World music to dance, comedy and theater, SummerStage fills a vital niche in New York City’s summer arts festival landscape. Since its inception twenty-nine years ago, more than six million people from New York City and around the world have enjoyed SummerStage. The festival runs from June 3rd to August 24th.