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Michelle Brandon
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The Apollo Theatre
Ballet Hispanico
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Ballet Hispanico to present world premiere at The Apollo Theater

by Michelle Brandon
October 30, 2012
The Apollo Theatre
253 West 125th Street
New York, NY 10027
(212) 531-7000

Featured Dance Company:

Ballet Hispanico
Ballet Hispanico (office)
167 West 89th Street
New York, NY 10024

Ballet Hispanico, recognized as the premier Latino dance institution in the United States, presents the dance event of the holiday season at the legendary Apollo Theater on December 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm. The Apollo Theater is located at 253 West 125th Street, New York City. Tickets start at $33 and are available for purchase in person at the Apollo Theater Box Office, or through Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com.

The evening features three Ballet Hispanico premieres that put a contemporary spin on Cuba's danzón, Argentina's tango, and 1980s Spanish pop. Vibrant live music by the Paquito D'Rivera Ensemble accompanies choreography by Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro, Argentinian legend Alejandro Cervera and cutting-edge Spanish choreographers Inma García and Meritxell Barberá.

"The Apollo is a true birthplace of music and innovation," said Eduardo Vilaro, Artistic Director of Ballet Hispanico. "I am thrilled to build on its rich history of artistic collaboration with Ballet Hispanico's return this year alongside Paquito D'Rivera, one of the Latin jazz greats."

The program includes:

- A vueltas con los ochenta (World Premiere)
Choreography by Inma García and Meritxell Barberá.

García and Barberá's first work for Ballet Hispanico uses contemporary dance to evoke the sights and sounds of the cultural revolution in 1980s Madrid known as "La Movida". From the impulsive, spontaneous movements of each dancer to the beats of electronic pop music that fill the stage, this piece recreates the memory of one night of freedom, exploration, and invention lived by a young group of friends.

- Tango Vitrola (Company Premiere)
Choreography by Alejandro Cervera
Turning tango on its head, Alejandro Cervera conjures a metaphysical space that highlights the struggle between men and women through simple yet poetic patterns.

- Danzón with live music by the Paquito D'Rivera Ensemble (New York Premiere)
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 movements to construct a bold work of art for this generation.


Celebrating 42 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. The works expand on founder Tina Ramirez's legacy of exploring the diversity of Latino culture through a fusion of classical, Latin, and contemporary dance powered by theatricality and passion. The Company has performed for an audience of nearly 3 million, throughout 11 countries, on 3 continents. For more information, visit www.ballethispanico.org. Follow Ballet Hispanico on Facebook and Twitter.


Paquito D'Rivera defies categorization. Born in Havana, Cuba, he began performing at an early age, and studied at the Havana Conservatory of Music. As solo clarinetist and saxophonist, he performed with many orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, Costa Rica National Symphony, and the St. Luke's Chamber Orchestra. Among his honors, are a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition, and an appointment as the 2007-2008 Composer-in-Residence at Caramoor.

He received his 10th and 11th GRAMMY this year for Panamericana Suite as Best Latin Album and Best Classical Contemporary Composition, adding to his previously awarded 8th and 9th GRAMMY for Riberas (Best Classical Recording) and Funk Tango (Best Latin Jazz Album 2008). A recipient of an NEA Jazz Masters award 2005 and the National Medal for the Arts 2005, Kennedy Center Living Jazz Legend 2007, Guggenheim Fellowship 2007, Frankfurt Musikpreis 2008, Nelson Rockefeller Honoree 2010. He also writes social commentary and has written three books.


The Apollo is a national treasure that has had significant impact on the development of American culture and its popularity around the world. Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has played a major role in cultivating artists and in the emergence of innovative musical genres including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis, Jr., James Brown, Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, D'Angelo, Lauryn Hill, and countless others began their road to stardom on the Apollo's stage. The Apollo Theater's new artistic vision builds on its legacy. New Apollo programming has music as its core, driving large scale and more intimate music, dance and theater presentations. The Apollo will continue to present historically relevant presentations, as well as more forward-looking, contemporary work. Based on its cultural significance and architecture, the Apollo Theater received state and city landmark designation in 1983 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, visit www.apollotheater.org.
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