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Michelle Brandon
Dance Events
Press Releases
The Kennedy Center
Ballet Hispanico
United States
Washington D.C.
Washington, DC

Ballet Hispanico Returns to The Kennedy Center

by Michelle Brandon
December 3, 2013
The Kennedy Center
2700 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20566
(800) 444-1324

Featured Dance Company:

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

Ballet Hispanico, long recognized as the nation's leading Latino dance organization, returns to The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on December 5-6, 2013 at 8pm. The Kennedy Center is located at 2700 F St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20566. Tickets are $22-60 and are available at 800-444-1324 or 202-467-4600 or www.kennedy-center.org.

Last seen at the Kennedy Center in 2007, Ballet Hispanico returns with a dazzling mixed repertory program that will include Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato's Jardí Tancat, the D.C. premiere of Spanish choreographer Cayetano Soto's Sortijas (Rings), the D.C. premiere of Sombrerísimo by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and Eduardo Vilaro's Danzón with live music by Paquito D'Rivera, who joins the company live onstage for this engagement.

The program includes:

Jardi Tancat
Choreography by Nacho Duato
Duato's very first work, based on Catalonian folk tales sung by Maria del Mar Bonet, won him first prize at the International Choreographic Workshop in Cologne. With equal shades of passion and melancholy, the ballet evokes the despairing yet hopeful prayers of Spaniards who wait for rain on their barren land.

Sortijas (D.C. Premiere)
Choreography by Cayetano Soto
In Sortijas, a darkly lush duet full of emotional complexity, Cayetano Soto ponders the unavoidable pull of fate in our lives.

Sombrerísimo (D.C. Premiere)
Choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
An absorbing exploration of individuality, Sombrerísimo is an athletic tour de force for six men, full of rhythmic agility and stylistic flair. The work was specially commissioned by New York City Center for the 10th anniversary of its Fall for Dance Festival.

Danzón with live music by the GRAMMY-winning Paquito D'Rivera Ensemble
Choreography by Eduardo Vilaro
Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro has taken this traditional and quintessentially Cuban dance form and reinvented it with contemporary movement riffs. The work plays on the fusion of jazz improvisation and Cuban rhythms, which propel the dancers into a joyous celebration of music and movement.

On December 5, there will be a free Explore the Arts post-performance discussion with a moderator and members of the company at The Kennedy Center. In addition, Ballet Hispanico's Education and Outreach team will visit area schools, such as The Columbia Heights Educational Campus, at which the company will host lectures, demonstrations and master classes.


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. 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.

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.

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.
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